Chapter 9 – All are Passing Clouds
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“Little Mi, the light in my house is broken. Please come take a look.” Qiu Feng, who lived on the second floor, ran over to ask Mi Li for help.
“Okay, I’ll be there soon.” Mi Li had been a landlord for a few years and learned various life skills. She could handle burned fuses, broken bulbs, clogged toilets, and other trivial things.
Mi Li carried a wooden ladder to Qiu Feng’s residence, checked the filament of the bulb, and then said, “Your bulb is broken, do you have a spare at home?”
“No.” Qiu Feng picked up his wallet and said, “I will go buy it now.”
“Don’t bother, I still have some, 7 yuan each.” Mi Li descended the wooden ladder.
“Perfect timing.” Qiu Feng quickly took out 7 yuan from his wallet and handed it to her. When she returned with a new bulb, she replaced the broken one skillfully and the room brightened up again.
“Thank you, Little Mi.” Qiu Feng thanked her while seeing her out.
Mi Li waved and left with the wooden ladder.
Similar daily chores happened from time to time. As the manager and landlord of Qingwei Homes, she was responsible for all tenants and must know how to deal with these problems.
Mi Li was always learning while enjoying life, and enjoying life while learning.
Going home to take a shower, she slung her bag over her shoulder to go out, planning to go livestream outdoors.
At the same time in another world, Xi Baichen again received a snack from Mi Li. The soft cocoa roll topped with a strawberry was carefully enclosed in plastic wrap and had an exquisite appearance with a sweet and delicate taste.
Xi Baichen swallowed them whole and ate five or six in the blink of an eye. Looking at the last three remaining, he hesitated on whether to save them for tonight.
At this moment, the doorbell interrupted his thoughts.
Xi Baichen glanced at the monitor and let in the visitor.
“Brother Baichen, tomorrow is Grandpa’s 70th birthday. Are you going?” The visitor was a 25 or 26 year old young man, handsome in appearance, and well-dressed. He had short curly hair with purple highlights on the left side, appearing very individualistic.
“Yeah.” Xi Baichen replied lukewarmly.
“That’s good.” Xi Zinuo breathed a sigh of relief and sat down on the sofa. Staring at Xi Baichen for a while, he teased, “Brother Baichen, have you been staying in for a few days? Looking at the stubble on your chin, it will soon grow into a forest if you don’t shave it.”
“Is there still something else? If not then leave.” Xi Baichen glanced at him lazily.
“Don’t be like this, Brother Baichen. Have you prepared a gift?” Xi Zinuo asked curiously.
“No, I’m about to buy it.” Xi Baichen stood up and walked towards the bedroom.
“I’ll come with you and give you my input.” Xi Zinuo yelled at his back but didn’t get a response.
Ten minutes later, Xi Baichen changed his clothes and came out of the bedroom. His eyes fell on the coffee table. The three fragrant strawberry cocoa rolls that were originally placed there were gone.
“Brother Baichen, where did you buy these pastries? They taste really good.” Xi Zinuo tore off a paper towel and wiped his mouth gracefully with a reminiscing face, not noticing Xi Baichen’s dark expression.
“Huh?” Xi Zinuo looked at the paper towel in his hand and said strangely, “Brother Baichen, why did you buy such cheap paper towels?”
Xi Baichen sneered, “That’s toilet paper.”
Xi Zinuo: “!!!”
Xi Baichen ignored his instantly stiffened expression and strolled out of the villa. Xi Zinuo didn’t bother to clean up. He quickly caught up and got into his car.
“Brother Baichen, what gift are you going to buy?” Xi Zinuo asked.
“Grandpa likes antique calligraphy and paintings.”
“Then let’s go to Mingpinju?”
Xi Baichen didn’t say a word and drove the car to a street that specialized in the trading of antiques after many turns.
“Brother Baichen, are you serious?” Xi Zinuo dared not believe it. “Are you going to buy a gift for Grandpa in this pile of trash?”
His voice was not low, which caused the nearby vendors to look at him.
Xi Baichen went straight ahead, not intending to entertain Xi Zinuo at all.
“Brother Baichen, tell me honestly, have you been short of money recently?” Xi Zinuo said earnestly, “If you are really short of money, just tell me, I can still take out millions. There is no need to save money by running here and picking through the rubbish.”
“Can you shut up?” Xi Baichen was annoyed by his babbling. The little ghost named “Little Mi” also liked to talk, but she always knew when to stop and wasn’t noisy at all.
“Brother, I’m doing it for you. It’s fine if you don’t appreciate it, yet you’re so fierce to me.” Xi Zinuo felt wronged.
Xi Baichen stopped temporarily in front of a stall, and his eyes swept over the jumbled objects on the ground.
“You two, just take a look. All my things are antiques and definitely worth the money.” The hawker squinted at them with his small eyes and looked at them skeptically.
“Haha.” Xi Zinuo gave him a mocking look.
Xi Baichen squatted down and fiddled with them one by one, ignoring the hawker’s eloquent introduction. After a while, he stood up and moved to another stall.
“I already said that there won’t be any good things here.” Xi Zinuo persuaded, “The real antiques must have been taken away by others ages ago. All that’s left now are old handicrafts.”
Xi Baichen walked slowly and browsed around. At this moment, he paused and turned his head to look at a rustic shop not far away.
Listening attentively, it really wasn’t an illusion.
[ Old Bai, Old Bai, I’m here! ] Mi Li’s voice came from that shop.
Xi Baichen turned around and walked over.
Xi Zinuo kept running his mouth, and walked for twenty or thirty meters before noticing that his companion was gone.
“I’m going — where did he go?” After spinning around for a long time, he finally found him in a shop.
Xi Zinuo ran over angrily and complained, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Xi Baichen held a jade Maitreya buddha in both hands and appraised it carefully.
[ Old Bai, let me tell you, this is a good thing. You won’t lose out if you buy it. ] Mi Li highly recommended.
However, in Xi Baichen’s opinion, this jade buddha was of ordinary texture and craftsmanship. It was worth no more than two thousand yuan at most, yet the owner’s starting price was over twenty thousand yuan.
[ Trust me, buy it! ] Mi Li vowed and guaranteed, [ Excellent value! ]
Half an hour ago, Mi Li was still doing a livestream outdoors but started feeling drowsy. She ran into an internet cafe temporarily, rented a private room, and closed the door.
After regaining consciousness, she had possessed a jade buddha. She waited patiently for a long time and, as expected, saw Old Bai passing by outside the store.
“5000 yuan and I’ll buy it.” Xi Baichen took out his bank card and raised his eyes at the owner.
“5000 is too low, not even enough to break even.” The owner shook his head again and again with a heartbroken expression as though suffering a huge loss.
“Brother Baichen, why are you buying this?” Xi Zinuo stared at him in surprise, “Don’t tell me this is the birthday gift you’re preparing for Grandpa?”
Was this trinket worth buying???
“No.” Xi Baichen denied, and then raised his hand to point, “I’m getting that one for Grandpa.”
Xi Zinuo looked in the direction of his finger, and his expression instantly became bitter.
It was a jade Guanyin, great both in quality and appearance, and the price was also very great: 360,000.
But anyone with eyes could tell that the price was too high. Compared with the jade buddha in his hands, it was just more expensive and there was no actual difference in quality.
When gifting, it was the thought that counts. Xi Baichen’s actions shouldn’t be so halfhearted.
Xi Bai Chen ignored the intent in Xi Zinuo’s eyes and bought the two items for 280K. Then he put the gift box containing the jade Guanyin into his arms and said, “You take the gift, I won’t attend the birthday banquet tomorrow.”
“What?” Xi Zinuo panicked, “Didn’t you say that you would go?”
“It’s fine as long as the gift is there.” Xi Baichen held his Maitreya buddha and walked towards the parking lot.
Xi Zinuo gave chase and tried to persuade him, “Brother, you haven’t returned home in five or six years. Normally it’s okay, but is it really fine not to attend Grandpa’s 70th birthday?”
“You’ve said so before. I will never go back,” Xi Bai Chen said decisively.
Xi Zinuo sighed, frowning.
[ Is there a family conflict? ] Mi Li suddenly voiced out.
Xi Baichen pursed his lips without saying a word.
[ I seem to smell the internal conflicts of the wealthy. ]
Xi Baichen: “……” We can still get along if you shut up now.
“Fine, don’t come back if that’s what you want but at least change the gift?” Xi Zinuo compromised.
[ Is this gift bad? It’s two hundred thousand! ] Mi Li could not understand the psychology of these rich people.
“Is this gift bad? It’s two hundred thousand!” Xi Baichen repeated.
“Is this a problem of two hundred thousand yuan?” Xi Zinuo was mad, “Don’t you know how much Grandpa values good taste?”
He couldn’t believe what his grandpa would look like when he received the gift.
Mi Li said in disdain: [ I’ve given a homemade birthday cake to my parents before. Is good taste more delicious than my birthday cake? *Snort!* ]
The corners of Xi Baichen’s mouth moved slightly as if he wanted to laugh, and his annoyance was greatly relieved.
“Anyway, shouldn’t you choose another gift?”
“The jade Guanyin is very good.” Xi Baichen said lightly, “You can just deliver the gift for me.”
Xi Zinuo cried, his exhortation was to no avail. Finally, having no choice, he took the jade Guanyin and left dejectedly.
When Xi Baichen came home, he took out the Maitreya buddha and placed it on the coffee table. He lit a cigarette and sat on the sofa to slowly smoke it.
[ Old Bai, Old Bai! Let me tell you, you’ve profited again! ] Mi Li said excitedly.
“Oh?” Xi Baichen glanced at her. What profit can a jade buddha worth only one or two thousand yuan bring?
[ Smash me up, there’s treasure hidden inside the jade buddha. ]
Xi Baichen twitched his eyebrows, his mouth spitting out a smoke ring, and did not move.
[ Hurry up, smash me! ] Mi Li urged.
“Leave it alone, I’m not short of money right now.” Xi Baichen said slowly, “I’ve already redeemed the lottery ticket and paid the taxes. Over 130 million is already enough to spend.” In the future, no matter what this little ghost became, he could buy her.
[ Aren’t you curious at all? ] Mi Li felt that this man was really too buddha-like sometimes.
“Not curious.” He had seen countless treasures worth hundreds of millions of dollars and also played with them in the past.
[ Why are you always so unenthusiastic? ]
“What’s enthusiasm?” Xi Baichen held his cigarette and lazily said, “Eating and drinking, pursuing money and fame; after living for a few decades, all are passing clouds.”
[ F*ck passing clouds! ] Mi Li retorted, [ Do you think that what you eat is a passing cloud, what you drink is a passing cloud, and what you use is a passing cloud? You are not a passing cloud, so why are you faking it and claiming it by calling others passing clouds? ]
Xi Baichen: “…”
[ You don’t have the talent to be a passing cloud, why don’t you obediently be a down-to-earth mortal? ] Mi Li earnestly guided, [ Don’t you know how fortunate filthy rich mortals like us are? You definitely don’t understand just from me telling you. I’ll teach you from now on. I guarantee that you will become a mortal who is as happy as a fool. ]
- Maitreya (弥勒) – the Chinese pronunciation is very similar to Mi Li (米粒), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitreya
- Guanyin (观音) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanyin