Aerial Rain
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TGCF Ch 18 Part 1 – What Does It Feel to Become Rich Overnight? (I)

Xia Mian counted the money with delight. She had mentioned to Aunt Liu about paying a small interest of ten-odd yuan, but in reality, Zhang Qiming would have to cough up nearly one thousand four hundred to redeem the items. Well, he was the one who told her to figure things out by herself and promised to cover the expenses upon his return, so she felt no need to hold back. Now that she wasn’t penniless anymore, she faced the challenge of spending the money quickly within just a few days.

Leaning on the sofa with Xiao Feng in her arms, Xia Mian pondered, “Renting a house would be best, but your scumbag dad probably wouldn’t agree.”

She had thought over the matter yesterday and concluded that breaking away from the Zhang family might be difficult. After all, Zhang Qiming was Xiao Feng’s biological father, and he also wanted to maintain his image as a good person. Let alone let Xiao Feng stay with her permanently, even if he were to let them go, he was still Xiao Feng’s legal guardian, and every stage of Xiao Feng’s schooling would have to be handled by him. If he intended to ruin Xiao Feng, it would be all too easy.

Moreover, there was also her own issue. Now she was absolutely certain that Zhang Qiming was after ‘Xia Mian’s’ assets, there was no way he would let them go easily. Otherwise, it was actually very easy to drive her away. All Zhang Qiming needed was a simple call to the Xia family back home, and her second uncle would eagerly come to take her back, even forcefully if needed. If that happened, no one could help her. After all, sixteen was still a minor, and ‘Xia Mian’s’ second uncle could completely act as her guardian.

“How about we go back to Mingxi County?” Xia Mian discussed with Xiao Feng, “Mingxi County is far from here; your scumbag dad wouldn’t easily be able to interfere with your life.”

“Let’s have a few stable years first. Once Auntie gets into university and becomes an adult, we can figure out how to wrest custody from your scumbag dad.”

This was actually a last resort. Xia Mian wasn’t keen on returning to the county town. For young people, big cities offer more opportunities. She had changed schools as a child and knew very well that while talent matters, teaching resources and environment were also crucial to a person’s growth. Not to mention Xiao Feng, she also needed to study hard and return to her alma mater, Capital Normal University. The college entrance rate from Mingxi County First High School was abysmally pitiful. Being able to get into the second-level university was worth celebrating with firecrackers…

“If only we had a lot of money… that would be great.” Xia Mian sprawled on the sofa, lamenting, “Throw a hundred thousand in your scumbag dad’s face, and he’d definitely agree to transfer your household registration to me. Then Auntie could take you anywhere.”

Thinking it over, she felt dissatisfied, “Why should we give money to a jerk? Isn’t it better to spend it ourselves? There’s nothing in this world that money can’t solve; if it can’t, then it’s not enough money.”

That is the correct approach!

Hugging Xiao Feng, Xia Mian began to daydream, “If only we could win the lottery. We’re not greedy, just win a million. With a million, Auntie could take you to a big city. With your scumbag dad and my useless uncle’s abilities, they definitely wouldn’t be able to find us.”

“We could live peacefully for a few years, at least until Auntie becomes an adult, and then we wouldn’t need to fear them anymore. If we could wait until you’re an adult, we could finally put those trash in their place.”

Getting excited, Xia Mian started to calculate how much this daydream would cost, “The current housing price in Yan City should be cheap, right? I think we can also move our household registration if we buy a house now?”

“That would be worth it. Let’s buy a forty-square-meter apartment. What kind of interior does Xiao Feng like?” She glanced around the Zhang family’s house, twirling Xiao Feng’s stubborn tuft, “Forty square meters might be a bit small, we need at least two bedrooms, decor, furniture, appliances, our tuition…”

“After a final calculation, a million might be a bit short,” Xia Mian sighed, “Let’s be a bit greedier, how about winning five million?”

“Now, that would be more than enough. We could buy an eighty to ninety square meter three-bedroom apartment. One room for each of us, and the last as my study and your art studio… Beautiful!”

Xiao Feng was excited by Xia Mian’s fantasy, “Just Auntie and me living together?”

“Yes, just the two of us,” Xia Mian assured.

Xiao Feng’s whole person exuded bubbles of joy. Seeing him take her mumblings seriously, Xia Mian quickly added, “That’s only if we have five million.”

“Five million?”

“Yes,” Xia Mian sighed in melancholy, “With our current situation, our only options are winning the lottery, stumbling upon a valuable antique, or investing in winning stocks.” She listed the methods to get rich overnight and paused for a moment, worried she might have missed something. After some thought, she indeed found another option, “Or if our old house gets demolished, we might get compensated one or two million…”

Xiao Feng looked at his aunt earnestly, his eyes sparkling as if memorizing every word she said. Xia Mian blinked; was she leading the child astray again?

She lifted him up, tickling him and spinning around, “Flying, flying!” Let him forget what she had just said!

The child laughed merrily, clearly enjoying the game.

As Xia Mian swung him more vigorously, Xiao Feng’s foot accidentally brushed against something, and an object fell to the ground with a clack.

Xia Mian paused and noticed a book had fallen from the shelf next to the color TV, probably knocked over by the pawnshop employee while removing the TV. “Stamp Collecting Encyclopedia?” Xia Mian flipped through the book, “Huh, your scumbag dad has such a refined hobby? This must have been your mom’s interest.”

According to the original ‘Xia Mian’ memories, Xia Chun loved collecting stamps, a hobby that grew from exchanging letters with pen pals in her youth. She was such an avid collector and managed to collect five large albums worth prior to her marriage. After getting married to Zhang Qiming, the young couple had a modest income and were squeezed into a small teacher’s dorm, leaving no space for this hobby to continue.

Hearing it was something his mom liked, Xiao Feng stretched his neck with interest. Xia Mian hugged him and sat back on the sofa to browse through the book.

Then she found the book wasn’t about stamp knowledge but rather listing the price of collectible stamps. It included some of the most valuable stamps to date, ranging from several hundred thousand to a few thousand yuan. Xia Mian, a total amateur of stamps, sighed, “If only your mom’s stamp albums were still here, we could see if we have this ‘Red Landscape of China.’ It can be sold for half a million!”

Xiao Feng raised his face and looked up expectantly. “Is that enough to buy a house in Yan City?” He asked.

Seeing the little guy had a good memory, Xia Mian didn’t want to dash his hope, “It’s a bit short to buy a house, but enough for us to move to Yan City.”

As soon as Xia Mian finished speaking, Xiao Feng’s eyes lit up. He joyously wobbled, bubbling with happiness, “We have it!”

“Have what?” Xia Mian was startled.

“This.” Xiao Feng pointed at the ‘Red Landscape of China’ in the book, “I have this.”

After saying that, he dashed on his short legs toward the small dark room he used to live in.

When Huang Xiaojuan returned from the police station, she promptly cleared out the dark room, erasing all traces of Xiao Feng’s presence and leaving behind only a mess of miscellaneous items.

Xiao Feng struggled to pull a burlap sack from a corner. Xia Mian rushed to help, “Is this yours?” She asked.

Xiao Feng nodded happily. He dragged the burlap sack into the living room and began rummaging through the bits and pieces:

A wooden carved horse, a bamboo dragonfly, and a small slingshot—all of which were, without exception, broken;

Two sets of clothes and a pair of shoes, likely for winter and spring wear—all ragged and filthy;

A few comic books—completely dirty, covered in shoe prints and random ballpoint pen scribbles.

These were all of Xiao Feng’s possessions.

Xia Mian found it heartbreaking, but Xiao Feng was overjoyed, especially when he excitedly pulled out a black leather stamp album, and finally, he lifted a very small and inconspicuous stamp album, exclaiming, “Auntie, we have it!”

Xia Mian: “!!!”

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2 thoughts on “TGCF Ch 18 Part 1 – What Does It Feel to Become Rich Overnight? (I)”

  1. Is that Xiao Feng’s mother’s stamp collection? It’s a shame to sell her collection, but considering their circumstances, I’m sure his mother wouldn’t mind at all and would only be happy that she could help her sister and son even after death.

    Thanks for the chapter! 😀

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