“I’m buying England to play Paraguay, 1-0.”

When Jiang Wang returned to the sports lottery shop, only about three or four people gathered there to drink tea and play cards were still there.

A man that was there since the morning, recognized him and waved at him familiarly, “Brother, come and have a game.”

“No,” the man took out all of his remaining change, and pushed it in front of the old man without even counting, “Put it all in for England.”

“Uncle Teng, you still complain that business is not good,” the uncle sitting next to the fan lit a cigarette and laughed.
“When the World Cup comes, let alone a few of our brothers sneaking over to come and watch, you even see a lot of new faces.”

Teng Bo thought he had recovered the money he lost earlier much faster, but still, he didn’t forget to look up at Jiang Wang as he passed the money through the detector.

This young man seemed to have the air of a soldier at first glance.

Eagle-like sword eyebrows, smeared with a hostile aura that didn’t quite fit with the surroundings.

“From a provincial city?”

Jiang Wang picked up the gift from the stranger next to him, and said carelessly, “It doesn’t matter.”

The person who handed the cigarette heard about his bet this morning, now he followed suit and also bought England, waiting for the result with interest.

In June and July, it was the time for hot flashes.
The big fan on the ceiling of the small shop spun slowly, and the small fan in the corner blew weakly, making the people inside sweat profusely.
The card players obviously had no more interest in playing cards.

People in small towns would usually know each other.
Whoever wanted to rip off people, or someone marrying in from another province, these all became snacks of the people in the small town.

Chewing the same things over and over again would grow to be boring.
It was inevitable that the people would encourage both right and wrong doings a few times.
It was so that neighbors and relatives could find some new jokes to humor with.

Jiang Wang glanced at their prying eyes, took a cigarette to smoke and sat down at the card table.

“I don’t know anything else,” he said slowly.
“I have learned fortune-telling from a master in the Taoist temple.
Even the fifty-one hexagrams are not much, I will also pay ten times more if what I say is proven to be unfounded.”

He lacked a bit of money for renting a house.

Houses in small places were cheap, and the slightly more decent two-bedroom houses were only a few hundred a month.
This amount, he could easily put together before the sun sets.

As soon as his words finished, several people in the shop showed their obvious interest.

“Fifty, so expensive?” The middle-aged man with a shiny face pretended to be offended, “It would only cost twenty if you climb to the Xishan temple.”

Jiang Wang simply glanced at the black and white screen, and did not answer.

“This guy guessed correctly in the morning, and now he’s this arrogant,” the thin man teased, “I just won a few hundred.
Come on, let’s play once.”

He swept the whole hundred at the card table directly in front of Jiang Wang.
He also clasped it with his fingers and shook it.

“If it’s fake you have to pay tenfold, as you said.”

Jiang Wang looked at the money and didn’t respond to the provocation.
Instead, he said lightly, “The surname is Shen, right?”

The thin monkey-like man was taken aback, a little speechless.

“Your daughter-in-law is having an affair with someone else at the moment, so you should go home.”

“No– what are you–”, the man surnamed Shen immediately became anxious, he stood up, pointed at Jiang Wang’s nose and swore, “What the hell are you grinning at?!”

Jiang Wang leaned back in the chair and moved his knuckles, then said lazily, “If you’re too late, you won’t be able to catch them.”

The lottery shop was silent for a while.
The skinny monkey blushed and scolded him fiercely, then left without even taking the money.

In the end, he didn’t come back even as the afternoon passed.

A card friend tentatively made a phone call.
From the other end came cursing and the faint cry of a woman.

When everyone was frozen there stunned, the old man took out a stack of red tickets.

“England, 1-0, it’s done.”

Jiang Wang calmly took the money and put it in his pocket.
When he looked at the others again, he realized that there was a bit more fear in their eyes.

They looked at him like they were looking at a cuckold detector.

“I’ll come back tomorrow.” He smiled and said, “See you later.”

After earning 1,200 from the bet, 400 would be paid for the rent, and 100 for buying a cheap second-hand mobile phone.
The rest would be reserved for future investments.

In 2006, if one hoarded more than a dozen houses, in the future, their rent collection alone would be enough to support the whole family for a few lifetimes.

The landlord who was in her fifties was called Sister Zhou by her neighbors.
In his time, the first time he ever saw such a cheerful person, they hurriedly signed the contract and counted the money.

“The house is in a good location.
The bus stop is just outside the door, and the school is just diagonally opposite the street.
Many teachers live in this community.
You can surely make money here!”

Jiang Wang looked at the dark and dirty room that seemed roughly like a house, but didn’t sign it right away.

“Is there electricity?”

“It’s connected.
The socket is there.
If you want to access the Internet, you have to go apply to the telecom yourself.” Sister Zhou was afraid that he would regret it, so she hurriedly said, “I have everything from water and electricity here, you can just clean it up as you like.
It’s a good place to live in.”

“The house doesn’t look much right now without a bed and refrigerator, but look at the lighting! It’s pretty good!”

Jiang Wang cursed with a smile in his heart, and wrote his name in two strokes.

“But let me say this ahead of time,” the fat woman’s expression suddenly became serious, “I don’t care what profession you have.
But don’t bring troublesome people into the house.
Understand what I mean?”

“I don’t have that hobby.”

There were two types of apartments in a Tongzilou[1].
The one Jiang Wang would live in was a small two-bedroom apartment located in the corner.
The large windows made good lighting pass through but the sound insulation was poor.
Even with the windows closed, he could still hear the calls of the hawkers[2] outside.

The house had not been properly renovated at all.
The floor was so dark that it looked like barley could be grown.
The wiring on the ceiling looked hideous like arteries and blood vessels.
And the only furniture was a small light bulb glued to the wall with tape.

Lastly, there was a smart touch-screen machine that seemed like it had been soaked in water for too long and had no more chance to be rescued.
It was thrown into a drawer of a small broken table, almost stabbing a spider’s nest.

Thinking about it carefully, he had to accompany himself to finish elementary school in this house, and maybe, he even had to save enough money for himself to go to university.

‘…Having to provide for myself, damn.’

Jiang Wang rubbed his brows, picked up the key and went out.

Hongshan Elementary School opened its gates at 4:30 in the afternoon.
At this time, a group of mud-dog-colored children would chatter excitedly as they rushed out.

When Peng Xingwang poked his head out while holding his homework, with a flick of his head, he saw the tall black-faced man among the gray-haired grandparents.

“Teacher Ji– He is here!” Peng Xingwang shook his hand quickly and motioned to the teacher behind him to look over the direction he was pointing.

Jiang Wang was originally so annoyed at the noisy over-energetic brats that he wanted to bring out a machine gun.
When he heard Peng Xingwang’s voice, he raised his head and found that the child was leading a young teacher over, because of his conditioned reflex he took a step back.

“It turns out, you are Peng Xingwang’s family member?” The young man let the child hold him tightly, and smiled with shallow dimples on his cheeks, “I am his English teacher, my surname is Ji.”

Jiang Wang refused to look him in the eyes, so he simply nodded and looked away.

“Let’s go, go home.”

“Wait a minute,” Teacher Ji said gently, “This child has been lacking… care.
Is it convenient for you to leave your contact information?”

Peng Xingwang looked at the two of them exchanging contact information, and quietly breathed a sigh of relief.

In this way, even if he was sold, the police uncle would still be able to find him, great.

A group of children, looking like mini SpongeBob SquarePants, took turns to say hello to the teacher.
Jiang Wang muttered a few simple goodbyes, and led Peng Xingwang into the crowded small stationery shop next door.

But the child’s attention was not on the pretty swirls on top of the ice cream[3].

“Are you afraid of Teacher Ji?”

Jiang Wang looked at his young and tender face, and with his voice very low he answered.

“Not afraid.

“Teacher Ji is the most beautiful teacher in our school!” Peng Xingwang looked happy, “He sings very well and he never harasses us!”

‘…So you stick like this to others all day long.’

Jiang Wang squinted his eyes, but didn’t say what he was thinking.

“Go and choose a school bag.
If you don’t have a book and ruler, buy it quickly.”

Peng Xingwang refused to ignore the previous topic, and said very seriously, “Brother, I especially like Teacher Ji.
Do you like him too? ”


When he led Peng Xingwang back to the guest house, Jiang Wang glanced at the garbage truck several times.

‘It’s strange.
I usually don’t speak if I am not spoken to.
Is this chatty brat I picked up, the wrong person?’

The child had no idea about the adult version’s urge to throw a certain someone out.
He jumped around for a long time with the new school bag and a small yellow hat. 

As they were waiting for the traffic light, he thought of something, and suddenly let out an idea.

“If we didn’t live in a hostel, wouldn’t we look like a family?”

Peng Xingwang felt that this elder brother was actually not bad.

Anyway, it was better to be anywhere else other than to go back to Dad.
At least he wouldn’t be beaten.

When the red light turned green, Jiang Wang stretched out his hand to straighten the little yellow hat the child was wearing, and strode forward.

“There is already a house.”

“I’ll clean it up tomorrow.
The day after tomorrow we can move in.”

Downstairs, at the hostel, the two drank dumpling soup and ate fried dumplings with cabbage and pork.
After the incident, they continued to live in the room for another day.

The table in the guest house was equipped with a table lamp, which was much better than the child’s previous learning conditions.

Peng Xingwang murmured while reading, and Jiang Wang sat behind him flipping through the newspaper.

He turned a few pages and put it down.

“How about you change your name in the future.”

When he was born, his family’s name was made very perfunctory, but still, they named him Peng Xingwang.

Its meaning was to look forward to the continuous improvement of the old Peng family, that the ancestors will remain prosperous from generation to generation.

Relatives who had studied couldn’t stand this, and said that only a peasant would be called such a broken name.
In the end, they chose the two words that became Xingwang.

Later, when he turned fifteen years old, he joined the army in advance through the special sports recruitment.
Upon investigation, he found that he was from a black household[4].

When Jiang Wang was born, the household registration system was still pretty loose, and the small towns didn’t particularly pay attention to this.
One only needed to get a new form and complete it.

He didn’t have the slightest memory of this city or his origin.
So he lied about his mother’s surname, Jiang, and changed his name.

‘Well forget it.
It was best to move on cleanly.’

Peng Xingwang was still struggling with the four mathematical operations, as he was almost breaking his fingers to count.
It took a long time for him to react.

“Huh? Change it to what?”

Jiang Wang laughed suddenly.

“They all call you Wang Zai in school, aren’t you angry?”

“Not angry.” Peng Xingwang sat on a high chair and swayed his feet, as sturdy and lively as a little labrador, “They’re the only ones who think I’m stinky anyway, but still, it would be nice if they were to call me by my actual name.”

Jiang Wang was about to enlighten him on this topic, but a beeping bell rang from the phone in his pocket.

There was only one number stored on this phone.

Jiang Wang’s eyes sank, as he went to the balcony by himself.

“Hello, is this Mr.


“I’m Teacher Ji.
We met this afternoon.”

Jiang Wang lowered his head and looked down at the distance smeared by the dim light.
He didn’t make a sound for a long time.

“Peng Xingwang’s family affairs… you said you basically understand.”

“If it’s convenient, please take him to the hospital for a physical examination to make sure he is healthy.”

The man’s voice was clear and mellow, as if he would always remain gentle with everything in the world.

“I’ve always cared about him.”


Yes you read it right the ML is here hehehe I really like the ML in this novel.
Look forward to their interactions ( ̄∇ ̄)



↑1 A type of housing that are tube-shaped.
Described as ramshackle dwellings formed of long tubular corridors, connecting family-sized bedrooms.
Bathrooms and kitchens are usually shared and balconies double as thoroughfares.
↑2 Also called peddlers, they usually sell inexpensive goods and attracts passerbys/potential customers through loud chants or yells.
↑3 It’s probably referring to a display/decoration in the stationery shop
↑4 Black households are formed from children who were born outside the one child policy and were not registered in the national household registration system

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