“Hong Dali, male, 22 years old, orphaned. Passed away unfortunately after his courageous act of rescuing two children who were about to get knocked down by a car. After multiple discussions, the relevant authorities decided to honor him as a hero and an outstanding university student of the province.”
—The People’s Daily Press
“No, no, no, there is no way I’m going with you all to the Hong family to get engaged!” Tang Muxin buried her head under the pillow and furiously kicked her legs in frustration. “Hong Dali is the city’s most well-known wastrel and a disgrace to the Hong family. He is so frail looking and dim-witted, and he’s a standard prodigal. There is no way I will have such a person as my fiancé!”
Tang Muxin was the only child of Tang Ruisi, the chairman of Tang Medical Enterprises. Not only was she multi-talented, knowledgeable, and well read, she was also fair and beautiful; her looks were comparable to the prettiest of flowers, as if all the goodness in the world had been placed into her. Moreover, she was also a very talented cook. She was simply the ideal type of wife, someone who could make delicious meals, would have a presence in public, and was also excellent in bed. As such, she was the dream girl of numerous guys in school.
Suddenly hearing that her father would be bringing her to the infamous Hong Dali’s family to get engaged today was something that she could not accept at all. “If it wasn’t for his parents spoiling him, giving everything they have to their one and only child, a worthless person like him would have long been expelled from the Hong family and forced to fend for himself. Would he even have had the chance to squander his money away as he has?”
Hearing his daughter’s words, Tang Ruisi, who was seated at the front of the bed, gave a wry smile. “Xinxin 1 , it’s not like I have a choice either. The marriage between you and Hong Dali was decided by your grandfather years ago. Although he is a bit of a prodigal child, that isn’t such a big issue, is it? From what I know, Hong Dali is actually quite a good-looking child…”
Tang Ruisi was wearing a grayish-green vest with a clean white undershirt, and a tie with a simple knot adorned his neck. He had light stubble above his lips, held a bronze-colored pipe in his hand, and his short black hair was neatly combed to the back of his head with a shine. His overall image was rather good. The only difference was that his normally sparkling eyes were now filled with a sense of helplessness and unwillingness.
To be honest, if it wasn’t because he had no choice, would he be willing to give away his own precious daughter to such a worthless person as Hong Dali? After all, that Hong Dali could be called a weirdo in this world. The only thing he liked to do, the only thing he said he would do, was squander his wealth.
His most famous words were: “I need to be prodigal. If I don’t squander money, wouldn’t it be a waste of my parents’ ability to earn money?”
This saying was said to be the laughingstock of everyone in Tianjing City. Quite a number of parents educated their children by saying, “If you dare to learn from Hong Dali, that prodigal, we will see if I won’t break your legs!”
Thus, it was understandable that Tang Muxin had such a drastic reaction.
Unsurprisingly, when she heard her father’s words, Tang Muxin angrily shouted, “Don’t try that with me! Your business’ cash flow has encountered difficulties, and you can’t turn over fast enough. That’s why you’re intending to use this engagement to obtain a loan. You think I didn’t know that? Dad, what you are doing is akin to selling your daughter!”
“Sigh, if there were any other alternatives, who would want to do such a thing…” Tang Ruisi helplessly shook his head. “If we can’t overcome this current difficulty, it won’t be long before we declare bankruptcy. Xinxin, I also don’t wish to…”
“So you choose to sell your own daughter instead?” cried Tang Muxin. “That guy is such a prodigal, so what if you manage to get the loan? When we get married in the future, all our money will still get squandered away no matter how massive our fortune is. It is only a matter of time… sob, sob…”
“Well, that does seem to make sense…” Tang Ruisi frowned while thinking. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. He said, “Xinxin, why don’t we do this? Just get engaged first. After Daddy’s company recovers, we can find an excuse to back out of the engagement. This time, the problem arose because the cost of research was more than we expected. Once our finances can keep up and the project succeeds, it will be a groundbreaking event. When everything settles, we can think of an excuse to back out of the engagement. At that point, I don’t think their family would be able to say much to that, right?”
Tang Muxin sobbed. “Getting engaged is easy, but canceling an engagement is not. Their family is, after all, one of the top 500 corporations in the world, so how can things go that smoothly?”
One had to admit, Tang Muxin was a very intelligent girl.
She was well aware of how her looks and talents would attract the opposite gender. Should her family’s business collapse, her fate would definitely not end well either. That was just how the world was: the strong preyed on the weak. When one was in power, no one would dare to touch them, but once they fell, there would be many waiting to push them down even further.
An example would be the young master of the Liu family, who kept pestering her at school.
After crying a little more, knowing that this was the only option left, she unwillingly climbed out of bed. “Then I will give it a try. Sob, sob. Daddy, you must remember to cancel the engagement in the future. I’m definitely not getting married to that prodigal!”
“Yes, alright. For my dear Xinxin, Daddy will do his best to get it fixed.” Tang Ruisi let out a sigh and patted Tang Muxin on her shoulder. “Xinxin, it’s time to go.”
Hong Dali sat on the bed, looking bewildered. His mind was a mess.
The surroundings were very unfamiliar to him, and he seemed to have some problems with his memories. Right now, he could only recall the sharp screeching sound of a car braking; the rest of it was jumbled up with memories not his own.
“Didn’t I die? This place, where is this place?” Looking at his pale and skinny hands, Hong Dali pondered. “This isn’t my body, nor is this where I live. Then… where in the world is this place?”
He looked around at his surroundings and thought, My utmost concern now is understanding the current situation.
“First, am I actually dead or alive? Second, where is this place and who am I? Third, what should I do next?”
“Let’s look at point one first.” Hong Dali pinched a small part of the skin on the back of his left hand and rubbed it. It hurt. “I can feel pain, which probably means I am still alive.” He then thoroughly felt his own face, neck, ears, and head. “This is obviously not my own body, but it is still a human body. So does that mean that my current situation might be something out of a novel: transmigration?”
“Then, for the next issue, where is this place and what is my identity?” Hong Dali looked at the surroundings again. It was a room made of concrete and metal. The walls were pure white and had several modern-looking home appliances. There was even a 30-inch LCD monitor in the corner of the room. “This is a modern world, no doubt about it. But I have never seen the celebrities on these posters on the walls. And even these toy figurines are of characters that I’ve never seen before. In that case, this world should be one of those alternate universes spoken of in legends?”
There was no one around in the vicinity. Hong Dali carefully stood up and took a deep breath. “This body is really weak; it is as thin as a bamboo pole. I wonder if I will just suddenly collapse and die.”
Hong Dali switched the computer on and randomly opened a few websites. The contents displayed were very different from those back in his world, but it at least helped ascertain a few things: “One, the language in this world, or rather this country, is still Mandarin. Two, this is really an alternate universe. Many of the things here are different from the previous world, but the differences aren’t all that big. Three, this world does not have supernatural beings such as Superman. It is still a science- and technology-based world, so there isn’t a need to spend massive effort to train in things such as martial arts or magic.”
After making sure of this information, Hong Dali’s next priority was confirming his own identity. But even after searching through the entire room, he did not find anything that could confirm his identity. “That’s weird. Judging from this body, I shouldn’t be that old. I’m probably only about 17 or 18 years old. At this age, I should have already registered for an identity card, but maybe it has not been sent out to me yet. After all, this is another world, so it is normal if there are some slight differences.”
Just as he was thinking about all of this, his brain suddenly experienced a massive influx of random information. It caused great pain in his mind and left him squatting on the floor. When the pain finally subsided a little, an emotionless metallic voice sounded off in his mind:
“Great Prodigal System has found a host. Binding in progress, please wait for a moment…”
“Great Prodigal System binding was successful. Current level: level one.”
When the system voice got to this point, a small figure immediately appeared in Hong Dali’s mind. From the looks of it, the figure should be himself, but he noticed a set of words to the right side of the small figure:
“Name of the host: Hong Dali.”
“Strength: 36. Speed: 41. Reflexes: 52. Health: 39. Sexual Capability: 32. Note: The individual stats of a normal person are set at 100 attribute points.”
Hong Dali looked on in astonishment. “Great Prodigal System? Is this thing for real? Strength, 36, isn’t that as good as being physically weak? Speed, 41, that is really too slow. Reflexes, 52, isn’t this reaction time a bit too long? Health, 39, at this rate, I might just die at any moment. Wait, my Sexual Capability is 32? What the heck, that is definitely most unacceptable!”
Without further ado, Hong Dali opened up his trousers and had a look. After he saw it, he felt a string of curses running across his heart. This thing that looks as small as half of my pinky is my penis!?
A man could be useless at anything but this!
Hong Dali’s tears rained down his face. “I might as well just bang against the wall and kill myself to see if I can travel to another dimension again…”
Fortunately, Heaven did not shut all the doors on him. Just as Hong Dali was anguished to the point of killing himself, the metallic voice of the system came on again: “Explanation: For every 100,000 yuan 2 that the host squanders, an attribute point shall be earned. Once the host reaches the normal level in all the individual stats, the Great Prodigal System will receive an upgrade. Thereafter, new items will be added. Please look forward to it.”
“Attributes points can be earned?!” At this point in time, nothing could be better than being able to raise his attribute points. Hong Dali’s face lit up. “Can I really earn attribute points through squandering and become normal?”
“Yes, you can.” Even though the system’s voice was as cold as ever, it sounded heavenly to his ears at this moment.
Hong Dali was so excited that he almost jumped in joy. “I want to squander! I want to splurge!”
“Then please accept the first mission: Squander for the first time. Mission requirement: Before midnight today, squander at least 100,000 yuan. Mission reward: One attribute point. Punishment for failure: Randomly deduct five attribute points from the host.”
“Current squandering value: 0.”
Hearing the Great Prodigal System’s words, Hong Dali immediately broke out in a cold sweat. “Squander 100,000 yuan before midnight? What the heck, it’s already 8 PM now! There are only four hours left. This won’t do, I need to get out there! I need to squander!”
Suddenly, just as these thoughts crossed his mind, the door to his room was lightly pushed open. A maid in her forties bowed slightly and said in a soft tone, “Young Master Dali, Master and Madam are calling for you. Please come with me.”