Chapter 192 - Beaten-Down Slums
Lin Yi made sure both Chu Mengyao and Chen Yushu weren’t going out before walking to Yushu’s Beetle. It was Saturday morning, and he was making his way to where Kang Xiaobo was.
Li Fu had handed him his licence two days ago already, and Lin Yi didn’t need to worry about bumping into the police whenever he drove.
The two misses, on the other hand, needed to busy themselves with the CD Lin Yi bought them yesterday.
Lin Yi rang Xiaobo up as he walked out the door. Almost everyone had their own phone in this day and age, since the cheapest phones even went as low as one or two hundred kuai. One had to be in a pretty rough situation to not have a phone, like Tang Yin, for example…
“Where are you, Xiaobo?” Lin Yi asked.
“I’m at home, not out yet. You ready to go, boss?” Xiaobo had been looking forward to this day for a week now- after all, going to the school beauty’s house for a meal was a rare honor! He’d been waiting for Lin Yi’s phone call after getting up early in the morning.
“Where’s your house? I’ll go get you.” Lin Yi asked.
“You’re picking me up?” Xiaobo paused, not understanding what Lin Yi meant. “I live in Time Street, but boss, where do you live? Let’s just meet at the slums district if I’m too far?”
“Time Street… Wait for me.” Lin Yi said before hanging up.
Yushu had a gps system installed in her car, and Lin Yi received directions after typing in ‘Time Street’.
The Time Street stop was a place Lin Yi passed by every time he went to school, one of the easier stops to locate. He called Xiaobo when he got there, telling him that he was at the Time Street bus stop.
It wasn’t long before a very well-dressed Xiaobo walked up to the stop, looking left and right for Lin Yi.
“Xiaobo! Here!” Lin Yi waved as he opened up the co-driver door.
“Eh? Boss?” Xiaobo blinked in surprise as he spotted Lin Yi as his car. He quickly made his way over. “This is your car?”
“Haha……” Lin Yi chuckled, neither denying nor admitting- it was something he’d rather not explain.
Xiaobo took that as a yes, and got in the car. “Wow, boss, I didn’t know your family’s pretty rich! I thought you were poor and came from a mountain……”
“We’re okay.” Lin Yi said honestly- Old Lin and him would really just be ‘okay’ if the missions yielded only a couple hundred kuai like the old man claimed them to be. They’d be millionaires and even billionaires if the mission rewards went by market price, however, but Lin Yi didn’t want to dwell on stuff like that too much with the old man… So be it if he was a working slave to the old man- he had a roof and food to eat, after all. Earning some coin here and there for his retirement wasn’t that bad.
“But boss, why’d you get a car like this? It looks like a girl’s car…… And these seats and decorations……” Xiaobo commented as he looked around the car.
“Haha……” Lin Yi chuckled again- the car was Yushu’s, so of course it’d be feminine……
“Eh?” Xiaobo’s gaze froze at a decoration on the rear-view mirror. “That picture…… Chen Yushu?!! Boss, no way, you have a crush on Chen Yushu?!”
Xiaobo’s eyes were wide open with disbelief as he stared at the picture frame with Yushu in it.
“Wha-?” Lin Yi noticed it as well, now that Xiaobo mentioned it…… He sweated a bit. “That decoration… belongs to the car’s owner……”
“I get it, boss!” Xiaobo grinned, as if he knew everything. “Boss, I’m a man too! I get it, don’t worry- I won’t tell Tang Yin anything!”
“......” Lin Yi took the decoration down before dropping it into the car’s drawer.
“Mm hm, good call. It’d be bad if Tang Yin saw that.” Xiaobo nodded, full of wisdom.
Lin Yi sweated at the comment, almost hitting the car in front of him.
The slums referred to the area within the city, consisting of a high flathouse concentration, old, low quality, and tight spaces. The facilities weren’t well-equipped and the traffic wasn’t very convenient, along with bad security and hygiene in the area. It wasn’t a good place to live in at all.
Slum districts like this were pretty common in developing cities, and there were also apartment buildings among the flat houses. The apartment buildings here, however, were only three stories high, and made of red bricks- not much of an improvement from the brick houses. There were no gas tubes, no internet… There weren’t even kitchen chutes.
It was pretty much the same with Lin Yi’s old place- he didn’t think much of it because of that. Xiaobo, on the other hand, had only passed by the slums before… Actually entering the area was a different experience, and it stunned him. He’d never imagined that Tang Yin lived in an environment like this- the firewood and coal piles were dirty, and there were garbage mounds along with rancid ditches… It was a hellish environment.
Yet in that hellish environment came to be Tang Yin- commoner beauty of Songshan’s First School.
“Boss… this place……” Xiaobo pulled the window up, unable to bear the stench any longer.
“I used to live in a place like this once……” Lin Yi said with a chuckle. There were also the warzones, much more hellish than the slums where he had to hide himself in even worse ditches and marshes…
He found Grass Alley and turned in, but realized that there wasn’t much road for him to drive on- there was rubbish everywhere.
Without much choice left, Lin Yi stopped the car in a relatively cleaner spot as the residents looked on curiously- a bright car like that was evidently quite expensive.
There were pretty much no cars in the slums, other than the occasional taxis. After all, any resident here who could afford a car would’ve moved out long ago.
Lin Yi locked the car after getting out with Xiaobo, and started looking for Tang Yin’s home.
They reached number three and Lin Yi sighed as he looked at the small, beaten down door… Tang Yin’s family was worse-off even in slum standards.
The door was clearly a lot more beaten down than the other houses’, evidently not tended to in a long while. Lin Yi didn’t know if it was a lack of time or money, but a sour sorrow rose up in his heart…
It was even more so for Xiaobo.
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