4 Expensive Ornamental Fish

    The crowd gradually dispersed, but no one stopped discussing the prized fish - even the merchants all sighed with jealousy (1).

    Chu Xian took a deep breath and shelved all his fantasies, but just when he was about to leave, a shop by the side suddenly caught his eye.

    This shop was also a fish shop, but instead of food, it sold ornamental fish. In front of the shop were two big water tanks.

    In one tank was an 80 cm plus, red and large ornamental fish with a plastered sign reading 'Red Arowana - Highest Quality; Price - 130,000'. In the other was a pair of beautiful Sting Rays selling for 88,000.

    Even though Chu Xian also sold ornamental fish, his inventory couldn't even be compared to a hundredth or thousandth of what this store sold.

    He was puzzled - these two fish were merely pretty; why were they so expensive? Chu Xian curiously approached the store.

    The store owner looked up as Chu Xian entered and gave him a smile even though he didn't think he was a paying customer.

    Inside the shop, there were many delicate, small fish tanks. Each tank had an exquisite ornamental fish - Arowana, Platinum Ghost Rocket Fish, Koi Fish, Anemone Fish, Tai Tiger Fish, Golden Arowana and many other varieties filled the area; each fish sold for a thousand to tens of thousands RMB.

    "What do you think, friend? These fish are pretty beautiful aren't they?" said the owner from his stool.

    "Beautiful, very beautiful!" praised Chu Xian sincerely. He asked, "Boss, do people actually buy such expensive fish?"

    "Hehe," the owner laughed. "How is it possible that no one buys them? I'm even afraid that I don't have enough to sell!"

    "Son, you can't just look at the type of fish I'm selling," said the owner, as he fished a few cigarettes out of his pocket. Handing one to Chu Xian, he bragged, "All my ornamental fish are caught in the wild. Just look at the colors-so bright and shiny-and each one so vigorous. I tell you, all these fish will be sold within two months! They all cost me a lot of effort, and it's such a shame I can only get around a hundred of these premium-quality ornamental fish each year.

    "Are you thinking these fish are really expensive? Actually, they're not expensive at all - they're already a couple percent cheaper than the market price. For example, this highest quality Blood-Red Arowana Fish can be sold for 140,000 in other markets. These days, high-quality ornamental fish are becoming exceedingly rare - each year a higher price; if you can keep them for two years, their price would increase by at least thirty to forty thousand!"

    Chu Xian accepted the boss's cigarette and laughing bitterly, sighed, "I guess it's really true that rare things are more expensive. There really are so many rich people, huh?"

    "Ha Ha!" The boss thought his words were funny and laughed, "Yeah man, there are so many rich people. Once they reach a certain amount of wealth, they start caring more and more about face. Now, look at all these big bosses' offices or fancy hotel lobbies; all of them have all kinds of huge ornamental fish, and ten thousand for one fish is nothing to these people.

    "Now, if you have the highest-quality ornamental fish, you don't have to be worried about not selling. Just last year at an international fish exhibit in Guang Zhou, a Red Arowana was bought by a Japanese buyer for five million RMB, and this spring A Golden Arowana in our Hai Qing City sold for two million and eight hundred thousand."

    "Five million! Two million eight hundred thousand!" Chu Xian licked his lips. Two million and eight hundred thousand was more than enough to buy a nice house near the city center, not to mention what he could do with five million!

    "Hehe, boss, actually I also sell ornamental fish, but my fish are just a couple RMB," Chu Xian jokingly said.

    "Haha! Then, young man, you need to work harder - try to expand your business. Try buying some large farmed ornamental fish. If you get some mutated species, you can also sell them for several tens of thousands," the shop owner said with a smile.

    "Help me out, boss! Share some of your experience!" Chu Xian retorted with a laugh. He took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and said, "Boss, try some of mine. They aren't as good as yours so don't look down on me!"

    "Haha, all cigarettes are the same to me!" said the owner with a laugh. This shop owner was very talkative, so he took a cigarette, crossed his legs and began enthusiastically lecturing Chu Xian.

    Chu Xian listened at his side for more than half an hour and learned many things about expensive ornamental fish, and the boss was even able to finish two sales at the same time.

    Everything in the shop had a clearly marked price that nobody dared to bargain with, unlike Chu Xian's small shop where people bargained over even 10 RMB fish.

    When he left the shop, Chu Xian suddenly remembered that he'd left all the fish he bought at the entrance and was relieved when he ran over and found them still there. He got on his moped and drove to his store.

    From afar, Chu Xian spotted a beautiful silhouette framed by his storefront, holding a book and quietly waiting by the side of the door.

    As he looked at this silhouette, Chu Xian's heart felt warm, and he sped up in his approach, calling out, "Xiao Ying, what're you doing here?"

    "You tell me! You don't answer your phone and your store is closed! I had no choice but to wait here!" Xiao Ying pouted, glancing at Chu Xian with a discontent expression.

    Chu Xian looked at her cute expression and his lips twitched into a smile. In this life, as a loser, his proudest achievement was this girlfriend.

    Chu Xian was two grades older than Xiao Ying in college, and as soon as they met at a freshman welcoming party, Chu Xian began crazily pursuing her.

    At that time, Chu Xian's classmates all called him a "toad wishing to eat swan meat."

    Xiao Ying was very beautiful, and in Hai Qing, she was definitely one of the most attractive girls. She was 165 cm tall with straight black hair, long eyelashes, watery eyes, and two dimples that appeared every time she smiled - a real jaw dropper.

    At that time, there were at least eight guys chasing her, but the least promising one was actually the one who won the beauty.

    When Xiao Ying agreed to date him, Chu Xian was also surprised. He knew he had no merit except for being okay-looking, but Xiao Ying agreed to date him anyway. In her words, he was "the sincerest and the cutest."

    This made all his male classmates jealous, and they all regretted not chasing after Xiao Ying - maybe they could've been the person with the beauty.

    Their unpromising relationship had lasted for five years, and now, even though Chu Xian graduated and Xiao Ying was still a senior, the change didn't really affect their relationship even as Chu Xian struggled with his business.

    Xiao Ying also came from the countryside, and even in this money-worshipping society, she had turned down many rich kids to stay by his side. Chu Xian loved her all the more for it.

    It was also because of Xiao Ying that he rented a shop on Gu Wu Street to be closer to the college.

    "I lost my phone so I couldn't answer your calls," Chu Xian said while getting off his moped. He reached out and grabbed Xiao Ying's arms, smiling.

    "How could you lose your phone? What're you doing losing so many things; don't you have your head screwed on right?" Xiao Ying said with slight anger, pretending to screw on his head.

    "Hehe, it doesn't need to be; having you with me is enough," Chu Xian joked and opened the store door.
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