Chapter 4: A Birthday Surprise (2)
… … …
“Peter, Tom, Harry, this here is my friend, Gwen. Her classroom is right next to ours.” Jackson beamed, his right arm entwined with Gwen’s as he introduced her to the three.
“Hi, Gwen… I’m Peter Parker. It’s very nice to meet you!” The Little Spider-Man stepped forward and gave a friendly welcome, wholly impressed by Gwen’s grace and beauty.
“Hello, I’m Gwen.” Gwen extended her hand and greeted Peter. “It’s nice meeting you.”
Jackson donned a poker face. His countenance remained blank and unchanged though on the inside, he was pleased and delighted. It seemed Peter’s first love will occur at a much earlier date than the original timeline.
Though Jackson believed his plan was in itself wholly fiendish, Jackson thought he could have implemented it better. It’s just that… just that he did not have the time to do so for he himself was on a time limit, after all.
Jackson looked towards Harry and found his reaction was not as he expected.
“Hello.” Harry introduced himself thereafter. “Harry Osborn.”
“The son of the Osborn Industries.” Gwen shook Harry’s hand and smiled lightly. “It’s nice meeting you.”
As the daughter of a man who’s a respected member of the NYPD police force, Gwen Stacy was not ignorant of the world of the filthy rich.
“Hey there, don’t forget me. Still here!” Tom chuckled. “I’m Jackson’s best friend, Tom. Tom Smith.” The last person spoke and never failed to mention his relationship with Jackson to others.
“Hello, Tom. I’m glad to have met you.”
Jackson coughed and garnered the attention of others.
“Since we’re all here, let’s go inside.” He waved his hand towards the front entrance. His heart thumped, excited for his birthday party and the planned event.
Tonight will be the night I’ll get that 50,000 reward points.
… … …
One Hour Later.
The parents of Jackson and Tom left the party an hour later so their children may have fun and be able to do what they wish without their presence.
“Honey, we’ll be back later. Have fun, alright?” A beautiful woman donned a delightful smile and hugged her son who’d grown up so fast in her eyes. It felt like it was just yesterday when he was a baby and she held him in her arms, felt like time had stopped then.
“I will, Mom. Have fun with Aunt and Uncle Smith.” Jackson smiled and walked his mother out the door.
“Don’t be too wild!” She chuckled and patted his head before leaving.
Mom and dad are gone with Tom’s parents. Okay, the plan has officially begun!
Jackson expressed a devilish smile as he closed the door then headed towards the living room.
He stopped dead in his tracks and found himself lost in oblivion. He’d forgotten to formulate a plan and arrangement after Gwen accepted his invitation to attend his small birthday party gathering.
And he’d also forgotten one issue. Romance.
Jackson had not the slightest clue nor knowledge regarding the relationship between a man and a woman. Besides, he’d never experience that so-called bliss so how was he supposed to succeed in his plan without knowing anything about this thing called love? And not to mention, he’s attempting to create a love triangle between the three people.
“System!” Jackson shouted anxiously.
Translator’s Note: So there is not a confusion. Whenever Jackson speaks to the System, it is always an inner dialogue to himself. He’s having a conversation in his mind and unless stated otherwise, Jackson’s conversation will always remain inside his subconscious mind.
And on another note, the raws call Jackson as Lin Rui when referring to him without the dialogue but for the purpose of avoiding confusion (simply for me), he’ll remain as Jackson throughout the novel.
“Regarding Gwen a-and the love triangle between the other two… do you have any tips for me?” Jackson pleaded.
“I am unable to help you as I’ve said previously. I’ve already given a hint earlier. I said that it is common for women to create a rift or a crack between two men who have such a close brotherly bond and regarding the plan, I leave all that to you. I myself will not interfere though you should not place the blame on me if you mess up.”
Jackson’s nerves tingled. The comment the System spoke of earlier seemed to have slipped from his mind due to anxiousness coming in like a plague.
“Won’t you help me out? Anything is fine. You’ve given me a hint before…” Jackson’s voice softened.
“I cannot help. This all depends on you. Anyways, the 50,000 reward points are up for grab and if you can’t get it, it’s your loss.” The System said and faded out, no longer speaking.
It, the System, was not so generous that It would willingly hint and advice Jackson each time he found himself in a precarious situation.
Translator’s Note: I’m not sure if the System is androgynous or is regarded as a male or female by the author so in this case, I will refer to the System as It.
“Jackson, come on!” Tom hollered.
Jackson breathed deeply. Since the situation has developed to this point already, he might as well see it through. Perhaps only a few words spoken in front of Harry is needed to rile his interest.
… … …
Peter sat on the couch and smiled gleefully. The table once a mess now clean and spotless. Sprawled on the table are birthday gifts meant solely for Jackson.
“Hey, Jackson!” Tom’s eyes flashed upon seeing his entrance. “Hurry and open the gifts!”
Tom prepared a gift—a gift so special for his beloved friend. And since Jackson invited a girl over, Tom believed the gift made for him would be useful.
“Alright.” Jackson’s lips curved.
He set his plans aside for the time being. It is his birthday, after all, and it’s only proper he at least have fun at the same time.
“Which should I open first?” Jackson inquired.
A stiff and awkward ambient silence filled the room. None dared to be the first to answer Jackson’s inquiry for they feared to be the first to speak.
Jackson smirked, noticing their intent. He walked over and picked a gift wrapped in blue. “Well, let’s see what my parents got me.”
Slowly, Jackson ripped off the wrappings.
The wrappings, beautifully wrapped, were torn to pieces and soon, the contents were revealed.
Jackson’s eyes lit an ember flame.
“It’s the Sony MDR-1ABT. Jackson, it looks like Uncle knows you’re taste.” Tom chuckled and shook his head slightly.
Translator’s Note: The Sony MDR-1ABT is a high-quality wireless headphone made by Sony and costs 399.99 USD.
He removed the wireless headphone from the box and held it in hand. Jackson was moved to the core. Jackson’s family had the financial stability, the means to buy such a costly item. Jackson’s eyes softened. His parents truly loved him so and if he’d requested a new vehicle, they would bend over backward and would so willingly buy him one.
He felt lucky to have them.
They’re a kind and loving people. What more could he ask for? Compared to his pitiable and broken family household in his previous life, Jackson’s life here was perfect. Though he did not everything, it was more than enough.
Jackson smiled softly and tried on the headphones.
“It looks great, Jackson!” Peter exclaimed, somewhat envious of his parents’ financial stability. He knew he’d not be able to afford such costly products.
“Jackson, open me and Peter’s gift.” Harry smiled, guaranteed Jackson would like the gift presented.
“Ah… yes! Look at our gift! You’ll like it!”
“Sure. Where is it…?” Jackson set the headphones down and looked through the piles of gifts. “Found it!”
He picked up a large-sized present wrapped in colorful hues. The gift wrapped in colorful tones felt rather heavy in his hand.
Jackson raised his brows, curiosity getting the best of him. The gift should be good, he thought when looking at Peter and Harry’s anticipating look.
Jackson saw the corner of the gift.
It seems to be…
Jackson swiftly ripped off the wrappers.
“Haha, how do you like it, Jackson? What do you think?” Peter asked eagerly. “This is a gift chosen carefully by us. Well, Harry bought it… but I put my time and effort into picking out the gift!”
“We didn’t have a lot of time to look for one that is more meaningful and we weren’t too sure what you liked so we got you something where we shared a common hobby in. Figured you’d like the gift.” Harry beamed.
“W-wow… I don’t know what to say…” Jackson trailed off, breath taken away. “Thank you…” He smiled softly as he held the latest X-BOX model in hand.
He was touched, touched by their kindness. He’d only become their friend for the sole purpose of breaking their friendship. He didn’t mind. The 50,000 reward points motivated him but now, such thoughts and idea made him uncomfortable and somewhat guilty. It was at that moment Jackson recognized how much value and emphasis Peter and Harry put into the meaning of friendship. That in itself is a tremendous thing and Jackson wanted nothing but to ruin that friendship.
Jackson lowered his gaze and looked at the latest X-BOX model. He thought about the plan; thought about the notion of regret suddenly seeping in like the plague; thought about how such thing which seemed inferior and unimportant suddenly took up most of the room in his heart.
“Jackson, although my gift isn’t as good and may not be able to compare but I do hope you’ll like it.” Said Gwen who smiled lightly with her brows furrowed.
Jackson returned to reality and snapped out of his inner thoughts. “Don’t worry, I’ll love it no matter what.”
He grabbed the gift Gwen brought. It was very light and gentle. There were no tears to be seen and based on the physical appearance, he roughly guessed what it might be. Jackson unwrapped the gift and what laid before him was a leather book the color of the vermillion bird’s feathers. He never of the book before but it should be about spiritual enlightenment.
“Thank you, Gwen. I appreciate the gift.” Though he did not know the purpose of such book, his heart warmed at the thought of Gwen’s mindfulness.
“I’m glad you like it.”
The only one left who’ve yet to present their gift was Tom’s. As Jackson reached out to grab his present, a pair of hands quickly snatched it.
“Jackson… would you mind opening it later…?” Tom asked sullenly, he felt his gift was unsuitable.
“Eh? Did you not say that yours is special?” Jackson tilted his head, lost in confusion.
“That… that… just open it later! Stop asking so many questions!”
“Give it back! Give it back I tell you!”
Peter rushed to the side and suddenly grabbed the gift from Tom’s grasp.
“Jackson, catch!” Peter shouted and threw the gift towards Jackson.
Jackson hurriedly tore the gift open. He’d not allow Tom an opening to take it once more.
A Smurfs toy fell to the ground.
Jackson’s lips tightened. He regretted not listening earlier.
“Don’t hit me!”
“Beat him, Jackson! Hahaha!”
Inside a well-to-do family house, several youths huddled in the living room laughed to their heart’s content. This was merely a group of American youths in the prime of their life having fun at a birthday party.
… … …
Translator’s Note: There are over 3,000 characters on average at the beginning chapters and such it takes a while for me. I learned Chinese in a classroom setting and am neither a native speaker nor am I fluent.
At best, I consider myself on an intermediate level. But with time, I do hope to increase the pace of my translation and translate at a faster rate.
And also, keep in mind that the release rate will be a bit slow.
Though I do hope to update weekly. I’ve no Editor and as someone who minored in English Composition, I’m picky quite with my word choice.
Having no Editor also slows the speed of my translation.
That aside, if you haven’t done so yet, please consider giving the novel a rating and your honest review on NovelUpdates.
Thank you very much!