CoBI, B2 Chapter 16: Comprehending
Hello people. Here’s the first chapter of this week. Book 2 is ending soon!
Zhang Tie, who lived a simple and boring life since young, has once again stepped into the Iron Bramble Dojo of Great Light Street on Wednesday after school.
To him, this is a new point in life. In the past, there were only two points in his life forming a simple straight line. The first is home while the other, is school.
Then came two more points, Tang De’s store two years ago and now, the Iron Bramble Dojo. The addition of these two points has literally double the size of his social circle.
Some people might find it torturing to live a monotonous life but Zhang Tie has lived in this manner over the years and did not find it strange or wrong. This is because, Zhang Tie knew since young that the world he lives in, is one where very few have the right to choose the life they want and it is apparently that his parents, who are normal citizens of Black Flame City, do not have such rights.
In any era, those that can choose and live however they want, laughing at life and live without restraint are very few. Most people, from birth to death are like a defective product on a production line in a factory, before they can experience the world outside the factory, they are already scrapped.
Like #7 Black Flame National School of Black Flame City, it is a prime example of a typical production line, it produces products for the military, factories, agriculture etc. and eventually be sent to the furnace to be scrapped, this is what most people will experience in their lifetime. If he did not meet with any accidents, Zhang Tie believe his future will be just a repeat this process.
Over the past few days, Zhang Tie noticed his thoughts have become clearer and sharper than before and began to see or think of things that has never crossed his mind before.
It is also because they do not wish to be just another product of the factory line, that Barry and gang created the Airplane Brotherhood, silently fighting against their fates.
Similarly, Gree’s outstanding performance in school, becoming a Grade 2 Soldier at a young age, is to escape the fate of the production line.
Also, for the sake of escaping this fate, many people wore pioneering gear and bet on the unknown frontiers, batch after batch of hopefuls entered the unexplored black regions of the map, most who went, never returned…
When he stepped on the pavement of Great Light Street, Zhang Tie remembered a time when he met an old man while working in the general store.
He was an old man whose hair and beard is totally white, the pioneering gear he was wearing is abused by the years but still wearable, after exchanging for some items in the store, the old man sat against a wall outside the store directly opposite the entrance.
He hugged his broken sword while drinking wine with a faint smile, appreciating the setting sun. After resting a while, he stood up, tighten his belt and walked towards the train station, Zhang Tie has not met that old man since…
Maybe it is because the smile that was facing the setting sun seemed too calm, too peaceful, thus creating a huge contrast against his current look, therefore, the image of that old pioneer left a very deep impression on Zhang Tie.
At that moment, Zhang Tie was unable to understand why the old pioneer chose to seat along the side of a street and drank his wine alone or the meaning behind his expression when he faced the setting sun but the faint smile of his weathered face often surface in his memory.
Until today, did Zhang Tie felt that he is beginning to understand the hidden meaning behind the old man’s smile, that pride and the calmness behind that pride – I survived with my efforts!
Everyone in this era is putting in their effort to survive, some will invest their efforts to become high quality products of the production line, hoping to obtain better treatment. Some will invest their efforts to jump out of the production line, regardless if they break their bones or bleed all over. Some chose to invest in becoming an owner of a production line, for those who are already one, they will aim to own more!
During his previous visit to the Great Light Street, Zhang Tie felt uncomfortable and out of place as he walked down the street.
Now, looking at what this glorious street has to offer, Zhang Tie suddenly realized – The reason he felt out of place, is the fear and lack of confidence of an unfinished product facing the owner of the production line, it is a natural reaction instilled by the city’s rules of the game. Before he can shed away the identity of an unfinished product, everything in this street will continue to be imposing to him.
Currently, what he can do, is to put in effort to transform himself from a normal unfinished product to a high quality unfinished product! Cough… Cough… an unfinished product? Fuck it, who labels themselves that way, my mother for one will not agree because in her eyes, I am her most precious baby in the world!
In this world, all you need to be mindful of, are the opinions of that handful of people you value. As for the opinions of others, what they think and feel are ass related to yourself, why fake the image of an unfinished product just to match the expectation and thoughts of other people?
When Zhang Tie thought back two years ago, after strongly protesting, he finally manages to stop his mother from calling him the mushy nickname of “Baby” and converting it to his other nickname “Little Fruit” instead, the corners of his mouth curled up.
Zhang Tie adopted a calm attitude and took his time to slowly appreciate the magnificence of Great Light Street, finally reaching No.18 Great Light Street, the entrance of Iron Bramble Battle Dojo.
As Zhang Tie step into the dojo, the four guards swept a glance at him before letting him enter, they no longer stop him from entering.
Zhang Tie enviously looked at the shiny armor on the four guards, the full body armor has formidable defense and is similar to the standard issue armor of heavy spearmen.
The whole armor weighs 70 kilograms, not only does it look impressive, it also reflects the abilities of its wearer, to be able to move freely while wearing this type of armor, your own abilities must be at least Grade 5 and above, having four Grade 5 Warriors to act as entrance guards also reflects the power of the dojo.
After passing the fountain and reaching the front counter, Zhang Tie also began to comprehended the reason why the beauty, Mary, had “praise his courage” – for someone like her who use her looks and external qualities to escape the production line, she will naturally act to avoid having any relations with a guy that has no future and is still inside the production line. Understanding this made him feel that his previous thuggish treatment towards her does seem to be a bit overboard.
As the tiny bit of apologetic feeling begin to grow inside his heart, Zhang Tie passed the fountain and saw the row of beauties at the counter. Different from last time’s invisible treatment, this time, Zhang Tie felt everyone’s eyes on him, among them, 80% are filled with disdain and scorn while the remaining 20% is filled with curiosity instead.
Those that looked at him with disdain and scorn are easy to identify, when they look at him, you can see two angry eyes glaring before, like a prideful swan despising an ugly toad, after showing its proud face, they will lift their heads and not bother to look at him.
The remaining 20% with curious eyes on the other hand, will show an ambiguous smile at the approaching Zhang Tie.
Where is Mary that woman? After sweeping his gaze, Zhang Tie notice that she is not behind the counter with the row of beauties while he quickly stuffed his right hand into his pocket and hold down the disobedient fella. The beauties are wearing uniform, basically those tight fitting, body hugging vests with very low collars. The bottom is a loose track pants-like uniform, with a glance, one can see all sorts of white skin and all sorts of “hills and valleys” that can easily make a person’s nose bleed.
Since no one bothered to greet, Zhang Tie also do not want to create any more trouble and walked towards the hallway without uttering a word. After a few steps into the hallway, Zhang Tie heard the sound of conversations travelling from behind him.
“He is just a young brat and doesn’t seem as awful as what was described”
“You cannot judge a book by its cover, brats nowadays are very daring, Mary complained that this kid is even more excessive than the customers and wanted to molest her the first time they met, what’s more, that fella also used a lewd gesture at all of us!”
“Really? Doesn’t seem possible!”
“Ona, are you tempted? You can try it for yourself!”
And the sound of women laughter could be heard…
Fuck, Zhang Tie knew that his image among these women is completely destroyed.
As this is his second time here, Zhang Tie naturally does not need to report to Hans at his office and went to report to Supervisor Beck instead.
Supervisor Beck is the guy that barge into Hans office the previous time, his main duties are to manage the Grade 1 ranked customers of the dojo, basically the overall head of customer service to those brats from rich families or powerful backgrounds.
As a human sandbag of these brats, Zhang Tie naturally is placed under him to manage. Not sure if it is an occupational disease from handling these brats, Supervisor Beck is also exceptionally long-winded, a sentence from his mouth will be repeated multiple times without him being aware of it.
Seeing Zhang Tie reporting to work, Supervisor Beck expressed a happy look and started nagging for half an hour in his cramp office.
They basically talked about things that Zhang Tie should look out for, such as the places Zhang Tie is authorized to move in and the places that he isn’t, customer service etiquette and certain things to look out for when “sparring”. These are all simple things but Supervisor Beck repeated them twice as he talks to himself.
When Zhang Tie notice that Supervisor Beck is about to repeat himself for a third time, he hurriedly cut him off.
“Right supervisor, I understand everything you said. Am I supposed to take a shower, change my clothes and prepare myself at the waiting area for the customers?”
“Oh…” Supervisor Beck looked at the clock hanging at his office before opening the drawer and took out a key with a tag and passed it to Zhang Tie, “This is the key to your locker, you can use it to keep your personal items in it from now on. There are two sets of training attire issued, you need to wear a fresh one every time you come here and pass the set that is worn to the counter, there will be someone there to wash it for you. As for socks, the dojo will issue a new pair every week, this are some of the benefits of working here, so work hard young man…”