Chapter 10: How to make Money? (1)
Given that whatever had been in the suitcase had been able to change Gary into an Altered, or at least an Altered-like being, the Underdogs should be desperately looking for him by now. However, judging by the fact that Gary didnt see any of the gangs members waiting for him by the school entrance, he could only assume Kai hadnt informed them yet, for whatever reason.
It was the end of the day, so Gary knew where Kai would be. Everyone at their school was required to attend some extracurricular activity clubs. Since it was impossible to circumvent this mandatory requirement, Kai had somehow talked the teachers into letting him create an Astrology Club. Unsurprisingly, he was the clubs only member, but since he actually stayed at school for that period of time, the teachers left him be.
Opening the doors that led to the roof, Gary could see Kai standing up against the surrounding outer fence, looking down at the school field. His bleach blonde hair blew in the wind along with the dangly earring on his left ear.
It was as if Kai was posing for a K-Pop photo shoot. It didnt hurt that he totally had the looks to go with it as well. Gary didnt swing that way, but he could easily imagine how a girl would swoon over Kai after seeing the picturesque scene in front of him.
“Kai,” Gary called out as he carefully strolled over to him, making sure to pay attention to his surroundings. He got ready to sprint away in case this turned out to be some sort of elaborate trap. “I need to speak with you.”
Watching Gary act so paranoid, Kai tried to stifle his laughter, but eventually burst out to Garys surprise.
“Dont worry, the Underdogs dont know that youre here.” The older student informed him as he wiped away a tear from all that laughter. “I was sure you would come to me and youre right on time.”
Looks like they already did try and contact him. Just how much does he know and why hasnt he reported me yet? Did he want to make sure I wouldnt try and run away first?
“Youve really caused quite a commotion. I knew you were desperate for money, but I thought the Underdogs were paying you well. From what Ive heard youre actually regarded as quite the capable and reliable transporter, so just how much did the other side pay you to bring them the package? ” Kai asked Gary. His face didnt change, making it hard for Gary to judge whether this was a trick question or just pure curiosity.
“Thats not what happened!!!” Gary protested vehemently. He would have loved to explain what had really happened, alas it was impossible. The situation was just too crazy to be regarded as anything but some bad excuse from a teenager. Whats worse, if someone were to actually believe him, Gary had the feeling that the consequence for him might be far worse.
“Yeah, youre right, youve never struck me as the double-crossing type. You care too much about your family to try something like that. Correct me if Im wrong, but the whole reason you wanted me to introduce you was for the sake of your sister Amy and your mother, right?”
Hearing this, Garys heart started to thump louder and faster.
The situation at Garys home had turned for the worse a few months ago. He had noticed that more and more letters had come through the door, and he was beginning to suspect that his mum was hiding a great pain behind the smile she would give him every day.
Desperate to help out, Gary needed to find a way to make money, but being only sixteen years old prevented him from doing any official work. The only thing he could do was a paper route, although that paid peanuts, and you were competing with around a hundred twelve-year-old boys that wanted to do the same thing.
While thinking hard about the best thing to do, he walked past a particular student in the hallway. Kai Hamper. As he swung his arms, Gary saw his designer black and gold watch shining brightly. His limited edition trainers cost more than the wardrobe of Garys entire family put together. Finally, sitting there at eye level, he wore a unique thick gold chain that he was sure was made out of twenty-four-carat gold.
Kai was a student that just screamed wealth. It was strange, as being in a Tier-3 city meant there werent many wealthy people. Still, it wasnt completely impossible. There were a couple of reasons for wealthy people to live in a lower-tier city. The most common one would be having a company based in that city or they had decided that trading some guaranteed safety for the chance to live like a king instead of a commoner would be worth it.
After all, houses and apartments prices rose to ridiculous levels as you went up the citys tiers. A mansion in a Tier-3 city could only get you a small apartment in Tier-1.
Whatever the case, ultimately a kid who was barely older than Gary had access to a LOT of money. Plucking up the courage and concerned about his familys situation, Gary went to pay him a visit one day. It was lunch break, and Gary was met with surprise as he saw Kai sitting at the very back on his own staring out the window, even though he had all that money.
He wasnt eating anything, nor was anyone paying him any attention or bother. Pulling a chair up from one of the empty seats, Gary sat next to him at his table.
“Do you mind?” Gary asked.
What Gary didnt realise at the time was that Kai was a person that was avoided in the school. He never really paid any attention to those things, but Kai often got into fights, and there were rumours about where he had gotten his money from. But even if Gary had known about these rumours, it still wouldnt have stopped him.
“I came here to ask you, how do I make money?” Gary asked.
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