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STORY

THE POOREST RICH MAN

“[Account Balance]Your account balance with the ending number 107 is 10,000,005.00…”

Looking at the series of numbers, Chen Hao’s mind turned fuzzy.

10 million!

————————————————————————-Time: 9 p.m. Place: University, boy’s dormitory

“Chen Hao, go to room 101 on the first floor and bring me my laptop!”

A guy with blond hair from the dormitory next door kicked Chen Hao’s door open. After dropping off a buck, he tucked his hand into his pockets and proceeded back to his room.

“By the way, Chen Hao, do stop by the supermarket downstairs and grab me a bottle of mineral water while you’re at it!”

The blonde-hair guy turned around and threw another three bucks on the ground. Two bucks were for the water, and the other was Chen Hao’s errand fee.

“Hey Blondie, why do the people from your dormitory always ask Chen Hao to run errands for you? Isn’t that bullying?”

The people in Chen Hao’s dormitory asked with a straight face as they could not stand it anymore.

“Oh! Dear Chen Hao’s roommates, haven’t you all noticed? He’s willing to do anything for money! ”

Blondie said with a sarcastic tone and left with a smirk on his face.

Chen Hao’s face flushed as he ignored the snarky comments.

He stooped and picked up the few banknotes from the ground. He secretly thought, This way, I’ve earned two bucks. That’s enough for me to buy three steamed bread and a bag of salted vegetables, so I won’t starve any more!

“Chen Hao… Don’t go. If you don’t have any money, we’ll lend it to you. You don’t have to pay it back!” said the dorm leader, sympathetically.

Chen Hao smiled bitterly and shook his head, “Thank you…”

He turned around and headed out.

The people in the dorm gazed at Chen Hao’s figure from behind and shook their heads with pity.

The truth was, Chen Hao didn’t want to be an errand boy. He, too, wished to spend his days happily in the university, just like everyone else.

However, he was lucky enough to even study at a university.

He was extremely poor!

His roommates were very nice to him. But the more they helped, the less he wanted their help. Otherwise, no matter how strong their friendship was, there would eventually be a gap between them.

Apart from his roommates, Chen Hao had almost nothing in the university!

“Chen Hao, I heard Blondie said that you’re going downstairs.”

An elegantly dressed student came out of the dormitory next door.

His name was Xu Nan, the leader of Blondie’s dormitory. His family ran a factory. He was rich, tall and handsome, and was hugely popular among the females.

Yet, he had always looked down on Chen Hao. Even on a good day, he would not look Chen Hao in the eye.

Chen Hao had no idea why he called him.

Chen Hao nodded, “Yes, I’m going down!”

Xu Nan smiled nonchalantly. He took out a box of Du*** from his pocket and threw it at Chen Hao.

“Perfect timing. A friend of mine has some business in the East woods today. Go and deliver this to him. Here, ten bucks for you!”

Xu Nan was a playboy and he had asked a lot of girls out.

He also had much riffraff.

Chen Hao didn’t give it a second thought. He was just looking to earn a few extra bucks.

Chen Hao took it and headed for the stairs. As he turned his back, he seemed to hear Xu Nan’s laughter coming from behind.

Chen Hao went downstairs. He planned to drop off the condom first, then grab Blondie’s computer and mineral water on his way back.

Chen Hao knew all about the small woods outside the campus. It was a beautiful location notoriously known as the concentration camp for ‘open-air activities’.

In no time, Chen Hao arrived at the place that Xu Nan mentioned.

At a glance, he saw a man and a woman sitting on the promenade in the woods, talking and laughing.

Under the moonlight, Chen Hao saw their faces distinctly.

His whole body trembled!

It was Yang Xia!

Chen Hao’s eyes turned red at once, and the Durex he held in his hand fell onto the ground.

Yang Xia was Chen Hao’s ex-girlfriend. It had only been three days since they broke up. Of course, it was Yang Xia who dumped Chen Hao.

When they broke up, Yang Xia said that she needed time alone, and yet, three days later, she came here with another guy!

Chen Hao’s sudden appearance drew their attention.

Their reactions were epic.

“Chen Hao… how could it be you? You… don’t get me wrong, Lu Chen and I are…”

Yang Xia was a little flustered. At least she still had a sense of shame. She lowered her head.

Lu Chen who was sitting next to Yang Xia let go of her. He looked at the Durex that Chen Hao dropped on the ground, stood up and burst into laughter:

“Wow, Xu Nan is truly something else. I asked him to send the condom to me, but I didn’t expect him to send you. This is exciting!”

Lu Chen came from a rich family as well. Chen Hao knew that he was Xu Nan’s friend. His family operated several restaurants. Usually, he would go to school in his BMW third series.

Chen Hao’s fist clenched tightly as Lu Chen spoke.

Obviously, Xu Nan sent me here to make a fool out of me!

Yang Xia broke up with me and got together with his buddy Lu Chen. This breakup… I bet that it is also somehow related to Xu Nan!

“Xia, I know you think that I’m poor, but you don’t have to be with this kind of person. Don’t you know how many girlfriends he’s had?”

Chen Hao shouted angrily.

He loved this girl very much. He loved her with all his heart.

Yang Xia was anxious when she heard Chen Hao’s rebuke. “Chen Hao, who are you to criticize me? We’re not together anymore. I can be with whoever I want. I don’t need a poor bloke like you to intervene in my life!”

“Chen can buy me expensive cosmetics and skincare products. He can also buy me an iPhone and branded bags. Can you afford those?”

“Also…” Yang Xia was furious. She looked at the condom that Chen Hao dropped on the ground. “You came here just to piss me off, didn’t you? Get lost!”

Slap!

Yang Xia went up and slapped Chen Hao in the face!

Lu Chen laughed even louder. “Haha, Xia, don’t ask him to get lost. Let him stay and watch!”

Yang Xia blushed. “Chen, I lost the mood after seeing this poor fellow!”

She broke free from Lu Chen’s arms.

Chen Hao did not know how he left the woods. His mind was a complete blank.

It was all about money, after all. This all happened because Chen Hao had no money!

“Hahahaha…”

As Chen Hao arrived at the dormitory’s entrance, he was awakened from his trance by his classmates’ laughter.

Xu Nan was all curled up, his face turned red from laughing too hard.

Apparently, Xu Nan had told everyone about what happened.

“Haha, Chen Hao, what did you see when you were dropping off the condom just now?”

Blondie asked while laughing.

“Geez, Yang Xia is such a pretty girl with a nice figure. I think, by the time he arrived, Lu Chen had already started the show!”

Xu Nan smiled grimly.

Chen Hao clenched his fists, his eyes turned red. He wanted to kill Xu Nan and go down together!

“Why? Why do you have to treat me like this?” Chen Hao bawled.

Xu Nan laughed even louder. “Look, the poor fellow is so angry, I’m so scared!”

“Tell you what, you are just a broke fellow. Out of this bunch, I despise you the most. People around you are stained by your existence. It’s such a waste for lovely Yang Xia to be with you. It’s better to let my brother play with her for a few days…”

“By the way, I don’t think you know this yet, but Yang Xia, whom you took a whole year to court, fell for my brother Lu Chen within half an hour of chatting on WeChat. Haha!”

Everyone was laughing. Nobody spared Chen Hao his dignity!

“I’m gonna kill all of you!”

Chen Hao charged at Xu Nan.

But all he got was a beating from Xu Nan’s buddies!

In the end, Chen Hao was pulled back into his dorm by his roommates.

Lying on the bed, Chen Hao covered himself with his blanket and sobbed profusely.

“Why? They all bullied me and trampled on my dignity! Why?”

“Just because I am poor, they don’t even consider me a human being!”

Chen Hao pulled at his hair, agonized. He could vividly remember the days with Yang Xia.

After crying for a very long time, he drifted off to sleep.

Perhaps he could only find peace during such a dark and silent night.

When he woke up early the next morning, the dormitory was empty.

He picked up his mobile phone. Chen Hao knew that the dormitory leader did not want to wake him up. The dormitory was a better place than the classroom for him to process what happened last night. Chen Hao found many text messages and missed calls on his phone.

What surprised Chen Hao was that the calls were all from foreign phone numbers.

There was also a text message from the bank!

“[Account Balance] Year 2019… Your account balance with the ending number 107 is 10,000,005.00…”

Looking at the series of numbers, Chen Hao’s mind turned fuzzy.

10 million!

Who transferred 10 million to him?

Chen Hao immediately called the bank to verify. After the confirmation, he was completely stunned.

At that moment, the phone rang again.

It was a foreign phone number.

Chen Hao picked up at once.

“Hao, did you receive the money? It’s me, your sister!” A familiar voice came from the phone speakers.

“Sister! What is going on? Aren’t you working overseas with mom and dad? Where did the money come from?

Chen Hao could feel his heart coming out of his throat.

“Although I still have to keep this secret from you for another two years according to our dad’s intention, I found out that you’re being bullied at school, so I wanted to show you that our family is rich. Besides, our Chen family’s property spans the globe. Do you know where Africa is? Let’s put it this way, 80% of Africa’s gold and oil mines belong to our family!”

“Not including those properties in China and overseas!”

Gosh!

Chen Hao gulped hard. If it were not for the 10 million transferred into his account, he would never believe it.

He would absolutely think that his sister was crazy!

“I know you don’t believe it, Hao. You should take your time to digest this news. I grew up in a poor environment, too. Now, I’m slowly getting used to the life of the rich. By the way, a courier should have arrived at your school this morning. Inside the package are some things that I wanted to give you. You shouldn’t have to worry about money.”

“I don’t know how the market in China is like now, but you can spend the 10 million first, and I will transfer some more next month!”

After hanging up the phone, Chen Hao could not calm down for a long time.

He had only known life as a penniless person since birth.

But now…

I don’t have to be poor anymore?

It was a lie. When my parents and elder sister claimed to be at work, it was all a lie.

Later, when Chen Hao confronted his parents, they were upset that his elder sister blurted out to him that he was from a rich family. Then, they apologized to him.

His father said he had only one son, so of course he’d have to raise him carefully. He basically said a lot of things.

In the end, Chen Hao withdrew 100,000 in cash from the bank, and he later received several VIP shopping cards that his elder sister sent in the mail.

Only then was Chen Hao completely convinced.

This was not a dream!

Chen Hao felt conflicted.

“Huh, Yang Xia, if only you didn’t break up with me, you might now be able to own anything you please.”

“Besides, Xu Nan and Lu Chen, you both come from rich families, always surrounded by people. You’ve bullied me several times, so let’s see what happens from now on?”

Chen Hao laughed bitterly.

It was almost noon when he left the bank and reached the school gate.

Chen Hao’s cell phone rang. It was the dormitory’s head.

“Dormitory’s head!”

“Chen, are you ok? Why are you not in the dormitory?”

“Oh, I came out for a walk.”

“You scared us to death. By the way, it’s Ma Xiaonan’s birthday today. She couldn’t reach you, and wanted to know if you’ll spend her birthday with her. Apparently, she mentioned this to you a few days ago.”

Hearing this, Chen Hao scrolled through his missed calls. There were many, including one from Ma Xiaonan.

Ma Xiaonan was Chen Hao’s desk mate. She was very beautiful and they got along well.

Come to think of it, other than Yang Xia his ex-girlfriend, Ma Xiaonan was the only female friend he had.

She did insist that I must go to her birthday but at that time, I could barely eat, so I didn’t promise her that I’d go.

But now, Chen Hao had resolved to live like a normal person with his own circle of friends.

So why not?

“Should I bring a gift?”

After hanging up, Chen Hao glanced around. Of the gift shops present, only Hermès caught his attention.

This was an internationally acclaimed luxury store. Their products were expensive, but it attracted a lot of rich kids on campus, mostly to bolster their image.

At first, Chen Hao didn’t plan to enter the outlet, but he then remembered the VIP shopping card that his sister posted to him today.

He couldn’t help but feel excited.

Chen Hao was reluctant to spend money, but spending with credit cards incited less guilt.

Taking a deep breath, Chen Hao walked into the Hermes store.

“Hello sir, how may I help you?”

The good looking promoter greeted Chen Hao politely.

She eyed Chen Hao’s outfit. Although she remained professional, there was a flicker of contempt on her face.

Many people loved window shopping for luxury items. Yet, how dared he enter in those tattered clothes?

“Let me take a look first,” Chen Hao said. It was his first time shopping in such a high end place that he didn’t know what to buy.

The promoter’s attitude changed for the worst instantly. She even rolled her eyes.

“Chen, can you buy me a bag?”

At this moment, he heard a familiar voice. A tall and beautiful girl appeared, hanging off the arm of another boy.

Chen Hao turned his head and looked. His face changed.

It was Yang Xia and Lu Chen.

“Oh, it’s Mr. Chen. Is this your girlfriend? She is beautiful!”

When the promoter saw Lu Chen, her attitude did a drastic U-turn. She hurriedly welcomed him with a smile.

Lu Chen’s family was rich, so he was constantly in the spotlight no matter where he went. He smiled at the promoter and said, “Miss Zhang, this is my girlfriend, Yang Xia. She is here to have a look and to buy a bag!”

A blush spread across Yang Xia’s pretty face. It’s typical of Mr. Chen. He is respected everywhere he goes.

Yang Xia pointed at a branded bag and said, “Mr. Chen, I want this!”

Sitting in a cabinet, a bag shone with luxury and grandeur.

The promoter, Zhang Ru, said with a smile, “This bag is from the Hermes Collector’s Edition, designed to commemorate Hermes’ 200 years old birthday. Only 200 sets have been produced worldwide. It cost 360,000!”

“Ah!”

Yang Xia covered her mouth in shock.

Lu Chen’s eyelids fluttered slightly. He said with a smile, “Zhang Ru, if I didn’t guess wrongly, this bag is handmade by Hermes. Given its excellent workmanship, it’s ranked among the top ten in the world of luxury goods, despite being on the market for only a year. Am I right?”

Zhang Ru was slightly surprised, “Mr. Chen, you know a lot!”

Lu Chen shook his head. “Although I enjoy luxury goods, I can’t claim to be a pro.” He looked at Yang Xia. “My dear, you really have good taste. You set your eyes on it at first glance. Let’s check out the other bags though, preferably in the range of five to six thousand.”

Lu Chen would rather die than pay 360,000 for a bag.

Yang Xia pouted. “But Yan’s husband bought her a bag that cost more than 8,000!”

“Okay, maybe next month when I have more spare cash.”

At this point, Lu Chen’s description of the Collector’s Edition bag had caught the attention of many people. They surrounded the bag in awe.

They were young students, itching for their first taste of luxury goods.

Lu Chen started chatting with Zhang Ru about luxury goods, ranging from those that cost 30,000 to those of 200,000 to 300,000.

He appeared to have an arsenal of impressive knowledge.

Chen Hao wanted to leave the moment the promoter started ignoring him, and seeing Yang Xia only added to his resolve. He really wanted to leave.

At this point, a young promoter walked over and gave Chen Hao a bow.

“Hello, sir, w-what can I do for you?”

She sounded new.

And a little timid.

But her manners warmed Chen Hao’s heart.

“Oh, I’m shopping for a gift for a friend,” Chen Hao replied.

“Sir, do you have our store’s shopping card? If you do, you will be entitled to discounts.”

Chen Hao was her first customer. She didn’t care about Chen Hao’s clothes. She simply served him like she was trained to.

“Oh, yes, is this the one?”

Chen Hao retrieved the VIP shopping card.

The hostess’ eyes widened at once.

“Is that… the Centurion card?”

She was full of disbelief. How could an ordinary student own a Centurion card?

Chen Hao was stunned. “What is a Centurion card?”

“It’s a VIP shopping card. The card limit is 30 million, and the minimum spending is 300,000, sir!”

Chen Hao was shocked. He knew that his elder sister was a spendthrift, but he didn’t expect this extent of luxury!

“Sir, given the price range of our goods and the limitations of your card, the Collector’s Edition bag is the only item you may buy. Allow me to sample it for you.”

The hostess bowed repeatedly. Chen Hao was too embarrassed to leave.

On the other side of the store, Yang Xia was admiring Lu Chen’s exhaustive knowledge on luxury goods.

The promoter used a key and removed the Collector’s Edition bag from the cabinet.

The promoter Zhang Ru frowned and asked, “Wang Xiaofei, what are you doing?”

Wang Xiaofei winced and replied, “I am taking the bag out for a customer!”

Zhang Ru’s frown deepened.

“You can’t parade this bag in front of any random person. Who’s interested?”

Wang Xiaofei looked at Chen Hao respectfully. “This gentleman!”

Lu Chen and Yang Xia glanced at the ‘gentlemen’. Everybody’s eyes widened.

“Hahaha!”

When Chen Lu saw that it was Chen Hao, he laughed heartily.

He wanted to roll all over the floor with laughter.

“You mean, this person wants a look at the Collector’s Edition bag?”

Lu Chen pointed at Chen Hao, behaving like he had encountered the world’s biggest joke.

Yang Xia, too, looked at Chen Hao with disdain. He was humiliating himself in front of all these affluent people.

Zhang Ru had a long expression on her face. “Wang Xiaofei, are you crazy? Do you think a person like him can afford a bag like this? Are you kidding me?”

“He has a Centurion card. He’s a VIP customer!”

“Oh please!” Lu Chen did not hold back his laughter. “VIP customer? This person is our school’s famous poor dude!”

Yang Xia scolded Chen Hao. “Chen Hao, if you know shame, hurry up and get lost!”

Haha…

Chen Hao listened to their taunts. A few promoters had started to look at him with disdain.

Right then, in the midst of all that ridicule, he marched toward the counter and slammed the Centurion card on the table.

“Give me that Collector’s Edition bag,” he said.
———————————————————
To be continued…

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