Chapter 16: Fixing A Car
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
What am I going to do with it? The sight of this gunny bag full of valuables troubled Chen Jin greatly. How do I make money with these bad boys?
In fact, apart from some gold jewelry, five platinum rings, and the pearl necklace, nothing else would be easy to sell or worth anything. Things like mechanical watches or diamond rings belonged to the extravagance category—they are not easy to sell and the value goes down really quickly. Especially diamonds, they are usually overpriced. If you’re in the market, you’d know that a diamond smaller than one carat could cost you a few thousand, even 10 thousand dollars; the price goes up to $100, 000 for just a slightly bigger one, and the salesperson would even promise you that diamonds are just like gold—not only do they hold value, but they may be worth much more in the future.
But that’s not true. The truth is that—if you have done this before—most of the jewelry stores don’t accept returns, and even if they do, you would only get a small portion of your money back. It could be as low as 30-40% of what you’ve paid. Far from what gold is worth. The myth about how “diamonds hold value” is such a big joke.
Therefore, Chen Jin probably wasn’t going to sell much for the diamond rings he had; instead, he should give them away as gifts. He could “show” the diamond’s value that way. Mechanical watches don’t hold much value, either. People can see the time on various screens nowadays; apart from a few upper class people, who needs a mechanical watch that only serves the purpose of making you look cool?
All the watches he had—more than 100 of them—were made of titanium alloy, with black carbon fiber at the back. The material was waterproof and shockproof, coated with fluoropolymer so it’d be easier to see during night time. There were 12 scales with both minute hand and second hand. They should look charming with the dirt on the surface rinsed off—he might be able to sell them for over $1,000 each. Very ergonomic and they fit well on the wrist.
In the city, at Fu Gui Pawnshop.
“The material is ok, and the design is pretty average. I’ve never heard of this brand—it’s probably one of those knock-offs, yeah? I’ll give you $45 each. Take it or leave it,” said the middle-aged appraiser, as he adjusted his reading glasses on the nose.
“What the heck? $45?” Chen Jin was in great shock. Is he for real?
“Yes, $45. Take it or leave it.” The appraiser started to show his true colors of being a profiteer.
“No way! Give them back!” Chen Jin was furious. $45? They are from the another world!
“Go ahead, young man. Try somewhere else. I’ll eat my hat if you can sell them for more than $30 each,” the middle-aged appraiser said sarcastically, and handed back the watches without any hesitation.
Chen Jin turned around and left, without even looking back.
In the evening, at home, Chen Jin had sold everything he could in his bag. The gold rings, gold bracelets, and gold necklaces. There were seven of them, with a total weight of 55 grams. He sold them for $2,200. Five platinum rings weighed 13.5 grams. For these ones, he made $700.
After some serious thinking, Chen Jin sold five diamond rings that weren’t as good as the other three. He sold them for about $370 each, and made a total of $1,850 profit.
None of the mechanical watches were sold—the man was right…no one was willing to pay more than $30. Chen Jin kept the pearl necklace—the most expensive one. His parents’ 25th wedding anniversary was coming soon; they’d planned to go to a studio and take some wedding pictures. Chen Jin decided to give his mother a “surprise”.
Meaning… After all the research conducted in the other world, he had gotten his “first pot of gold”, which had a total amount of… $4,750.
Chen Jin was annoyingly upset. This project took him nearly a month, and the research he carried out in the other world only got him $4,750? His getting-rich-overnight fantasy had fallen apart into little pieces. He didn’t even make his first pot of gold. It was more like the average income a salaried person would make per month.
“Believe it or not, I can spend every penny of this in ten minutes. It’s easy to become poor, but it’s still a long way to go to get rich,” Chen Jin said, shaking his head with a big sigh. He had no choice but to calm himself down and try again, as he still had plenty of time.
The other world on Haierfa, about 2 days later.
Finally, Da Li the robot and the team had returned from searching the city. And just as Chen Jin requested—they brought back a “small car”. The five robots pushed, sometimes carried the car on their shoulders, working with one another to bring the car back. Upon arrival, every robot hit the low battery warning level, so they went straight to the charging pile, which Chen Jin brought from Earth and had modified with five extra outlets. A single line could run 1000 watts and charge the batteries of up to five robots simultaneously.
The cables for high-efficiency battery chargers also extended from the charging pile; it could run 5000 watts each and charge up to 10 high-efficiency batteries all at the same time. In short, Chen Jin had spent more than $1,000 on the entire charging equipment.
Now, back to the “small car” the team had brought back. From the front, the car looked somewhat boxy; from the side, it looked like the cross-section of a bullet. The car had two doors and four wheels with a low, flat, yet streamlined body shell; there was a picture of an angel printed on the trunk in the back, and some pebble-shaped lights installed in the front and at the back. Overall, the vehicle seemed to have been designed with the theory of fluid mechanics; the beauty of industrial design could be seen from every part of the car.
After scraping the thick layer of dirt off the car, Chen Jin brought some brushes and car wash soap, and extended a water pipe from his bathroom for the robots to wash the car. Having been cleaned at least five times, the vehicle now looked newer than ever. It had the color of a sapphire, which Chen Jin absolutely loved. “The super sports car we have on Earth like Maserati or Bugatti Veyron are probably nothing compared to this baby.”
But…it was not a fancy car of any sort. It was just a very common car in this world. At least Chen Jin could see cars like this everywhere on the street in Tereese City. It was an electric car with a battery slot that could install 10 pieces of large 10-kilo high-efficiency batteries on the chassis. The total weight of the car was no more than 1.5 tons. It even had an electric motor that could produce up to 5000 kilowatts, which would be the equivalent of 680 horsepower. Without a doubt, this car was extremely powerful and had excellent endurance.
However, he still had to wait a while before he could drive it. Due to being exposed to sun and wind over a long period of time, all four of the rubber tires were badly damaged! The oil and lube for power transmission system, braking system, and the electric motor in the engine had gotten too old to be used again, and most of it had run off over time. He had to wash those devices and replace the oil and lubricant with new ones.
Therefore, Chen Jin spent the next few days busily fixing this “Blue Angel”, the name he gave to the car. First, he bought three pairs of tires that had a diameter of 70cm, and asked Da Bao to trim off 2mm of the rims so they could fit right in the tires. Next, after he bought seven or eight buckets of oil and lube, he poured it on the cleaned braking system, transmission system, and electric motor. Then, he tried to turn the car over and start it again.
The Blue Angel had been turned over successfully and was now drivable, but there were still some minor problems. For example, two out of the four lights were broken; they had to be replaced, and there were some abnormal noises coming from the engine. The genuine leather seats needed to be changed as well, considering the leather was seriously damaged, and gave an unpleasantly strong, pungent smell.
Chen Jin had no choice but to teach himself about auto repairs and visit the auto parts marketplace; he bought some parts to replace the old ones in the car after filtering all the other unwanted parts very carefully.
Two days later.
Now that he had fixed all the malfunctions the Blue Angel had, he was finally able to drive the car without any problems.
The driving experience must be much, much better than dad’s Passat.
He drove the car around the bottom of the huge crater; he was driving easily 220 kilometers per hour. It was so fast that he felt like he was drifting in mid air.
But he had to pay a significant price for it, too. He had spent nearly $6,000 on repairing Blue Angel! Not only did he spend his last penny, but he even borrowed money from a friend. Looking at his wallet and the available amount in his Alipay account, Chen Jin was enormously stunned. “I never knew being into cars was such an expensive hobby to have. And I was only fixing one!” Chen Jin murmured to himself. “And I thought nothing would cost you more money than ACG.”
He was too young, Chen Jin realized, and there was still lot for him to learn about this world.