48 Hours a Day
Chapter 51: Tokyo Drift XXI
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Zhang Heng had to admit that the older the ginger, the spicier it gets 1. Even though he had been training in Tokyo for 9 months, his driving skills were still nowhere nearly as excellent as the professional racing driver Takeda Tetsuya, the man who was only one race away from the Drift King title.
This became even more apparent during the second half of the journey when Takeda Tetsuya had gotten the hang of the mechanics of the car and began to rediscover the form he was in back in the day.
Putting his life on the line for Kobayashi’s little sister did not cancel out the guilt he felt over his best friend’s death. After that near-death experience, he had, at least, redeemed himself, and redressed a good portion of his self-condemnation.
Zhang Heng would not be able to triumph over Takeda Tetsuya, who was in this state.
On top of that, there was Kobayashi’s sister, who had been planning this for 22 years, and whose driving skills were just as competent as her brother’s. Not only did she possess that meticulous quality a woman possessed, but she also inherited Kobayashi’s intrepidity.
However, someone once said, ‘Having a good opponent would bring out the best in you.’
Encouraged by his two competitors, Zhang Heng gave 150% of his ability. The L300 turned into a mustard phantom zipping in the darkness.
In the end, however, he was still one step behind.
But when they were drawing near the finishing line, the Nissan 180SX and the Viper suddenly slowed down and as if on cue, giving each other deference. Zhang Heng did not care about any of that, so the minivan zoomed past Takeda Tetsuya and Kobayashi Yu, taking first place.
When he reached the finish, a series of notification rang in his ears.
[You have won an underground street race!—Mission complete!]
[To return after 134 days]
[Successfully defeated a professional racecar driver: +15 game points. You may refer to the character panel to view the corresponding information]
[Successfully defeated the best racing driver in this edition, Yosuke Tsuchiya: +25 game points. You may refer to the character panel to view the corresponding information]
[Successfully completed one death racing mode: +10 game points. You may refer to the character panel to view the corresponding information]
Yosuke Tsuchiya was the best driver in the Tokyo Drift edition. That came as no surprise to Zhang Heng. The fact that Kobayashi Yu was a professional racing driver, on the other hand, bewildered him as female professional racing drivers were as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns.
It was no wonder, though, that she dared take on a one-versus-two challenge. Her skills may have been slightly weaker than Takeda Tetsuya’s. Considering how disheartened the latter was before the near-accident, and if Zhang Heng was out of the picture, it would have been had to say which one would win.
In reality, when compared side-to-side according to their skills, it would be out of the question for Zang Heng to win. But after everything that had happened along the way, the atmosphere of hostility was extinguished. There was a silver lining amidst all the complications, helping Zhang Heng to complete his primary mission.
The rewards that came along with it were so much more generous than he had expected. The race alone earned him 50 game points. Combined with the 6 points he gained throughout the game, a total of 56 game points had now been collected.
Kobayashi Yu and Takeda Tetsuya talked to each other through the night. No one knew what they were talking about, but on the second day, the two of them visited Kobayashi Ryo’s grave to pay their respects.
Two days after, Kobayashi Yu and her racing friends who had helped her left Tokyo.
Two months later, Ameko’s exchange student application was approved.
Zhang Heng had driven her to the airport himself. She was about to embark on a one-year learning trip in China.
There was still some time before departure, so Ameko requested for coffee. Zhang Heng bought two cups of coffee from the Starbucks nearby. As he was handing it over to the girl, something soft nudged his lips.
Ameko was clearly very nervous. This was her first time doing something like this, so she was a little clumsy and timid; their lips only touching for a brief second.
“Come find me when you get back to China,” Ameko whispered softly.
That kiss had spent all of her courage, so instead of waiting for Zhang Heng to reply, she picked up her luggage and quickly made her way to the check-in counter.
Zhang Heng watched the girl disappear into the crowd, suddenly feeling that having the extra hours might not be a good thing—the initially subtle feelings, with the passing of time, had slowly blossomed…
This was destined to be a promise that could never be fulfilled.
Zhang Heng sat on one of the seats in the airport alone, deep in thought, and finished the two cups of coffee quietly.
In whatever country, airports and train stations were always places brimming with a sea of emotions.
The wobbling elderly grandmother sending off her grandchild who was studying abroad, fussing over his backpack; the four-year-old holding onto his mother’s hand, waving goodbye to his father going overseas for work, not knowing that the next time they would meet again would be the following year; the girl who had just stepped down the plane running to her boyfriend’s embrace in her heels.
Then, at the same time, there were people rushing home, while the others leaving somewhere far away.
After swallowing last drops of the warm coffee, Zhang Heng got up, pulled up the zip on his jacket, and stepped outside into the snow.
After that race, Zhang Heng had basically stepped into leisure mode. He was getting pretty good at Japanese and even scored full marks for his first monthly exam, which earned him 3 game points. BHis most significant achievement, though, was that woodcarving, the second game item he found a month before.
The one thing that had been bothering him was other than the racer workshop, it was common for societies to recruit new members every two months—especially the two related to cars. The 4WD club and the auto show model photography club, which, like their names suggested, were a gathering of a group of chūnibyō 1 and gentries.
Zhang Heng had joined, patiently remaining in the clubs for two months only to learn how to scream ‘Shooting Star and Cannonball’ at his own 4WD, and to determine by eye the model of a car from a picture, deduce bra sizes, and many other random strange skills.
But Zhang Heng was still reluctant to give up because, according to his first game, whenever a cycle took place, he should have more than one valid option. After that, he decided to alter his thinking pattern, to stop focusing on organizations related to cars, but to broaden his search instead. So, he began paying attention to some of the more unusual groups.
He thought about the altar that he had come across on the island and opted to join a club that studied mysterious happenings, and another that researched popular paranormal activity. Eventually, he discovered that his membership in the latter really did pleasantly surprise him.
The woodcarving was a collection that belonged to the vice president of the club, who had claimed to have found it in Rakuten for only 500 Japanese Yen. There was nothing special about the carving—it did not even have a face. But just like the rabbit’s foot, when Zhang Heng picked it up, he heard the same announcement in his head: [Found a game item].
He decided to buy it from the vice president, who was so happy that she presented it to Zhang Heng immediately, mainly because there were only three members in the club and the vice president valuing new members a lot. The woodcarving was not worth much anyway, so she was more than happy to give it away.
So, that was how Zhang Heng got his hands on another game item, without having put in much effort.
Although it was not difficult to get the game item, it was buried deep within the game. For other gamers who did have as much leisure time in the game like him, it would be tough for them to find hidden items like this.