The Great Worm Lich Chapter 21
Soon, Zhang Lisheng walked out of the old house's central room while carrying an old wooden money box, "Let's go, Uncle Ah Lie."
"Let's go." Tao Lielin nodded and waited for Zhang Lisheng to lock the courtyard door. He then walked towards the village entrance, following the mountain path together with Zhang Lisheng.
Along the way, the Guawo Villagers could not help themselves but to reveal a shocked expression when they saw the duo walked together. Those who managed to dodge to the side of the road avoided eye-contact with a smile, while those who did not managed to dodge nodded and bowed politely for which action seemed to be very unnatural.
Zhang Lisheng sighed as they arrived at the village entrance, "Sigh, Uncle Ah Lie, it seemed like the villagers are really treating me as a 'father' now."
"Of course they are."
"I went to Secretary Tian this morning to tell him about me bringing you to the bank in town to deposit money. But since you don't have an identity card, we'll need to issue a recommendation letter written by the village committee to the bank."
"And guess what? Surprisingly, Secretary Tian gave me the village stamp to bring along with me. He said he had never issued such a recommendation letter before and afraid that the bank won't go ahead with it if he made a mistake in the letter."
"Why would he do that if he doesn't treat you as a 'father'? The stamp is also another precious belongings of his."
"You think about it again, now even Secretary Tian treats you as 'father', let alone the rest."
As they spoke, Tao Lielin stepped onto a red Wuyang motorcycle that was not locked at the village entrance empty space.
Zhang Lisheng then sat on the back of the motorcycle, while his one hand was holding the money box, and another gripping the bike's back handle. He slipped his tongue while feeling dispirited, "What should I do then since everyone is treating me as "
"Nevermind, I might be leaving the village soon anyway."
"What?" Tao Lielin who started his motorcycle and sped on the mountain road asked after taking in a mouthful of cold wind.
"Uncle Ah Lie, please go slower." Zhang Lisheng regretted a little, that he revealed the secret that he was unwilling to tell. However, since he had mentioned it, he was reluctant to lie against Tao Lielin, who had done so much for him. Zhang Lisheng decided to tell the truth after a while of hesitation, "The police officer found out that my birthplace is America, my mother is also an American, so they relied on the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Chengdu to look for my mother."
"If they managed to find her, I might have to leave."
"It's not a surprise that you were born in America." However, Tao Lielin did not seem to be very surprised as he said while slowing down, "I heard that your grandfather traveled overseas on fire ships in the past dynasty. He had even joined that, what-what Zhi Party."
"Otherwise, the county wouldn't have sent someone to look for your dad over 30 years ago."
"Speaking of which, I just recalled that your father disappeared for a couple of years as well. No idea what was he doing when he disappeared."
"Really? Such an event happened? Why-Why don't I know anything!?"
"Who in our village dares to talk about what happened to the Zhang family in front of its family member? It would be odd if you knew about it."
Zhang Lisheng was stunned for a while, and let out a sigh then said softly, "We live in the same village, but it doesn't feel like it at all. It doesn't feel right to live like this, and it's certainly better that I leave." He stopped speaking after that.
"Stop moaning and groaning. I think no matter which country you go to, you'll have to return to our Guawo Village sooner or later. This is Zhang family's fate that has been passed down through generations, unfortunately, I might not be able to wait for that day to come."
"Uncle Ah Lie, don't say such a thing." Zhang Lisheng sat at the back of the bike with his head held low and said with mixed feelings, "Even if I've found my mother and moved to America, I'll definitely come back to the village to visit you whenever I'm free."
Hearing what Zhang Lisheng said, Tao Lielin went silent for a while and said, "Shan Chongzi, a kid like you are a loyal person."
"Can I ask you for a favor?"
"Uncle Ah Lie, please do tell." Zhang Lisheng answered without any hesitation.
"I'm sure you know what I've been thinking, Ermu was one of them who broke into your house."
"He ganged up with foreigners and broke into someone's house in the middle of the night. No matter what their intention, whether it was to steal or to kill, they deserve to die following the Miaowei people's old practice."
"But although he's dead and the slate is clean now, He Qingmiao's parents, wife, and descendants still have to live. Now that they can't carry on with the funeral, they've been living in fear everyday"
"Uncle, I know what you're trying to say. When we returned to the village, please get Ermu's wife to bring her child to my house and to request to go ahead with the funeral. I'll definitely be there to help."
Since Zhang Lisheng wanted to help in the funeral, it would mean the grudge between the Zhang family and He Qingmiao was being lifted. In that case, the Guawo Villagers who attended the funeral at Ermu's house would not be considered offending Zhang Lisheng.
Although this matter did not seem like it was anything major, in Miaowei custom, it would consider that he embarrassed the Zhang family's name himself, and did an incredible favor for Tao Lielin.
"Shan Chongzhi, kid you sure has grace and virtue, as well as forgiving. When we return to get Ermu's wife to request for the funeral, I'll get her to bring a healthy mule as an apology gift."
The mountain roads in Western Sichuan were difficult to travel. Using a horse would not last long, while a donkey's strength was too little. Therefore, a mule was the transportation vehicle that Sichuan people loved the most back in those days. Moreover, as mule did not have to be fed fine food and could bear strenuous work, its price was extremely high.
The tradition of apologizing using a young and strong mule that was passed down for generations was considered the most majestic way in the Miaowei Land of showing one was sorry.
However, a mule seemed to be completely useless to Zhang Lisheng. He was stunned for a second and proceeded to say, "It's okay Uncle Ah Lie. Mule is useless to me."
"What useless? You can kill it as an offering to the ancestors. In that case, you wouldn't consider embarrassing Zhang family's face, if you help Ermu's family with the funeral."
Hearing Tao Lielin saying that he could kill the mule was an offering to the ancestors, an inspiration suddenly flashed on Zhang Lisheng's head all of the sudden, "You're the most thoughtful one, Uncle Ah Lie. Alright then, get Ermu's wife to bring a healthy mule to apologize when you tell her about the funeral."
Tao Lielin smiled and said, "Don't worry, I'll handle it properly for you."
While both of them chatted about nothing significant, they arrived at the Damu Town Government Center Station.
As an emerging tourism town that remained with a certain classical style, the Qu County Damu Town had learned the lesson from the coastal tourist area, which was the earliest to be developed in China. When the economy was developing at a high speed, there was no rush to change its old town style. On the contrary, the town should be expanded.
They had successfully developed one street into four vertical and horizontal intersected streets that formed a '#'.
Of course, the Government Center Station remained as Damu Town's heart where the Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Minsheng Bank, and other banks' business outlets were built within the streets that were less than 200 meters long, together with the best hostels and hotels in town.
Tao Lielin took a round on the streets with Zhang Lisheng along on his motorcycle and eventually parked his motorcycle outside of the Agricultural Bank of China's business hall which had the least customers.
As the duo walked into the business hall, Tao Lielin took a queue number from the machine at the entrance and pouted as he said, "Shan Chongzi, there were only two to three staff in the bank, back in those days. There was nothing for them to do."
"Look at the situation now, we're required to take a number from the machine just to queue."
A young lady with neat, short hair in staff uniform with a red ribbon written 'At your service' in gold across her body took the initiative to approach them after hearing Tao Lielin's complaint, "Sir, may I know what kind of service are you looking at?"
"If you're withdrawing money with your card, there are self-service ATM machines over there. It would be more convenient for you since you don't have to queue."
"No, we're here to open a savings account." Tao Lielin pointed at the old wooden money box that Zhang Lisheng was holding and said, "Miss, I would like to know which is the fastest way that we could proceed with the saving account application?"
"I'm sorry, the counters are the only ones who are in charge of the opening of savings account. All I could do for you is to get you a number to be in a queue for the application." The lady said in a sorry tone.
"We're putting a lot of money in, is there something that you could do for us since we're saving hundreds of thousands of yuan?"
The lady was just a little stunned but not too surprised. Ever since Qu County became an emerging tourist destination, it was common to see Miaowei citizens who carried stacks of hundreds of yuan in their bamboo baskets, let alone depositing money in the bank.
She smiled and showed eight teeth then said, "Sir, if you're performing a one-time deposit of more than 500,000 yuan and willing to apply our bank's Golden Wheat Card, then you can use the VIP room to carry out the saving account application."
After Zhang Daowu passed away, the insurance company compensated 500,000 yuan. Golden Path Company, the affiliated company of the taxi company at fault compensated Zhang Lisheng 150,000 yuan as consultation money. Added with the funeral that did not lose any money which on the contrary allowed them to earn more than 50,000 yuan, the total would be over 700,000 yuan.
Zhang Lisheng planned to deposit an exact 700,000 yuan so he asked, "I'm planning to deposit 700,000 yuan but what's that consumer credit card about?"
The lady finally sensed something odd when she realized that the tanned, skinny young man who wore a pair of gray working clothes that did not fit him standing next to the middle-aged man was the real investor.
She was stunned for a second and asked while words slipped out of her tongue, "May I ask how old are you this year?"
"You're already 16?" The lady glanced at Zhang Lisheng a few times and asked again with a little skeptic.
"Of course, I've turned 16 on July 7th. Didn't I bring my household registration with me here?"
Hearing what Zhang Lisheng said, the lady's eyes lit up as she said, "I'm sorry, the reason why I asked about your age is that the minimum age to apply Golden Wheat Card is 16 years old."
"This card can be used directly throughout China and 37 countries all over the world that have signed the reciprocal agreement with China Banking Association."
"Apart from that, the 50% processing fee will be waived whenever you swipe the card for your spending overseas."
"Moreover, you'll enjoy VIP treatment in all airports and high-speed rail stations all over the country."
After so much explanation, she had never mentioned about the interest that was required to pay for this Golden Wheat Card at all. If the cardholder did not hit a certain amount of spending each year, up to 2,000 yuan, then an annual fee would be deducted.
Moreover, apart from China, the other countries that the Golden Wheat Card could be used directly were those small countries that were relatively poor such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Unless the person had gone insane, otherwise, nobody would travel to those places.
What the lady had said put Zhang Lisheng in a daze. His heart jolted out of nowhere and he then asked, "So, can I use it in America as well?"
"Of course you can, although it's not as convenient as using it in those countries that signed a reciprocal agreement with China Banking Association, but it can be directly used in some of the duty-free stores in travel destination cities."
"Then I would like to apply for that card."
The unintentional gentle reminder had given the lady 700,000 yuan premium business by surprise. It had made the lady to show a wide smile and said, "Please follow me." She then brought Zhang Lisheng and Tao Lielin towards the business hall's VIP room.