Chapter 52: The Undeliverable Delivery (X)

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Original Translations: Crafted with Care, No Unauthorized Reposting Allowed.

As a man, it's natural to want to have a red sleeve, but looking at the time of year, you just give up on that idea.

Calling a woman at 8pm to come to a 5 star hotel for an "all nighter", officer?

You think of the old man wandering the streets.

You know the bridge he lives in is being fixed up, he has nowhere to go, so where is he going to rest tonight?

And what he said in the hospital yesterday ......

You don't think you'll be able to sleep tonight with this nonsense, so you put on your jacket, take your room card and walk out the door of the hotel.

You walk quickly towards the spot where the old man stayed during the day, and you are not sure if he will stay there.

It wasn't a place to rest.

You cross several roads in a hurry and are about to cross the last one to look for the old man across the street, when you see the old man on his feet and coming your way.

"Old man, the light is red!"

The red light is on at the side of the road and you look anxiously at the old man who is walking senselessly this way, screaming in anxiety.

The old man was walking nicely, but when he was startled by your shout, he suddenly swayed and fell down in the middle of the road.

You see him lying on the ground, no longer moving, and remembering what happened to the old man, you no longer care about the rule that you can't run a red light, you rush up, bend down and pick up the old man and run ahead.

You have just run away from the spot with the old man in your arms when you hear a harsh braking sound in your ears.

The shocked owner got out of his car and worriedly asked if you had been touched by his car, only to find that you were all fine and then drive away in a cold sweat with a grateful face.

People who witnessed this gathered around and praised you for your bravery in saving the lives of others, except for the old man who looked terrified, standing with a wooden face, staring blankly behind you.

When the crowd has dispersed, you turn around and take the old man's hands and feet to check for problems.

"Lad, you shouldn't have saved me."

The withered old man sighed, "I just didn't want to get up on my own."

"What did you say?"

You are stunned, half back.

Every time you meet the old man, it's early in the morning, and the only time you meet him at night, it's in the hospital.

Apart from that one time, you never paid attention to where the old man was at night and whether he continued to live strong.

Could it be that the old man who fell in the middle of the road yesterday and couldn't get up was not fainting from low blood sugar but, like today, had a death wish in mind?

"What do you think is the use of living for a person like me? It's simply a waste of time."

The old man's expression was obscure, sitting on the curb with a numb look on his face, "It might still be a relief if you let me run a gauntlet myself."

You see that the old man is in a seriously bad mood, so you leave him like this not knowing what will happen, so you forcefully take him back to that five-star hotel.

The old man, who has no will to live, seems to be pulling you around like a puppet, as if it doesn't matter where you are going, which makes you look suspicious as you pull the ragged old man towards the hotel.

So a little _boy courier in uniform and a homeless man covered in despair were stopped by the hotel security guard at the entrance together.

No matter how much you explain that you are a guest at this hotel and that you brought the old man because you could see that he had a death wish and wanted to get him in a different mood, the hotel's security management would not allow you to enter.

You are standing outside a brightly lit hotel lobby with a wandering old man, and you feel nothing but a biting cold when it is clear that one step forward is the four seasons.

The room card in your hand is waving like your last stubbornness in your hand, but it does nothing.

Several security guards surrounded you like beggars chasing away harassed guests. They told you to change your hotel on the grounds that you would affect the experience of other guests and the style of the hotel, and were willing to give you some compensation, just hoping you would check out.

You are subjected to the gestures and curious eyes of the guests coming in and out, feeling like you are being lambasted over and over again by their cold stares.

The wandering old man, however, seemed to have guessed that this would happen, and at this point did not look humiliated in any way, but instead he laughed and laughed, looking more and more unhinged.

They won't let you in and you don't want to make a scene with an old man, so you end up reluctantly choosing their option and are forced to check out.

The head of security brings you two thousand dollars from the front desk and shoves it at you with a look on his face that you've taken advantage of it, telling you that it's the cost of your returned room and the damages for their breach of contract.

You assisted the old man, snuggled up to each other and walked out of this hotel.

"Think positive, didn't you still get hundreds of dollars for nothing?"

Leaving the hotel, the old man is still comforting you.

"Even if you win the lottery and have a lot of money, what everyone values more is the skin you're wearing. In the future, you will encounter a lot of such things."

For a moment, you think you've heard wrong.

When you're sure you've heard the word "lottery", you look at him with horror and disbelief.

Thinking that the old man knows the strange things that have happened to you, your heart beats like a drum, so where is the grief and resentment, you take the old man's hand, take the luxury of a taxi and take him straight to the basement you have rented.

All the way there, the old man went against the grain and was not curious about you, and he didn't say anything else until he was sitting on your improvised bed.

Until you boil the water and serve him a bowl of instant noodles that have been soaked hot.

Braised beef noodles without chilli, with a ham sausage inside, fill the small, cramped room with fragrance when the lid of the stew is opened.

The most basic of human physiological needs eventually overcame everything, and the old man took the noodles, hesitated for only a moment, and then began to devour them.

After a bowl of hot noodles, the old man's whole body felt like it had come to life, even his numb face looked like it had a new glow.

"Thank you."

It was as if he was a machine that had finally been started and suddenly had other modes.

"I'm the one who dragged such a nice young man like you into suffering with me and being looked upon with disdain."

"It's not your fault, it's those people who have a problem."

You are worried that the old man might not be able to think straight and go back to his own death, so you hasten to reassure him, "It doesn't matter if I've been wronged a bit, no one is ever wronged in life."

The old man looks at you, wants to say something, but finally just sighs.

You see that the mood is right and ask about the lottery in passing.

On top of that, you've been concerned about what he meant when he grabbed your hand and said what he said last night, it's just not the right time to ask that.

When he heard the word "lottery", the old man looked at you, thought you didn't look like a bad person, and suddenly smiled.

"You may not believe me when I say this, but I actually won the lottery."

You handed him a cup of hot water at the right time, like a child who was about to hear a story.

So the old man, holding the warm cup, began to tell the story that belonged to him.

Many, many years ago, when the old man was a young man, he took over his father's job and went to work in a factory, taking the iron rice bowl that was then available.

But the old man was a man who hated mechanical work, and from his childhood he hated things that remained the same, so whether it was study or work, as soon as he sat down to mechanical repetition, he could not stand it, and at school he often confronted his teachers because of this, and when he arrived at the factory he did not get on well with the leaders and colleagues, and suffered from the unpleasant stares and hot taunts of the onlookers.

But those days were far less open than today, and apart from working in factories and tilling the fields, there were no serious livelihoods, and "self-employment" was still a term of shame for the whole family.

The old man couldn't stand the robot-like cycle of hours day in and day out in the factory and was eventually fired from the factory after groping and slacking off every day.

In those days, being expelled was tantamount to having a "stain" on your back, and no decent unit would ever take you on again, nor would any good woman be willing to marry you. "He was eventually caught by the inspectorate and imprisoned for years.

By the time he was released, times had changed and he had gone from youth to middle age. Like most ordinary people confused by the rapid changes of the times, he didn't know what he could do and had to muddle through his days.

He was expelled, imprisoned, and had no money, so of course, he was not favoured by any girl, and even his family did not like him and gradually distanced themselves from him.

Originally, although such work was hard, there was the possibility of being seen by the factory for a long time, and apart from not having a formal position, the income was no different from that of an ordinary worker, but something happened that made the old man, who was already middle-aged, fail his cousin's hard work.

In those days it was very popular to win the "national lottery", where you could win anything from a washbasin of toothpaste to a washing machine, a window air conditioner or a Santana car for two or three dollars.

Many crazy people took out all their savings and clutched box after box of lottery tickets, sitting under the stage with the Santana car on display, scratching them off one by one, only to leave with a pile of washbasin toothpaste and cursing.

But the old man was so lucky that he took a gamble with all his savings and actually won a Santana car.

The period after winning the Santana was like a big, crazy dream for him.

The people who should despise him will not look up to him just because he won a Santana, but will be attracted by a bunch of people with different intentions.

The only cousin who was kind to him, advised him bitterly not to sell the Santana, to get a driving licence, to take the car and become a taxi driver, or to work as a driver for a rich man and learn a trade.

The biggest threshold for how many taxi drivers is a car, and in his case he has got it. As long as he has a driving licence, he will never worry about food or clothing in his life, and he is even willing to borrow this money for the driving licence.

But he was already overwhelmed by the good fortune of winning the jackpot, and with all sorts of people around him, he eventually sold the car.

Not only did he sell his car, but he also listened to the nonsense of those people who thought that his cousin did not want him to sell his car because he did not want him to have a good life and wanted him to work for others for the rest of his life.

In the days when a "ten-thousand-dollar man" was already a tycoon, Santana was not something you could buy with money, and there were plenty of people who wanted to buy a car for over 100,000.

He was given a chance to change his life, but after he got that money, he spent all day drinking, and according to the price level back then, people with more than 100,000 dollars looked at everything as if it was cheap, and he started to be surrounded by a group of drinking friends, at one time eating and drinking, and at another time being persuaded to do various businesses, and finally he was even taken to learn to gamble... ...

In this situation, he was overwhelmed by wealth and became separated from his cousin, who hated him so much that he eventually had to turn his back on him and stopped seeing him.

And he, with more than 100,000 yuan in his hands, wanted to buy and try everything he saw, only to end up with a pile of scrap that might have been worth a lot of money then, but was worth nothing later.

He was encouraged by his friends to start various "business ventures", losing money on everything he did, and eventually the money went to others.

Gambling also changed from small bets to big bets, and big bets to being set up, and the huge sum of over 100,000 was squandered cleanly without two years of work.

When he ran out of money, all his former friends scattered, none of them genuine, and all of them treated him as an ingrate and confused.

Those who despised him back then still despised him even after he won the lottery, and they despised him more and more after he became corrupt and degenerate.

At this time, he was already middle-aged and had achieved nothing, and after two years of paper and gold, he had tried everything and could no longer bear to live an ordinary life.

When he was young, he was able to work hard, but in his old age he was unable to make a living, and occasionally scavenged for a little something to eat, but if he could not, he starved.

When you met him today, the hole in the bridge where he had been sheltering was gone, and although you gave him a bag of pancakes in the morning, by nightfall he was so hungry that he couldn't even walk and couldn't even seek death.

When he thought of his life ending up in this situation, it was all his own fault, and he thought that sooner or later he would either die of illness or starvation anyway, so he might as well die early ......

So after the fall, he lost the will to live and simply lay there and did not get up.

You had no idea that there was such a reason for his "fainting" after the fall, and you have mixed emotions, not knowing what to say.

The old man was really not in a good state of mind, and he talked about things back then upside down, some of which he didn't know whether he was imagining or dreaming, and repeated them many times.

For example, when his cousin persuaded him to take the driving test, he said at one time that he had agreed to do so, and at another time that he had not agreed to do so, and he also said at another time that he had agreed to take driving lessons, but he found it pointless to do so and went back to selling his car, which was illogical and always interspersed with various choices he regretted that day.

If an ordinary person had heard this, he would have thought that the old man was an old lunatic, a lunatic who could no longer tell the difference between dreams and reality.

But you're different, you've been through the time loop several times and when you hear anything like that you think about it.

You begin to wonder if the old man had met the same thing when he was younger and just couldn't stand the tedium of driving for personality reasons, before he chose to sell his car anyway the moment the time loop ended.

Such speculation makes you more cautious about your future choices, because if the old man's "crazy talk" is true, one wrong decision on your part could land you in the same nightmare for the rest of your life.

Half-tempted, half-genuinely seeking advice, you tell the old man what has happened to you and humbly ask for advice on what to do yourself.

"Don't think about it, you're not like me, you can't do the work and you get annoyed as hell when the same thing keeps happening."

The old man's spirits were very poor and his body was even weaker. When one's spirits were relaxed and one had a full stomach, one leaned against the bed and drifted off to sleep.

"The day will be over when all the first day's deliveries have been made, and then the second day's deliveries will begin ......"

Hearing you talk like a psychopath, he speaks as if he is listening to something uncommon, half asleep.

It still doesn't sound anything like what the madman said.

You were supposed to deliver, and you were supposed to finish delivering one day and continue delivering the next ......


Your body shudders.

What the old man said was, "Finish the delivery."

So the point shouldn't be how you choose, but to deliver all the deliveries in your hand?

You shake the old man and try to ask more, but the other man is safely asleep, lying in your bed snoring so loudly that no amount of shouting will keep him awake.

With a complicated expression you help him to lie down on the bed, tuck him in, build a bench at the end of the bed, think about the answer the old man gave, and sleep with your clothes on.


The next day, you are awake again and the first thing you do is go to see the bed.

The wandering old man you helped back last night has disappeared without a trace, and you can find no basis for his existence at all, as if everything you experienced last night was just a dream.

You sit up in a daze, looking at the bench that has been placed on the far side of the room and the quilt that has been placed on top of you, and you feel a sense of not knowing what time it is.

But the next moment you see the uniform hanging on the wall and your eyes grow firm.

There was nothing else to do anyway, so we might as well try what the old man said.

Start today and make sure you get all your deliveries done ......

Not a single piece left!

Published at: 03/03/2022 20:00