I’m A Baller - Chapter 12
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
He studied diligently until 11:30 before washing up and calling it a day.
Wang Yan woke up at eight the next day and drove off to Wangjiao in his dilapidated truck.
He could have saved himself some trouble if he had rented a larger truck that could transport a few hundred watermelons at once.
However, Wang Yan wanted to ensure that the taste of the watermelons was always at its best. He refused to sell watermelons that were stored for too long so he could build consumer loyalty.
Watermelons were the freshest and tasted the best on the day they were harvested.
From then on, Wang Yan would visit the supplier in the morning to select his watermelons, and in the afternoon, he would return to the city to put on the labels, clean, and package the watermelons. Finally, he would set up his stall at four in the evening.
He sold a maximum of 100 watermelons per day.
That was the strategy of hunger marketing. Even elementary school students would understand.
Wang Yan could sell a maximum of 1.000 melons to acquire the most profits. Selling them batch by batch, it would take around ten days for him to finish selling the whole lot and also not supply a surplus of watermelons in the market.
‘Maybe I could even increase prices in the future?’
When Wang Yan reached Wu Ye’s place, he handed Wu Ye 2,000 yuan.
“Ten yuan per melon. This is the total amount for the 100 melons today and the 100 melons last time. You may want to double-check the amount!”
Wu Ye wanted to knock some sense into Wang Yan.
“This kid… You really want to get smacked, right?! Didn’t we agree on five yuan per melon?”
Wang Yan scooted away, desperately trying to avoid a beating.
“Uncle, I’ve profited quite a bit. Of course, you should profit more from this as well! Please keep it! Keep the melons for me, and don’t let anyone else buy them from you. Is that okay for me to ask?”
At Wu Ye’s age, he would have been no competition for Wang Yan. He was already out of breath.
Barely landing any hits, Wu Ye started chasing him away. “Shoo, go and pick them out yourself. Don’t make me angry!”
Wang Yan ran off cheekily.
There was ample time that day. After choosing the melons, Wang Yan could go to his uncle’s house for breakfast. He could also visit his grandmother and make her happy.
The miscellaneous activities kept him busy until 4:30. Only then did he drive his rundown truck to the Xiangshanyuan Villas.
From a distance, he could already see many cars parked at the side of the road.
Right when he stopped his truck, four customers stepped out of their cars immediately and ran towards the melon store.
What the heck?!
There was already a line?
The popularity of the Blackhoney and Crispysweet melons was beyond Wang Yan’s imagination.
After short conversations, he found out they were all helpers and chauffeurs for various families.
The rich people wouldn’t leave their houses just to buy watermelons. However, they would casually make statements like, “Today’s watermelons are going to be delicious.” And this was bound to make the nannies go to the store early to line up and buy some.
If they weren’t able to buy them, whose fault would it be?
When everyone was actively buying these watermelons, it could cause a surge in demand for those passing by.
Before seven, all 99 of the melons were sold out. Based on tradition, one melon was shared with the security guards.
While packing up, two old ladies came to ask about the melons.
They were disappointed upon realizing that there were none left to be bought, and they insisted on paying a deposit to reserve watermelons for the next day.
“Child, you can keep the money. Tomorrow, have the security guards deliver them straight to my house and keep the change. Is that okay?”
It wasn’t a big issue.
When he reached home, it was barely 7:30. His parents hadn’t gone out. Instead, they were staring at the air conditioner in the living room.
“Little Yan, did you buy the air conditioner?”
“Yes, didn’t I tell you before?”
Before the workers came, Wang Yan had given his mother a call to ask her to supervise the installation.
Thus, both parents had been mentally prepared, but when they saw the workers, it was still relatively hard to accept.
Wang Dayuan stared with his eyes wide open. “Where did you get the money from?”
Wang Xiufang hurriedly held Wang Yan’s hand and asked in a frightened tone, “You’ve been going out early and returning home late. What are you busy with? Are you doing anything illegal? I asked you just now and you didn’t want to answer. Now, I’m really worried…”
“How is that possible?”
It was rare that he had the time to communicate with his parents, so he simply explained his recent activities to them. They were at a loss for words.
“Huh?! How much did you earn by selling the watermelons?!”
“I’m left with 45,000 yuan.”
Wang Xiufang paused for a second and almost choked.
Wang Dayuan was chain-smoking cigarettes, one after another. He looked as if he had something to say, but he remained silent.
“Come over here, on the air conditioner, and enjoy the wind!”
Wang Yan didn’t want the atmosphere to be overly suffocating, so he jumped out of his seat to switch on the air conditioner.
Gree Electrics had the best sound insulation. However, the room was so quiet that they could still hear the mild buzzing of the air conditioner’s motor.
“Dad, Mom, if both of you want to go out to play mahjong or dance, remember to switch on the air conditioner and close the windows. When both of you come back, you can enjoy the cool environment and just fall right asleep.”
Wang Yan’s words made Wang Dayuan feel uneasy.
Looking down, he left the house.
“Your uncle is waiting for me. Bye.”
His voice was dull as if he’d had to squeeze the words out of his throat.
Wang Xiufang mumbled to Wang Yan, “Your dad doesn’t dare to shed a tear in front of you out of pride.”
Wang Yan felt heartbroken.
Wang Dayuan was a man who didn’t even fear blood—there was nothing that could make him cry.
Apart from his child.
Wang Yan wasn’t a troublemaker as a child, but he was far from successful in life.
Parents had incredibly high expectations for their children, but in the end, most of them would be satisfied knowing that their children were safe and sound.
It wasn’t that Wang Yan wasn’t hardworking. However, if being hardworking was the most important, what would be the point of having talents, having a strong background, or having a conducive environment for learning to take place?
Everything was different now.
‘Wait for me, Mom and Dad!
‘I’ll give you a life that you would have never imagined! You’ll definitely be proud of me!’
The temperature in the house dropped to a nice low number. Wang Xiufang crossed her legs as she sat on the sofa. She took the initiative to discuss household matters with Wang Yan.
It was about Wang Yan’s graduation party. That was the only important upcoming event.
“Son, your graduation party will be held on the 8th of next month. It’s on a Saturday. Is that okay with you?”
“Yep. I don’t have any opinions.”
“Your dad wants it to be held at the Shenglong Pavilion. In my opinion, Qianxi would be enough. The Shenglong Pavilion is way too expensive. Moreover, we’re booking only a week in advance, and they’ll most likely be fully booked…”
It was distressing to hear his mother’s nagging.
Indeed, their family wasn’t well-to-do. They weren’t living from hand to mouth, yet with student loans, housing costs, and a marriage, which all required a significant amount of money, his Mom scrimped and saved, unwilling to waste any money.
Wang Yan was a sensible kid who was cautious with his expenditures.
To be honest, looking at his classmates, who wore branded clothing, had expensive phones, and were able to eat what they wanted to, Wang Yan was envious.
He would be lying if he’d said that he was never jealous of his friends. He was no saint, just a normal student.
No matter how envious he was, he could only hold it in.
Whenever he had free time, he would wonder, “If I were rich, how would I spend the money…?”
His priority would be to let his parents work less, followed by his own leisure activities.
Wang Yan pulled out his debit card. He could finally help finance his household expenditures.
“Mum, I’ve saved 20,000 yuan to spend during my university days. The remaining 25,000 yuan is for you. I can also pay part of the graduation party fees.”
Wang Xiufang hesitated before accepting the card.
“Okay, I’ll keep it safe for you. When you buy a house or get married, you’ll need a lot of money. I’ll help you save it so you won’t splurge…”
Wang Yan smiled confidently. “There’s no need to worry. If I can earn 45,000 yuan now, I’ll be able to earn 450,000 yuan in the future. Watch me!”
“You’re too arrogant!”
Wang Xiufang rolled her eyes, not trusting him.
Wang Yan was unaffected. He needed time to build her trust. Everything would be better later.
He quickly changed the subject.
“Mom. With our family’s situation, Qianxi is fine. Their dishes are more affordable. There’s no need to be scared of being humiliated. Furthermore, the university I’m going to isn’t Tsinghua University or Peking University. We should just keep it simple.”
Wang Xiufang was surprised. “Son, don’t you want to look good in front of your classmates?”
“Your son has nothing to lose!”
Wang Yan let out a laugh as he mocked himself, but his tone was begrudging.
“The real friends that I have wouldn’t look down on me for being poor, while my fake friends… Even if I booked the venue to be at Dong Yuan International, they would just attend for the free food and drinks. Mom, don’t worry, just book Qianxi!”
Wang Xiufang couldn’t stop smiling. “Okay, okay! It’ll be Qianxi then. Wait for your dad to come home, and I’ll finalize the invitation list with him!”
“Okay. I don’t have many classmates, so two tables are enough. You can decide on the rest. I’ll go read a book now.”
Wang Yan returned to his bedroom. Wang Xiufang looked at her son’s back, surprised and touched, while he walked away.
Her son was finally maturing. Although she didn’t know how to express it or how to praise him, she felt extremely touched. She had much more to look forward to moving ahead.
‘Once my son has graduated and is working as a civil servant, life will be great. It would be even better if he got married soon.’
Little did she know that Wang Yan had great ambitions.
One dream wasn’t enough!
Returning to his room, he settled down and focused on reading. He was extremely satisfied with the knowledge he was gaining.
The two hours passed by in a breeze before it was time for him to settle his accounts.
There was a total of 25,000 yuan in the bank. That was merely his allowance.
The salary that was accumulated in the system was the real deal.
The total amount he made that day, after selling 99 watermelons, was 280,000 yuan. Including the 120,000 yuan from the day before, he had 418,800 yuan in total!
He gained 500 EXP from purchasing the books, 20,000 EXP from his mother, and 800 EXP after eating with Uncle Liu, the security guard.
‘I’ll be able to level up again with an additional 200,000 EXP!’
However, Wang Yan had no idea what he should purchase anymore.
‘What am I missing?’
He couldn’t think of anything that he needed.
The best way to spend all that money would be to purchase an apartment. However, Wang Yan didn’t even have the time to visit a mall, let alone look for different properties.
Buying a car would be out of context. Where would he leave the car after he left for college?
There was no way he could let his parents know of his extravagant spending. If not, he would have just bought a car for his parents.
The next best option would be to purchase a watch, but Wang Yan had minimal knowledge of watches.
Due to their lack of finances in the past, he had never spent a few hundred yuan on accessories.
Times had changed. The year was already 2020. There was barely anyone who still wore watches when they could check their phones instead.
There were only around 15 people who wore watches in a class of 50 students. Even when students were banned from bringing phones to school in their last year of senior high, less than half of the class wore watches.
Many students would ask their table partners for the time while they were studying for their exams.
Wang Yan didn’t know if this was normal for the ’95 and ’00 liners, but many students in the class didn’t have wristwatches. As time passed by, most people lost interest in wristwatches.
Nonetheless, it was stated online that a perfect wristwatch could enhance a man’s style and temperament.
Wang Yan had no objections to that point of view.
Men only had a few accessories: a car, a wristwatch, a belt, and a pair of leather shoes.
One couldn’t drive after drinking, and leather shoes wouldn’t match with casual attire. Hence, the only item that would be worn at all times was a watch.
This, however, was still dependent on each person’s preference. Someone who liked to be neat and clean would look great with just a plain white T-shirt, jeans, and a pair of canvas shoes. One’s temperament shouldn’t be based solely on the accessories they wore.
People who liked edgier styles could pull off a look with dyed hair, ear piercings, and a pair of Nike Gold and White Kobe Mamba Focus, while people who went for more mature looks would just pair a watch with some casual wear from well-established brands. No matter where they were, they would stand out from the crowd.
In their current society, people were more open and accepting of a wide array of styles. After his laborious experience and much reflection, Wang Yan had a much healthier mentality and was less focused on the exterior.
‘If I find a watch that I like and it’s within my budget, I’ll buy it to increase my EXP.
‘If there aren’t any that I like, I’ll think of other ways.
‘There’s no need to buy a watch that costs 200,000 to 300,000 just to show off when I don’t like it at all.’
With this thought in mind, Wang Yan went onto Baidu and searched for luxury watches. He went to the official sites of the top-selling brands and scrutinized each one of them.
Time passed very quickly until it was already late into the night. Looking at the watches was like entering a whole new world.
These luxury watches were so pretty!
Wang Yan never knew that these watches, which were on the way out because of smartphones, had such charm.
A small watch dial had so much creativity and design, and the process of assembling the entire watch required extreme precision. It demonstrated a human’s desire to pursue perfection and great functionality while creating it.
The beauty was straightforward yet impactful, unlike laptops or phones, which were essentially just a dry-erase board.
Branded watches were like luxury cars. One look and a person could tell that it was exceptional!
“It’s no wonder that people always say a good watch can improve a man’s style and disposition. It answers the question, ‘how handsome is this person?’”
Wang Yan gritted his teeth and decided, “I’ll buy it!”
His budget range for a watch would be between 180,000 and 250,000 yuan.
He took a look at the top ten best brands of watches. He liked the brand Vacheron Constantin most, followed by Patek Philippe, and lastly, Cartier.
What left his mouth agape was the Master Minute Repeater collection from Jaeger-LeCoultre. The intricate drawings of Venus, the goddess of love, on the dial of the watch left Wang Yan mesmerized.
Vacheron Constantin’s designs were the boldest and most imaginative. They had a very unique style, whereas Patek Philippe’s design was the most elegant. Wang Yan couldn’t understand the details, but he thought that it was really pretty.
It was extremely difficult for Wang Yan to narrow it down to three watches from Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. He was spoiled with choices.
“Please forgive me. As a newbie to all this, I really don’t know how to choose!”
For someone to be indecisive over wristwatches that cost 200,000 to 300,000 yuan, that was worth being happy about. It was a worry that was exclusive to the rich.
As the final straw, Wang Yan just decided to choose the watches randomly.
‘One, two, three! Okay, the list has been decided. I’ll follow this list and see which one I’ll be able to buy.’
Yet, Wang Yan was dumbfounded.
They didn’t sell watches on their official websites!
Whether it was Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin, the pictures on the official website were just for display. They did not offer online purchases.
Wang Yan immediately went on a search for their franchise stores. Across the country, there were only two stores found in the Capital and Modu. Besides those two stores, there was one in Hong Kong as well. However, none of the stores provided shipping services.
Thinking about it, why would anyone buy such luxurious goods from an online store?
Wang Yan, who was a country bumpkin, thought that it would be just like purchasing the Louis Vuitton bags, and once it was ordered, there would be delivery for it… What a joke.
The transaction couldn’t be made at that moment. His excitement went down the drain instantly.
Wang Yan punched his fist into his bed and decided, “I’ll buy gold instead! I must upgrade my system tomorrow!”
Hence, he went to read up on gold instead. After half an hour, he fell asleep.
In his dreams, he was able to own each of the masterpieces of the designers from the different luxury brands.
Wang Yan thought that he had wasted the night, but in reality, he hadn’t.
Even without looking at the actual items, just browsing through the photos of these luxury brands opened up a new world for Wang Yan.
It was something that he had never experienced before.
A tycoon was not a poser. Only those with big hearts and the foresight to expand their horizons would be able to set themselves apart in such a materialistic world. Finally, they would be able to build their image and style with confidence.
After Wang Yan had acquired the system, it didn’t cause him to spiral into compulsive spending, nor did it cause him to become obnoxious. Instead, he worked around the clock, even under harsh conditions. He became stronger than before.
It was exceptional for a regular 18-year-old to achieve such accomplishments.
Wang Yan was on the right path.