I’m A Baller - Chapter 40
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
When Lin Weiwei and Liu Li walked to the ground floor of the rented apartment, Wang Yan was waiting there, all fresh and ready to go.
Wang Yan’s outfit for that day was very simple and lowkey.
Wearing a red LeBron James T-shirt with sweatpants and a baseball cap, Wang Yan looked like a teenager who was ready to take on the world for the first time.
“Good morning! The two of you haven’t eaten anything yet, right? I bought cartons of milk and bread from the convenience store nearby.”
Liu Li happily took the carton of milk. To her surprise, it was warm.
“Wow! How did you heat it up? What time did you leave the room to do all this?”
“There were microwaves in the convenience store for the staff to heat up their food. The staff was nice enough to help me heat the food and drinks up.”
Wang Yan didn’t explain everything explicitly, but it didn’t take a genius to know that he had definitely paid a price for it.
Lin Weiwei placed the straw inside and took a big gulp from it. Then, she gave a satisfied sigh.
“I could wake up at midnight just to drink warm milk… At least you still have some conscience, and I didn’t waste my time going through so much trouble for you.”
The three of them were chatting and laughing as they climbed into the car. They were headed straight towards Tiananmen Square.
Lin Weiwei cleverly found a space for her car in the Capital Hotel’s parking lot. The parking fee was 25 dollars per hour, but it didn’t concern her, as she knew that Wang Yan would be paying for it.
After walking around for three minutes, they finally reached the place where they would have to go through a security check.
After they passed security, Lin Weiwei briskly led Wang Yan and Liu Li all the way through an underground passageway between Chang’an Avenue and Guang Chang Xi Ce Lu. Finally, they reached their destination and waited at the best spot.
Girls that attended a dance academy were certainly different from the rest. They took long strides and couldn’t stop once they started. They also didn’t care if anyone was lagging behind their footsteps.
After claiming a good spot, they waited for the event to start.
While waiting, Lin Weiwei helped the newbie learn more about the ceremony.
“There’s a waiting area near the museum in Ximen. After it opens for people to walk through, the best spot is directly opposite the open space in front of Tiananmen Square’s watchtower. Although the location is perfect for watching the flag-raising ceremony, it’s still too far away to see all the details on the flag.
“Actually, where we’re standing right now is the best place to watch the ceremony. We’re rather close, and therefore have the best view to see our country’s good-looking flag!
“The only problem is that when we take photos, the watchtower won’t be in the picture.”
Wang Yan was sincerely grateful for her explanations, feeling hopeful about the event.
Regarding the problems she had mentioned, he didn’t care.
“Why is there a need to take photos?! I’m here to watch the flag-raising ceremony, not to be an influencer and take photos for others to see.”
“That’s good. When the waiting area opens, both of you will follow me to run and get the best spot possible!”
Lin Weiwei was full of fighting spirit. The three of them gave knowing smiles to one another and rubbed their fists together to show their readiness.
The flag-raising ceremony would start at 5:20 a.m. They waited until 4:50 before the entrance was opened for people to enter.
The three of them didn’t say anything, and once they could enter, they sprinted all the way to the front of the podium. They were among the first few to arrive, so the center spots of the first row still had available seats.
The three of them kept close together and held on tightly to the barrier without letting go.
The two girls had run so fast that their faces turned red and they were still trying to catch their breath. However, they still smiled excitedly.
“Wow! First row! So cool!”
The rows behind were quickly filled by incoming people. From the third row onwards, people who didn’t bring selfie sticks would have to wait for the flag to reach the top before they could catch a glimpse of it.
Wang Yan was extremely excited as well, his heart beating fast. No matter if he was turning around to have a look at the Tiananmen watchtower or staring into the distant dark sky, he felt an unexplainable excitement inside of him.
Protecting the two girls with his strength, hugging them close together, Wang Yan didn’t have any additional thoughts. He just couldn’t wait for the moment to come.
When the soldiers from the national flag squad appeared at the watchtower, the people that were in the open space went wild.
There were all kinds of cheers and screams. There were people who were sincerely shouting, “Long live the People’s Republic of China,” while there were also people singing along to the national anthem and shouting, “I love you, China.”
The soldiers from the national flag squad stepped across the Golden Water Bridge with uniform and neat marching.
It was the kind of sound that couldn’t be easily described with words. Watching the march was impactful. It wasn’t just because of the neatness of the march or the soldiers’ dashing appearance and solemn expressions. There was more depth and meaning to the event.
From the moment the national flag squad started marching, Wang Yan subconsciously clenched his fist. He stared intensely at the squad that was marching.
Observing the flag-raising ceremony in school was nothing like this scene. Watching the national flag squad use their sincerity to deliver the flag, which had the soul of not only the soldiers but also the entire country’s people, the solemn ceremony was not a scene to be missed.
When the national anthem played, Wang Yan stood up straight and didn’t move an inch. He focused all his attention on the ceremony and sang along to the anthem as well. He felt overcome with emotion at that time.
As the flag was slowly raised, there was a gust of wind, and the red flag fluttered along with the wind, just like a ball of fire.
Wang Yan involuntarily thought of the rich history the country had since it was founded, which was comprised of close to 5,000 years. After the country opened doors to trade with other countries, its economy grew rapidly. He also remembered all the documentaries he watched online.
“Great Power Heavy Industry 4,” “China’s Mega Projects,” “Wild China,” “A Bite of China,” and more.
When Wang Yan attended secondary school, he could gradually tell right from wrong and built his three outlooks in life. It was the perfect time to feel a sense of pride for being who he was as a citizen of this country.
Technology was progressing, and industries were revolutionizing. They were improving gradually and catching up to the standards of America and European countries, reaching new milestones all the time.
Every time he looked, he was overwhelmed with new emotions that were surfacing.
Wang Yan didn’t really understand the concept of a country, and he didn’t feel a sense of pride as a whole. He believed in egoism instead. Nonetheless, regarding the country where he was born, he was proud.
As the citizens became wiser, the children that were born weren’t forced to go through the hardships that their forefathers went through. While their ancestors may have received inaccurate and even toxic news about their nation during times of unrest, younger citizens naturally had a stronger sense of national pride, and they were more confident, proud, open, and tolerant.
Everything that they had was to be credited to their great country.
Wang Yan was clear in stating that he wasn’t a wholehearted patriot.
Honestly, the rich would be respected wherever they go.
However, one could only stay rooted in his or her country.
Rich people without a country would be like vengeful ghosts. Deep inside his or her heart, there would be a missing piece, so where would he or she derive happiness from?
Otherwise, why would the Jewish people have begged to have their country back?
It was such a simple explanation!
If someone was to ask Wang Yan to sacrifice himself for the country, he would be sorry to say that he was unable to do so.
But if half of his net worth could guarantee the success of a war that determined the lives of the people…
Here, take it!
He forgot which master had said it, but the phrase was “People should have feelings.”
Wang Yan felt like there was a need to change it to become “Only when one is rich and does not have to worry about materialistic goods, one should have feelings.”
Otherwise, the joy of spending money would diminish.
After the observation ceremony was over, the three of them gave one another knowing smiles and felt a sense of comradery growing.
In the open space, the crowd started to disperse. Some people looked energized, while others seemed to be merely staring mindlessly.
Some things just couldn’t be forced.
Going there just for the sake of doing it so that they could have something to talk about after they were home was fun as well.
Everyone had to go separate ways anyway, and he wouldn’t get to know them.
Liu Li did some stretches and forced a grunt from her throat. “Wow, that was so cool!”
“I agree. I felt so touched observing the flag-raising ceremony at such close proximity…”
Lin Weiwei followed her actions and opened her arms. The two girls walked side by side happily. It was such a lovely and peaceful scene.
Liu Li asked casually, “And then? What are we doing now?”
“Sleep!” Lin Weiwei replied without thinking at all.
Wang Yan was feeling tired, so he didn’t have any objections.
In the end, the three of them returned to Lu Yuanyuan’s apartment. The two of them shared a bed, whereas Wang Yan had an entire bed to himself. They went back to sleep to make up for the lack of sleep the previous day.
After sleeping until ten, they were woken up by Wang Xue and her boyfriend. All of them went out together to get breakfast.
To send Wang Yan off, everyone was thoughtful and ordered roasted duck from Quanjude.
Wang Yan ate so much that his whole mouth was filled with oil and he was really loving the meal. The rest of the girls were eating vegetables, as they had to watch their weight. Only Reyi Nawu gave up and ate until she was stuffed.
Wang Yan wanted to foot the bill, but the girls didn’t allow him to do so and split the bill among themselves instead. That was their treat for Wang Yan, and he was touched by it.
He wouldn’t have minded spending the money. It was the recognition that touched his heart.
After finishing the meal, Wang Yan was going to take the train to return home. He was reluctant to part ways with everyone, but in the end, it was Liu Li and Lin Weiwei who took him to the train station.
Holding hands, they talked all the way to the point for ticket checks. There, Liu Li finally asked the question.
“So… when are you coming to the Capital again?”
Wang Yan leaned over, and with a chuckle, he whispered in her ear, “I’ll come again when you are free. If you really miss me but I’m not free, I’ll think about it and come in the end. If I really miss you, then without a doubt, I will come. So you see, there’s nothing to worry about. We’re just temporarily separating so that we can meet again.”
Liu Li stared at him with a look of contempt and dislike but nodded at the same time.
Up to that point, there was still no confession.
However, the faintly discernible feelings were felt by both of them, and they wanted to keep it that way.
Before he left, her ears turned red and she told him shyly, “The next time you come, I’ll dance for you to see.”
Wang Yan’s other thoughts flew out the window, and he couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of it.
The train finally arrived at the station, and even though there was much unwillingness, he still picked his bag up and waved at them to say goodbye.
“Bye-bye, San Wang!”