I’m A Baller - Chapter 19
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Liu Li was in a good mood. Thus, she was willing to put in the extra effort.
Liu Li diligently listed her suggestions for Wang Yan. “Wang Wang, first tell me where you’ll be heading to run your errand. After that, I’ll find a place for you to stay that’s near my school and your destination. This way, it’ll be more convenient for you to travel.”
“That sounds good to me! Senior San Wang, you’re the best!”
Wang Yan smirked at Liu Li, but in return, he was met with her rolling eyes and a glare. The smirk quickly faded into a cheeky smile.
“I’ll be heading to Ch’ien Men 23. I want to watch the flag-raising ceremony tomorrow. Where do you think would be the best place?”
“Ch’ien Men! That’s not very far!” Liu Li was elated, but she didn’t know why.
“My dream, the Grand National Theater, is right there! If you want to attend the flag-raising ceremony, you should stay near that. What’s your budget?”
“I don’t have a budget. Any five-star hotel will do.”
Even though it sounded like he was flaunting his wealth, Wang Yan looked serious and genuine. From that, Liu Li could clearly infer that her junior was definitely rich.
“The Great Hall of the People Hotel sounds good then, since you want to see the flag-raising in the morning. It’s only a five-minute walk from the hotel to the security gate. It’ll be really convenient! I’ll search for their phone number. You should book a room as soon as possible!”
Liu Li lowered her head as she searched for the details. From the side, her long eyelashes looked like little folding fans, moving up and down as she blinked.
She immediately dialed the number that she found online and turned on speaker mode.
“Hi, may I know if there are any rooms available for booking?”
“My apologies, Madame. The rooms are fully booked, and we only have reservations available in three days’ time.”
“Oh, that’s alright then. Thank you.”
She glared at Wang Yan as she hung up the phone and groaned, “Stupid Wang! What were you thinking about before you came? Shouldn’t you have booked a room in advance before heading to the capital? Today is the weekend, and it’s almost a holiday. I’m pretty sure all the hotels in the vicinity of Ch’ien Men are fully booked. What should we do?”
Wang Yan laughed awkwardly and tried to gain sympathy from Liu Li.
“Senior Li Li, I can only rely on you. I’m a stranger here in a foreign land.”
Disgruntled, Liu Li said, “You only address me as Senior Li Li when you need a favor. When you don’t need anything, you call me San Wang… Stupid Wang!”
Wang Yan defended himself. “That’s because my senior, Li Li, is a compassionate person.”
Liu Li scoffed, yet her hands didn’t stop moving. She continued to scroll through the search results, looking for hotel rooms while relying on the train’s Wi-Fi signal, which was unstable at times.
Liu Li was firm in her speech but soft at heart. She was beautiful not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.
Wang Yan could feel his heart flutter as he stared at her side profile.
Wang Yan was reminded of a random inspirational article that discussed the strategies of getting along with the opposite gender. A large part of the article was nonsensical, and only a small portion of its content was useful, like, for example, “You should let the opposite party do more for you, instead of being the one who is constantly taking the initiative to care for them.”
In the economics book that he’d just read, there was an economic term called “sunk costs.”
In a relationship, there was a cost attached to every sacrifice that lovers made. As the cost accumulated, the parties involved would be increasingly unwilling to let go of each other.
This was the same reason why brownnosers were unwilling to give up. Their sunk costs were too high.
If they were to give up, it would mean that they had wasted all the effort they had invested. Hence, they would persevere despite knowing that their chances of success were slim.
This was humanity. Jerks who knew how to manipulate human nature were the most likely to succeed.
Wang Yan grew up in a lower-income family. His character wasn’t bad, but following his instincts, he would choose options that benefited him the most.
He was guided by this set of moral principles. Whatever he did, it needed to benefit him before others. He didn’t believe in self-sacrifice, and there was no way he would wait until the next day to settle a dispute.
Out of the 4.3 billion households in the country, the 3.5 billion less-wealthy households only possessed twenty percent of the total wealth of the country, which was nothing. Children like Wang Yan that were born into poverty would most probably be guided by the same set of principles. It was their society that had trained them to be this way.
Wang Yan was highly self-aware. He was just like anyone else, not altruistic or sadistic. He wasn’t on either extreme end of the spectrum. He was just a self-loving and patriotic youth.
He couldn’t be bothered to think deeper. He would just follow his heart.
He didn’t care whether he was doing the right or wrong thing. That would be reflected in the results anyway.
Liu Li was unaware of the millions of thoughts that ran through Wang Yan’s mind within that few seconds. She could only feel his burning gaze fixated on her face. She couldn’t help but feel proud as she chuckled to herself. At the same time, his gaze was also making her self-conscious.
It didn’t take long before these emotions dissipated and were replaced by frustration.
There were no rooms available!
Liu Li cursed in her head, but that wasn’t going to make a difference. It was driving her crazy that she couldn’t find a single hotel room available in that area.
Wang Yan moved closer and pointed to a search result that showed the Grand Hyatt Beijing. He asked, “Isn’t there a room available here?”
Liu Li was astonished. “Are you insane, Wang Wang? The starting price is 5,400 yuan, and there’s an additional charge of 20 percent due to Army Day! An executive suite of around 900 square feet will cost 6,500 yuan a night!”
Wang Yan thought to himself, ‘I may not be able to enjoy a presidential suite right now, but I can still easily afford the 6,500 yuan for a night. It’s just a few hours’ wages.’
Of course, there was no way he was going to say that out loud.
“What now? There aren’t any cheaper options, and I can’t stay at Wudaokou, right?”
“What’s so bad about staying at Wudaokou?” Liu Li rebuked. Her eyes lit up as she thought of an idea.
“Why don’t I find a room in the male dorms for you? Save that 6,000 yuan and treat us to a meal tonight instead!”
What the heck? A dorm?!
What if they were influenced by the mood that night and he decided to bring her to the dorm?
Wang Yan shook his head in despair. “I’ll treat you to a meal, but you should let me stay in a more comfortable location. Deal? On the other hand, I would be interested in staying in your dorm room instead…”
Liu Li wasn’t angry, as she realized that her suggestion had been a little unreasonable. She grinned cheekily as she leaned against the window.
“I don’t care. Book the room yourself, anywhere you want!”
There was no way Wang Yan was going to stay in a dorm room with a random stranger. Nonetheless, he was touched and grateful that Liu Li had thought of helping him save money.
With a deep sigh, Wang Yan suggested, “How about this? Help me find a place so that I won’t have to stay with a random guy. Anything else is fine. We’ll spend the money that we’ve saved from that 6,500 tonight. Doesn’t that sound great?”
Liu Li’s eyes glistened.
She wasn’t money-minded. His suggestion was fascinating and even a little romantic.
“Deal! We’ll do as you said!”
When luck came, it brought wisdom. Wang Yan unknowingly transformed into a gallant man. He stretched out his hand and smiled dazzlingly at Liu Li. “Pinky promise!”
Liu Li didn’t think twice before extending her hand. She locked her pinky with Wang Yan’s and stamped their thumbs together. She didn’t know about other places, but this was a pretty popular gesture in Gujiao.
“Wang Wang, you just wait and see!”
Wang Yan could feel his heart skip a beat when their pinkies intertwined. The touch was soft and gentle.
Even though it didn’t count as holding hands, it was a good sign that the lady wasn’t avoiding physical contact.
‘I’ll take it slow. Maybe one day, my relationship status will be different.’
Releasing her finger, Wang Yan grinned as he stared at Liu Li, who was enthusiastically calling someone.
“Hello? Yuan Yuan, when will you get here?
“I’m on the train. Stop rambling, I have something important to ask you—do you mind lending me your apartment near the school? Just a night will do,” Liu Li begged.
“I’m not staying there. I have a friend… A guy, but no worries, I’ll provide the sheets and everything else.
“What?! What are you talking about?! Just tell me, are you going to lend it to me?
“That’s it! It’s my treat tonight! Wait for me!
“Me? I have another 30 minutes until I arrive. No, it’s fine. Tell Wei Wei that she doesn’t have to worry about me. I’ll accompany my friend to settle some matters first.
“Alright! See you later!”
While hanging up the call, Liu Li raised her chin slightly and looked at Wang Yan gleefully.
“All settled! Wang Wang, you’ll be staying at a pretty lady’s apartment! Aren’t you glad? What good is an executive suite that costs 6,500 yuan a night?”
The young male’s survival instincts were unreliable at times. Particularly at that moment, they were failing him. Despite rehearsing the sentences in his head, he still said the wrong thing.
“I’m not concerned about the environment of the apartment. It’ll be worth it as long as the owner of the apartment is beautiful…”
He had barely finished his sentence when he received a stern warning.
[Incoming thunderstorm! This is an emergency. Take shelter immediately! Repeat, this is an emergency. Take shelter immediately!]