Chapter 35: Realization
Translator: WQL Editor: Geoffrey
Since he was young, Zhang Tie has always lived a simple and boring life that consisted only of going to school and working at Donder's grocery store. After school on Wednesday, he arrived at the Iron Thorns Fighting Club on Bright Avenue once again. For Zhang Tie, this fighting club has greatly changed his life. Through the part-time jobs at Donder's grocery store and the Iron Thorns Fighting Club, Zhang Tie could meet numerous people. Some people would have been driven mad by such a mechanical lifestyle, while Zhang Tie simply found it boring. He had already known since he was young that there were only a few people who had the power to choose their own lifestyle. Both of Zhang Tie's parents were commoners in Blackhot City, thus he was born with no such power. In any age, only a few people could live an easy and cool life with activities like riding battle horses, fighting on the battlefields, hugging beauties, and drinking alcohol. Most people could only do regular jobs before retiring, much like those defective objects on the assembly lines that would be abandoned when sent off. Most people didn't even have the time to explore and travel the world at all.
The Seventh National Middle School in Blackhot City was undoubtedly an assembly line in a workshop where most of the products would be delivered to the army, factories, and farms before being abandoned. If there were no accidents, Zhang Tie might also follow this routine. In the past couple of days, Zhang Tie found himself much more clear-minded than before. He would think about many topics that he would never have thought of or considered before. Refusing to become a bad-quality product that could not choose its own destiny on the assembly line, Barley and the others formed the Hit-Plane Brotherhood, Glaze strove to be a LV 2 fighter since a young age, and numerous people put on the uniforms of pioneers and strove for an uncertain future at the cost of their own lives. In batches, they would step into that unknown black region and never return...
When he arrived at Bright Avenue, he recalled the following image: an old man in a pioneer uniform with pure white hair and a beard buying something in a grocery store. He then sat outside the gate of the grocery store and leaned against the wall on the other side of the street. With a broken sword in hand, he smiled, drunk alcohol, and watched the sunset. After a short rest, he stood up, tightened his waist belt, and walked towards the railway station. From then on, Zhang Tie never saw him again...
Zhang Tie was deeply impressed by the stark contrast between the old man's peaceful smile and his situation. Zhang Tie could not fully understand why he smiled when he sat on the roadside ground as he drank the poor quality alcohol and watched the sunset. But that smile on his time-honored face always appeared in Zhang Tie's memory. At this moment, Zhang Tie gradually understood what the time-honored smile meant. His face displayed pride and gave off a message - I have tried to live my own way!
Everyone in this age was working hard. Some worked hard to become a superior product on the assembly line in hopes to gain higher compensation. Some worked hard to jump out from the assembly line regardless of whether they would lose their life in the process. While others worked hard to become an owner of the assembly line. And those who owned one assembly line wanted to own more!
When he was in Bright Avenue last time, everything on the street made Zhang Tie dwarfed and uncomfortable; however, when he was in Bright Avenue at this moment, seeing everything on the magnificent Avenue, Zhang Tie suddenly realized that the "uncomfortable" feeling was simply the natural fear and lack of confidence that an unfinished product felt when it saw its owner and the manager of the assembly line. This was the game rule in the Blackhot City: before you are able to rid yourself of your ordinary status as an unfinished product in the eyes of others, everything on this street would make you breathless.
"It seems that I am changing from an ordinary unfinished product to a good unfinished product! Ho... Ho... unfinished product? Motherf*cker, I should not take myself as an unfinished product! Mom would never agree on this. In her eyes, I am her most precious baby! In this world, when it comes to their opinions of me, I will solely pay attention to the opinions of three or four people and will ignore the evaluations of other people! Others' opinions have nothing to do with me, and I will never pretend to be an unfinished product that was meant to make the lives of others easier!
When he recalled that he insisted for his mom to stop calling him "baby" two years ago and to call him another nickname like "Guoguo" instead, a smile appeared on Zhang Tie's face. Then, he strode forward with candid and confident steps on Bright Avenue and arrived at Avenue Bright No.18, the place where the Iron Thorns Fighting Club was located.
The four guards outside the gate glanced over Zhang Tie and let him enter directly. Zhang Tie stared at their glittering full-body armors admirably. They owned a surprising defensive force. Being similar to the full-body armor worn by the average heavy-armored pikemen, the entire set of armor weighed more than 70 kgs. It looked magnificent and powerful. Those who could move freely in such armor were at least LV 5. For them to arrange four fighters above LV 5 on both sides of the gate, the Iron Thorns Fighting Club was terrifyingly powerful.
Entering the gate and detouring the fountain, Zhang Tie arrived at the reception desk once again. Zhang Tie also finally understood why Mary praised him as "ambitious" last time. A woman who wanted to jump out of the assembly line by depending on her external qualities, beautiful appearances for example, naturally didn't want to be related to a guy who seemed to have no bright future. Thinking about what happened last time, Zhang Tie felt like he acted like a rogue and had overreacted.
The moment he felt sorry for her, Zhang Tie saw the row of featured beauties once again. Unlike last time when he was soon ignored by them, when he entered this time, Zhang Tie found that all of them were glaring at him, 80% in contempt and the remaining 20% in curiosity. He could easily identify their contempt as they sharply gazed at Zhang Tie, much like a true swan having seen an "ambitious" toad. Those who glared at him with contempt proudly turned away their heads, raised their heads, and didn't look at Zhang Tie again, while those who were curious kept gazing at him with a faint smile.
Mary was not here? Zhang Tie glanced over the beauties behind the reception desk and hurriedly put his right hand into the pocket to press down on that relentless p*nis. The beauties were wearing uniforms that consisted of a tight sleeveless shirt with a low-opening collar and a loose pair of sporting trousers. Glancing over them, Zhang Tie saw all the white skin and plump breasts, causing him to almost have a nosebleed.
As nobody greeted him, Zhang Tie also didn't want to cause trouble, so he passed the reception desk. Several steps later, Zhang Tie heard discussions behind him.
"He's just a kid. It couldn't have been that bad!"
"You cannot judge people by their appearance. Kids these days mature early. Mary said this guy was really disgusting and even more excessive than those guests. He wanted to molest Mary the first time he saw her. Besides, he even did obscene movements to us!"
"Really? But he doesn't look like the type of person!"
"Is your heart pounding? You can go give him a try!"
Then their laughter drifted towards Zhang Tie...
"F*ck!" Zhang Tie knew that his good image had been fully destroyed among them.
This was his second time here. Naturally, Zhang Tie didn't need to report to Manager Hance's office; instead, he just needed to report to Director Beck, who was the one he had met in Manager Hance's office. His main responsibility was to take charge in greeting the LV 1 guests in the Fighting Club. In other words, he in charge of serving those rich and powerful kids. As the flesh-bag of those kids, Zhang Tie was naturally managed by him. Director Beck always spoke too many words, which might be attributed to his occupational disease. Sometimes, he would unconsciously repeat what he had said already for several times.
Seeing Zhang Tie come to report to him, Director Beck was very happy. He then murmured to Zhang Tie in his narrow office for more than half an hour. He told Zhang Tie about what he should pay attention to, such as where he could go and where he couldn't, etiquettes towards guests, and some rules that he should remember as a "training partner". Although they were all simple and trivial things, Director Beck unconsciously repeated them twice.
Half an hour later, noticing Director Beck couldn't control himself and started to repeat them for the third time, Zhang Tie felt the blood rush to his head and hurriedly opened his mouth to stop him.
"Well, Director, I've remembered everything you have said. Should I go take a bath and put on my uniform now to wait for the guests in the rest area?"
"Oh..." Looking at the clock that hung in the office, Director Beck opened a drawer and threw a key with a number plate to Zhang Tie "This is the key to your locker. Put your personal belongings inside. You have two uniforms change - the clean set will be worn when you arrive each time, while the dirty set can be handed over to the reception desk where someone will wash it for you. We will provide a new pair of socks for you every week. These are your benefits! Work hard, young man!"