Rebirth of Chen An: Chapter 21

What an unreasonable man; they only met once on a plane. Even if his habits remained the same as in his previous life, these trivial quirks shouldn’t have aroused Ivanov’s interest enough to investigate him.

Chen An’s death should have been good news to Ivanov. It is the removal of a powerful competitor after all.

‘I thought Chinese people are all very friendly and warm. Hey - hey, don’t go, long live the friendship between Russia and China!’ Following close behind Chen An, Ivanov started spouted strings of utter nonsense.

What an idiot.

Chen An couldn’t help but frown. How could a madman like Ivanov be his competitor?

‘How do you say in it Mandarin? We have a shared destiny! Hey, An, how about a drink?’ Ivanov didn’t seem ready to part with Chen An yet.

With Ivanov’s looks and wealth, he really didn’t need to follow behind a man whose looks are nothing exceptional.

Chen An felt a sudden bewilderment; Why is Ivanov following him? Is it just because he share a few similarities to ‘Chen Zhang An’?

But even more perplexing, why is he in the cruise bar drinking with Ivanov?

‘I haven’t introduced myself; I’m Ivanov.’

For a man with such striking looks, he would attract attention no matter where he goes. Ivanov reserved the entire bar the moment he stepped inside, his burly guards standing guard at the door entrance like stone guardians, scaring away all the other tourists who tried to enter the bar.

Without a word, Chen An picked up a glass and took a sip.

His indifferent demeanor gave Ivanov an odd feeling that he was trying to kick an iron plate. Jeering disdain flashed through his eyes as he lightly circled the rim of his wine glass with a slender finger. ‘As is the usual custom of making friends, aren’t you going to tell me your name?’

‘But you know that already, don’t you?’ Chen An replied languidly. He isn’t dumb enough to jump into hole Ivanov dug for him.

He couldn’t quite accustom himself to the strong alcohol. It seems like his sensitivity to alcohol has increased immensely since his rebirth, because in the past, not even a thousand shots could bring him down. In fact, he had once depended on this alcoholic capacity that is as vast as the sea, to seal a deal with Ivanov’s father on the bar table.

Whether you are a man or woman, whether you are a child or a senior citizen, all Russians like to drink. In particularly vodka, an integral part of the lives.

The glass of martini in his hands felt like a glass of poison; Chen An had a restless urge to finish it in a mouthful.

Could it be that after switching a physical body, his alcoholic tolerance had turned to shit?

‘Don’t be a girl, An. Drink it all.’ Ivanov smiled as he raised the emptied glass in his hand, his words successfully provoking Chen An.

Though Chen An appear to be in his thirties, but his soul is that of a man over forty years old. He didn’t enjoy being looked down by someone so much younger than him one single bit.

Especially when he was a champion drinker in the past.

Chen An then did an action that he regretted to the bottom of his soul. He raised the glass of martini and downed it completely.

Translator’s notes:
*Although An is Chen An’s given name (with Chen being his family name), but typically with Chinese names that has only 2 characters, people will address them with their full name as oppose to only their given name. To do otherwise, would be informal, almost like a pet name. So, for a stranger who you technically only met once to call you ‘An’, it is a little creepy.

Rebirth of Chen An: Chapter 20

‘To my knowledge, Lao Zi has not made an appearance for many years.’

Inside the cabin, a small lean man spoke in authentic Cantonese whilst he smoked a cigarette as he cracked opened the crate Chen An bought in for inspection. 

This dark-skinned petite man is named Ah Wei and he is one of Tiger King’s subordinate. He is also the person in charge of carrying out the transaction with Chen An. Although Ah Wei had been active in the Southeast Asian region for several years, but it is not easy to gain the trust of local arm dealers in the various Southeast Asian countries. 

In times like these, they frequently require a middleman with an established reputation in the trade such as Chen An to act as a go-between to make the transaction. 

Tiger King is a mafia boss based in Guangzhou. He was born with the name Wang Guo Wei and started out as a hooligan in his youth. Eventually, with his exceptional intelligence and viciousness, he carved out a name for himself to become the Tiger King he is known today.  

Back in the day, Chen An had used the pseudonym 'Lao Zi’ to conduct business with Tiger King. But as his own business grew, he stopped concerning himself with such small dealings and instead, focused his attentions to Africa and the Middle East. 

'Please help me pass on a message to Master Tiger: If an opportunity ever arises, I would personally pay a visit to him.’

Chen An eyed the open crate of weapons. 'Are there any problems?’

Even though this is Vietnam, it is still wiser to close such business dealings as soon as possible instead of chitchatting and dawdling. 

'I will pass on your message to the boss.’ Ah Wei then gestured to the side and a person soon stepped forward with a small pouch that An Wei tossed towards Chen An.

Bouncing the pouch lightly in his hands, Chen An smiled thinly as he tucked it into his pocket.

Observing this act, Ah Wei asked, 'Aren’t you going to open it?’

'I trust Master Wang’s honor.’

Ah Wei instantly broke into a grin when he heard those words. 'You are doubt Lao Zi’s man. Let’s work together often in the future.’

'Of course.’

After he left the cargo boat, Chen An appeared barely any different from when he had first arrived in Vietnam.  Like a stereotypical tourist, he went about taking photos while he waited at the pier for the ship back to Shanghai.

All I want is gorgeous, intricate paintings of each Avatar. And I mean all of them. From Wan to Korra. Including all the Avatars we’ve never even been told about. And then I want speedpaint videos of those paintings. I need this.

Rebirth of Chen An: Chapter 19

‘Take me to the goods.’ Was Chen An’s only bland reply.
Though this man had a mild and harmless visage, but in his phoenix eyes, only a cold apathy could be found, unfathomable like a forest lake in the depths of the night.
The waiter pinned Chen An with a long look. Though he had never seen him before, but this man appeared both calm and cold; he certainly don’t behave like a novice.
'Come with me.’
The waiter removed the café apron from his waist and led Chen An into the storeroom next door. In a corner, he squatted down and shifted aside a few bags of coffee beans to reveal an entrance to an underground basement.
The waiter took the lead and leaped in with Chen An following close behind. The dark basement below was a completely different world to the café outside.
After the lights were switched on, rows of guns could be seen lining the walls. These are certainly not toy models.
'This is the first batch.’ The waiter cracked open a crate to reveal a pile of dangerous firearms buried in hay.

Chen An returned his book back into his bag. Under the watchful eye of the waiter, he slipped on a pair of gloves and retrieved a pistol from the crate. With experienced hands, he fiddled with the gun. As he expected, the sensation of holding a gun felt wonderful.
“This is an imitation of the American 0.45 caliber colt model 1911.” Chen An shot a look at the waiter beside him, the coldness flashing through his eyes driving a quiver into the waiter’s heart.
'It’s not inferior to the original!’ The petite waiter retorted viciously with a voice laced with malice.

But if Chen An could be startled so easily, he wouldn’t be Chen An at all.
'Where are the 92 pistol models?’ Chen An questioned instead as he returned the pistol back into the crate.

'In here.’ One would suddenly feel weakened and feeble after delivering a forceful punch into water. Seeing only Chen An’s emotionless display, the small waiter unconsciously softened his tone as he opened another crate for Chen An to peruse.

Just like before, Chen An started examining the goods. Although they are not authentic, the quality of these counterfeits are still acceptable. In a place like Vietnam, other than the factories publicly known to be owned by large organisations, there are also numerous underground military factories.

While he can’t dabble in large weaponry, he certainly can deal with these mass counterfeit pistols.

'Help me store them in the car.’ Chen An said as he removed his gloves.

Translator’s note:

* From ‘Tao Te Ching’ chapter 46. The complete quote ends with ‘Therefore he who is contented with contentment shall be always content’. In short, Lao Zi advocates complying with nature and giving up material desires to gain happiness.