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In the afternoon, Pei Qian boarded the car and left Fei Huang Workspace for Huanyu Tianjie. He had seen Tomorrow is Beautiful’s edits. On the whole, Pei Qian had mixed feelings.
He was happy because the film was not very well-edited. There were no special effects at all either. What’s more, the plot looked very toxic. It looked like it had the potential to fail.
Yet, Pei Qian was worried because the actors had acted very well in the film. This was especially so for the three main leads—Zhang Zuting, Lu Zhiyao, and Lin Ruyi. They had delivered excellent performances, which made Pei Qian panic.
Lu Zhiyao had stopped acting in such an exaggerated manner; nobody would be able to tell that Lin Ruyi was a new actress; and needless to say, Zhang Zuting’s acting skills as a movie king were flawless.
Pei Qian could not tell what kind of reaction a film like that would get.
As he tried to organize his thoughts, Pei Qian arrived at Huanyu Tianjie.
“Boss Pei, do you want me to go up with you?” Little Sun asked.
After some thought, Pei Qian answered, “There’s no need. Wait for me in the car. I’ll just take a quick look and come back.”
Pei Qian had not thought much about the trip. He only wanted to check if the shared phone booth was safe. Then, he would go back towards Handong University to meet Lin Chang.
At least, that had been his plan until he arrived at the top floor of the shopping mall.
It was a Saturday afternoon. Pei Qian had already been prepared to see many people in Huanyu Tianjie. However, he became stunned when he stepped out of the elevator.
He glanced at the entrance of the cinema and became confused. “Eh? Why are there so many people? Is there a particularly good movie premiering today?”
After taking a closer look, he was stunned. There were many people at the entrance of the cinema, but it did not look like they were planning to watch a movie! Nobody was maintaining order in the area, but everyone formed two neat lines.
The two lines were moving very quickly. One of them was for people to take photographs in front of the shared phone booth before leaving. The other was for people to take a number from the machine in front of the phone booth and then leave.
Pei Qian took a closer look at the phone booth’s exterior.
There was a huge painting on it: the Guardian of Justice, Modest!
The huge painting took up most of the space on the front of the shared phone booth. Modest’s body was painted to look burly. His resolute gaze was fixed to the front, and there were various types of weapons behind him that made him look even more heroic.
Many people were lining up just to take a photograph with the huge painting.
What’s more, it looked different from the ordinary posters and the game’s concept art. Ruan Guangjian had sketched the painting himself, and he had employed many special techniques. His thick brush strokes looked like they were done freehand. With one look, anyone could tell that it was very artistic.
It was an outstanding painting, and it was no wonder that everyone in the shopping mall wanted to come and take a photograph with it.
Pei Qian stood in front of the phone booth, looking at the huge painting and feeling speechless. “F*ck…”
He had indeed asked Ruan Guangjian to paint whatever he wanted to decorate the shared phone booth, but he had not told him to draw the Coin-Scattering Hedgehog!
For some reason, Pei Qian felt like the Coin-Scattering Hedgehog was staring at him. Its lips were curled up in a subtle smile… as if it was mocking him…
Then, he surveyed the shared phone booth itself.
A monitor was facing the escalator. At the moment, it was displaying the number of the customer being served: 14, and seven minutes left.
Pei Qian’s heart stopped for a moment. A bad feeling overwhelmed him. He looked past the crowd to see the numbers being generated by the machine in front of the shared phone booth. It was now at number 29.
In other words, fourteen customers had experienced the shared phone booth since it opened for business in the morning. In addition, there were fifteen people in line!
Of course, that was not including the people who had taken a number but who had not ended up entering the booth. However, Pei Qian guessed that not many customers fell into the category. At first, Pei Qian had heaved a sigh of relief when he saw many people in line but no one entering the shared phone booth. He had thought that everyone only wanted to look at the phone booth but not pay to enter.
Now, he understood that there were indeed people waiting to enter the booth. However, those people had taken a number instead. The system was more modern!
Pei Qian quickly whipped out his phone and scanned the QR code to download the application for the shared phone booth.
The application had been very simple at first. It had only allowed people to scan codes. However, there were many more functions now.
The most obvious change was the queuing function. One only had to take a number at the door of the phone booth to enter in line. Then, they could fill in the estimated amount of time they would spend inside.
The system would sum up everyone’s estimated time so that users would know how long they would have to wait until their turn. Once it was almost their turn, users could go to the shared phone booth to wait.
Users could also do other things on this page, such as give up their position in the line.
That way, people would not have to stand by and wait in front of the phone booth’s entrance. They could do other things like shop or have desserts while waiting for their turn.
Pei Qian glanced at the estimated time remaining on the application. It was nearly three hours!
What’s more, there were still people taking numbers. Pei Qian did a quick calculation of the price and turned pale.
The booth made ten yuan every fifteen minutes. That added up to forty yuan per hour. From the looks of the current situation, the shared phone booth had probably been occupied since the shopping mall opened for business. That meant it would be occupied for eleven to twelve hours today.
In sum, the shared phone booth could make four to five hundred yuan per day!
Of course, the shared phone booth was only constantly occupied because today was Saturday, and there were more people in the shopping mall.
On a normal workday, the shared phone booth would probably earn less.
Still, no matter what, that was a considerable figure!
Pei Qian was stumped. This is so strange! Isn’t this just a shared phone booth? What are people doing there for an hour?!
He looked around, trying to find out the answer to the question. However, the curtains were drawn in the shared phone booth. He could not see anything, but he could faintly hear music coming from inside.
Since there were many people on this level and it was quite loud, he could hardly hear the music.
Pei Qian refused to give up. He walked one round around the phone booth, but the curtains were too thick. There were gaps, but Boss Pei could not possibly try to peek through the gaps at what was happening inside.
He faintly saw two people seated inside, but he could not tell what exactly they were doing
Still, after making one round around the phone booth, he found a stack of flyers on the other side. The flyers had just been placed there for whoever was interested in taking one.
Pei Qian took one and immediately realized that it was not a simple advertisement like other flyers.
There were words and pictures on the flyer, and the picture looked like a screenshot from a certain television program. ‘A customer suffered a cardiac arrest while shopping in the shopping mall, but he was saved by an AED! The shared phone booth’s hide a ‘life-saving weapon’.’ “Recently, in one of Jingzhou City’s shopping malls, a worker in the shopping mall used an AED to save a young man’s life.
“The scene shown in the picture happened on the top floor of Huanyu Tianjie. A man suddenly collapsed on the ground after walking out of the cinema. When news of this spread to the workers in the shopping mall, they immediately worked together to save him.
“While one called for the ambulance, another dispersed the crowd and administered first-aid on the man.
“At that critical moment, a worker rushed to the ‘shared phone booth’ and took the Automatic External Defibrillator from inside before attempting to rescue the man.
“After four defibrillations, the man’s heart started beating, and he started breathing again… just as the ambulance arrived at the scene.
“After that, the man was sent to the hospital for treatment. Doctors said that the man was fortunate to have been treated with an AED. Otherwise, the consequences might have been dire.
“Professionals say that 85% of all cardiac arrests occur because of ventricular fibrillation, which can only be dealt with by electric defibrillation. If one can be treated with an AED during a cardiac arrest, the chances of him surviving can greatly increase.
“That gave rise to the idea of the ‘golden four minutes’.
“Statistics show that over 90% of sudden deaths occur outside of hospitals. That means that being able to do electrical defibrillation on patients using an AED could be the key to saving the lives of those who suffer from cardiac arrests.
“However, there aren’t many AEDs available around the country. Reporters have visited various train stations around Beijing, but it seems that the norm is not to have AEDs prepared.
“However, in Jingzhou, a small shared phone booth hides such a life-saving piece of equipment. What’s more, it was put to good use and saved someone’s life. That’s the result of the shared phone booth’s creator being equipped with knowledge of public safety and social responsibility.
“The shared phone booth’s creator, Zhang Wang, shared his vision with us. His dream is for the shared phone booth to become a cultural landmark of cities, a piece of quiet in the hustle and bustle of city life, and a lighthouse that imparts a sense of social responsibility…”
Pei Qian’s eyes widened. On closer inspection, he realized that this was not paper media. The logo in the top corner of the photo belonged to Channel 2 of China Central Television.
“D*mn it, it’s only been a week or so since I last visited. How did such a big thing
Pei Qian was dumbfounded. He recalled the last time he had seen the shared phone booth. It had been slipshod and bare, and its surroundings had been so quiet that birds could have built nests there.
Yet, now, not only were there long lines of people waiting to enter, but there had also been a news report on the phone booth!
All of a sudden, Pei Qian felt like he did not know the world at all…
At that moment, the door to the shared phone booth opened. The couple inside left and took their paper cups and microphone covers with them. The couple behind them entered without wasting any time.
During that split second, Pei Qian looked in the phone booth to see what there was.
A drinks machine, jukeboxes, capsule machines… many entertaining activities were lined up inside!
Pei Qian could clearly remember that there had only been a phone and a water dispenser when he had visited the last time…
People could have soft drinks, play with the capsule machine, sing, and show off the fact that they had visited the phone booth. It was no wonder that they did not want to come out once they went inside!
Obviously, visitors had to pay extra to use the drink machines and capsule machines. Adding this to their total revenue…
What’s more, this was only one shared phone booth.
As if he had just realized something, Pei Qian quickly walked to the elevator and left.
The phone booth in Huanyu Tianjie was hopeless. Not only had it become popular among customers, but it had also saved someone’s life before. There had even been a news report about it!
Pei Qian could not undo any of those now!
However, he could do other things like immediately stop Ruan Guangjian from beautifying the rest of the shared phone booths!
At first, Pei Qian had thought that the shared phone booth would only have a phone and a water dispenser. He had thought that nobody would pay to enter. That was why he had asked Ruan Guangjian to paint the exterior… so that he could spend more money.
However, the painting had undoubtedly turned the phone booth into a cultural landmark. Many people were being drawn from all over to take photos with it. Naturally, those people would want to pay to enter the shared phone booth as well!
Thus, Pei Qian had to stop Ruan Guangjian from painting the other shared phone booths as soon as possible!
Pei Qian did some rough calculations. Ruan Guangjian could only finish one phone booth every three days. That meant he would need two months to finish all twenty phone booths.
Only ten or so days had passed since Pei Qian first commissioned Ruan Guangjian. At most, the latter would probably only have completed four phone booths.
There was still time!
As Pei Qian waited for the elevator, he called Ruan Guangjian.
“Hello, Boss Pei. What’s the matter?” It was quiet where Ruan Guangjian was. It did not sound like he was at a shopping mall.
Pei Qian did not think much of it and said, “Er… how many shared phone booths have you painted?”
Ruan Guangjian’s voice was filled with confusion. “Shared phone booths? Haven’t I done them all already?”
Pei Qian’s mind was filled with question marks.
He began to feel light-headed. “I thought you could only finish one every three days. How did you finish all of them so quickly?”
Ruan Guangjian smiled. “Oh, that’s right. Completing one every three days was too slow! I thought that by the time I finished all twenty phone booths, the New Year would have arrived. I had other work to do, and I couldn’t afford to be held up with this project.
“I found a group of ten or so friends and outsourced the job. Each of them was put in charge of one shared phone booth, and they just had to paint according to the concept art I gave them. “Don’t worry, Boss Pei. They’re all my friends, and I can vouch for the quality of their work. I’ve checked every one of those shared phone booths. They’re all nicely done. There were some mistakes here and there, but I’ve already corrected them all.
“Er… Boss Pei?”
Hearing no reply for a long time, Ruan Guangjian thought that the line had been cut off. However, after a while, Pei Qian said, “It’s alright, then.”
After hanging up, Pei Qian silently walked into the elevator and descended to the parking lot. “Boss Pei, where are we going now?” Although Pei Qian had spent a longer time than he had expected upstairs, Little Sun did not ask too many questions.
After some consideration, Pei Qian darkly said, “We’re going to Shidai Shopping Center.”
He refused to give up. He had to see the other shared phone booths with his own eyes!
“Alright.” Without asking further, Little Sun started the car and drove off.
Pei Qian whipped his phone out to send a message to Lin Chang.
He had to see all the shared phone booths this afternoon before meeting Lin Chang.
Lin Chang’s reply came almost immediately: “Boss Pei, rest assured and work. I have work to do as well. Don’t worry.”
Pei Qian heaved a long sigh. Luckily, Boss Lin’s a fair and reasonable person!
After informing Lin Chang, Pei Qian immediately called Chen Kangtuo. “How’s the haunted house doing? Speed things up for me!”
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