Chapter 50 - Death Circus #1
A day before Tae-hyuk infiltrated Tiwai International. The 10 affinity points he gained from catching the hippo were still unused. Tae-hyuk was going to strengthen a few skills with it.
"But what is this platinum draw...?”
A message like this appeared.
[Platinum Draw Chance!]
-You can obtain various skills by using 10 affinity points.
-It is possible to acquire skills that aren’t available due to the your low rank.
-The more you draw in a row, the more points you will consume.
In the beginning, you can draw a skill with 10 points. However, from the second draw, it will increase in increments of 10.
"Then the second draw will cost 100 affinity points...”
It seemed to imply that he could draw every time he raised his rank. Tae-hyuk clicked his tongue.
"Wow, isn’t this completely like a mobile game?”
It seemed to be exactly the same, except affinity points were used instead of cash. It meant that there were also losing tickets.
“… Should I strengthen my skills? Or should I pick up a new skill...”
Tae-hyuk stood at the crossroads of choice. He thought for a while before coming to a conclusion.
“Yes. This is a man’s romance! This time I will draw X-ray Vision!”
It was a skill that he had missed gaining. He decided to invest 10 affinity points in order to obtain the man’s romance. Tae-hyuk pressed the START button and saw the roulette turn around on the Demon Revealing Mirror. There were cheerful sound effects as he received the message indicating that he got a new skill.
"W-wait a minute. This skill is...!”
Tae-hyuk’s eyes widened as he gazed at the Demon Revealing Mirror.
The stage was at Tiwai headquarters where the Death Circus was being held.
The time left until the closing- 310 minutes.
“There is a winning strategy.”
Cha Soo-hyun said with a confident expression.
“Really? A winning strategy sound really appetizing.”
Tae-hyuk’s eyes flashed as he gazed at Cha Soo-hyun.
"It has been less than an hour since the two of you participated. Um. You’re Lee Cheol-su and An Eun-jeong.”
Those who attended the Death Circus had name badges on their chests. It was a simple digital display that had two things written on it: the owner’s name and the amount of money they possessed. The participants had to always wear it.
Cha Soo-hyun confirmed the money of Seo Tae-hyuk and An Eun-jeong. The two people had a combined value of 115 million won.
"I'll try to keep it simple. I currently have 85 million won. Do you want to check it?”
"Indeed. The three of us have exactly 200 million. There are two major types of games in the Death Circus. You might already know after looking around for a while... There are various attractions where you risk your lives to win prizes, or you can gamble with other participants. These two types.”
Cha Soo-hyun watched Tae-hyuk and Eun-young before asking.
"Uh, are the two of you lovers?”
“Did you notice? I won’t deny it.”
“Then you will surely want to escape from here together.”
Tae-hyuk made an exaggerated glum expression.
“… The problem is that we need 400 million to do this. I didn’t know it was such a crazy game. Nevertheless, I should at least send Eun-jeong out of here.”
“Ah...! You are prepared to sacrifice yourself for your lover! However, there is no need to do this as my winning strategy means that all three of us can get out of here safely. I can get 200 million won per person.”
Cha Soo-hyun licked his lips and swallowed his saliva. His prey was already halfway there, and all he had to do now was eat. He had come to this place two times already, and knew how to eat people. That was how he managed to obtained 85 million won in two hours.
"Let me explain the blind spot in the Death Circus’ system. The ultimate goal is to get 200 million won and escape from this place.
“Um... We can definitely get out of here if we get 200 million won.”
“Yes. In a nutshell, no one here has more than 200 million won.”
Cha Soo-hyun started to explain with a serious expression.
His aim was to make money easily by taking it away from the other participants. He wouldn’t risk himself with the dangerous attractions. By default, the majority of the participants wouldn’t be able to live.
There were approximately 30 participants in the Death Circus. The total amount of money circulating throughout the circus was nearly two billion won. However, every time an hour passed, 10 million won would be taken out as the participation fee. In the end, the total amount of money of all the participants would keep decreasing.
It was literally a zero-sum game. In order to increase it, participating in the missions was necessary in order to get money from the organizer. In other words, there was still two billion remaining. If he continued to win at PvP, then he could reach 600 million, enough for three people.
“The most typical gamble here is Bluff Poker. If you lose the ante, then you will pay with money or a corresponding amount of blood. It is a rate of 10 million won per 100ml. If a human loses two litres of blood then they would die, even if they are a strong adult male. If we combine our assets, then it is 200 million won. When looking at the odds, we can draw two litres of the opponent’s blood before losing all our money. I am confident in a fight against anyone. Will you believe in me and entrust me with your money?”
The 200 million was a carefully calculated amount that would create a dominate position in any gambles conducted inside the Death Circus. It would literally be a one-sided slaughter. The problem was that the audience didn’t want to see such things. They wanted a fight where they didn’t know who would die. Thus, anyone who collected 200 million would get a platinum membership and would be sent out of here.
Cha Soo-hyun’s winning strategy was simple: an alliance between three participants. All the money would be given to one person who would play against the others.
If so, they would be able to win at Bluff Poker. Bluff Poker was a game played with money at first. After the money ran out, then the game would truly begin in earnest. The audience could watch as blood was drawn and as the person slowly died. But if someone had 200 million won, then they could boldly play without fear of drawing their blood.
"Bluff Poker is literally a game of deception. It can best be described as Indian Poker. Either way, if you have 200 million, then you can win.”
It was a famous card game with the nickname Bluff Blindness. There would be a deck of 20 cards ranging from 1 to 10. Then a card would be placed on their forehead. The participant could only see the opponent’s card without knowing their own. In that state, they would make bets. Watching a calm person lose their money and then start to draw blood was very funny. That’s why it was one of the most popular games for the audience.
Tae-hyuk listened to the explanation before opening his mouth.
"This money represents our lives. How can we believe you?”
Cha Soo-hyun smiled and pulled a business card from his wallet. Written on it was the name of the famous poker player, Cha Soo-hyun.
"Can you keep a poker face when betting against a person holding a 2 of hearts? I can do it.”
“Cough! Still, I can’t completely trust Cha Soo-hyun. This is a place where our lives are on the line.”
Cha Soo-hyun nodded with a grave expression.
“Yes, that’s right, so I prepared this contract. Do you want to check the details?”
Tae-hyuk received the piece of paper from Cha Soo-hyun.
"Um. The person who signs the contract will share all funds. If the person violates the agreement, then legal action will be taken.”
“Yes. If this exists then I can never betray you. How about it? Do you want to work together to escape this crazy game?”
Tae-hyuk made a worried expression. An Eun-jeong muttered in a small voice that she would leave all the decisions to him. Cha Soo-hyun didn’t miss this.
Tae-hyuk nodded and held out his hand.
“I’ve come to a conclusion. You are a poker player, and will do a lot better than someone like me. I will trust Cha Soo-hyun.”
"Hahaha. An excellent choice.”
The three people signed the contract prepared by Cha Soo-hyun. Cha Soo-hyun smiled at them. Naïve people would end up deceived in a place like this.
The contract he prepared was certainly legally valid. However, that only applied on the outside. In here, it was just like a piece of tissue paper. Entrusting their lives to such a thing... They were a really stupid couple!
"But how can we hand over the money?”
"Didn’t the person who gave it to you explain? They were probably busy and forgot. It’s simple. The badges have a tiny microphone built in that allows the audience to hear all of the conversations here. You can pass over your rights by handing it to someone else. If you agree, then the money will be passed onto to the other party."
Cha Soo-hyun made the motion to hand something over.
At that time, Eun-jeong dropped the badge that she had been holding. Tae-hyuk bent over, picked it up, and bumped into Cha Soo-hyun’s body.
"Ah, I'm really sorry. Eun-jeong is a little clumsy.”
“Haha. It’s okay. Then, shall we exchange?”
Tae-hyuk first received all of the money from Eun-jeong. The badge on his chest now said 115. Now it was Tae-hyuk’s turn to hand everything over to Cha Soo-hyun.
“… I will take care of it.”
Cha Soo-hyun smiled after seeing Tae-hyuk’s badge. Now he had to wait to receive permission from Tae-hyuk. Cha Soo-hyun made a satisfied expression after Tae-hyuk handed over his badge. Everything was going as planned.
“Yes. With this, the funds will be transferred to the other party. Do you agree?” Tae-hyuk’s expression, that had been blank until now, suddenly changed as he asked the question.
At that moment, Cha Soo-hyun swallowed his saliva. He thought that this guy was a little bunny, but he was currently giving off the atmosphere of a predator.
It couldn’t be... Was Cha Soo-hyun mistaken?
However, the other person’s badge was in his hand. He was the one holding the knife, and there was nothing the other person could do.
"I agree. Then we are on the same team... As if! Hahaha! You were tricked by me!”
Cha Soo-hyun laughed. The calm and rational appearance that he had showed for a while disappeared. This place was a jungle of deception, and blindly believing in someone was akin to jumping off of a cliff.
“Huh? What are you talking about?"
"Do you still not understand! You were deceived! Now all of this money is mine!”
"B-But the contract...”
"It will be time to pay the fee in a few minutes! If you don’t have 10 million won then you will be forced to cross the Bridge of Pain! Ahaha! Your bodies will melt into nothing!”
Tae-hyuk sank down with a blank expression.
"W-We were deceived?”
"N-No! I don’t want to die!”
An Eun-jeong shrieked with a desperate expression.
“Hahahaha! The dealers are coming to catch those who can’t pay the fee.”
Cha Soo-hyun chuckled and waved towards the men in black suits. They were wearing masks to hide their identities.
"Hey, why are you so late? Finish off this couple. What type of scene will occur in front of the Bridge of Pain? Hahaha!”
At that time, there was an announcement inside the Death Circus.
-Informing all participants. In a moment, 10 million won will be deducted from the money you are carrying. If you can’t pay, then please accept that you will be forced to pay.
This is the third hour out of the eight hours of the Death Circus.
At that time, anybody who doesn’t have the money to pay will be publicly executed.
“Hahaha! It is time for a fun execution! W-Wait a minute. What are you doing now? You should be...”
Three black suited men grabbed the laughing Cha Soo-hyun. One of the men in black suits said,
“Cha Soo-hyun. Your current balance is zero. You can’t pay the fee, so we will enforce it. Take him away.”
Cha Soo-hyun couldn’t understand and started screaming.
"What are you talking about? I have money! It is 200 million!”
The black suited man explained with no emotion in his voice.
"You handed it to Lee Cheol-su’s badge six minutes ago. Five minutes ago, you agreed to the statement that the funds would be transferred to the other person. It all belongs to Lee Cheol-su now.”
"W-wait a minute. What the hell?! I-I obviously...”
Cha Soo-hyun’s face distorted as he looked at Tae-hyuk. Tae-hyuk smirked as he pulled a badge from his pocket and placed it on his chest. It now had the number ‘180’ written on it.
“I-I obviously received your badge! This bastard! Shit! What?”
"Ah, you mean that? It was a fake. For reference, I stole yours earlier. You definitely agreed to transfer ownership to me. Is there a problem?”
Cha Soo-hyun screamed. He had accepted the badge of the opponent and agreed that money would be handed over to the other person. However, the badge he received was a fake. He had definitely checked it a few times...
In addition, Tae-hyuk said that he stole Cha Soo-hyun’s badge. When on earth did he do that? Then when Cha Soo-hyun agreed...
“Yes. You agreed to hand me your money. This money will be very useful. Thank you.”
“Fuck! I was tricked! This bastard tricked me! What are you doing? Get that bastard! Catch him!”
The black suited men gagged Cha Soo-hyun before literally dragging him elsewhere. He would probably be forced to cross the Bridge of Pain.
Tae-hyuk spoke to Eun-jeong who was shivering behind him.
“Do you want to go and watch the Bridge of Pain?”
"No, I don’t... But even if he is a scammer, trying someone and killing them...”
Tae-hyuk spoke casually.
"Anyone who wants to eat somebody should be prepared to have it happen to them.”
An Eun-jeong got goosebumps at that moment. She felt a deep abyss in the eyes of the man in front of her.
“… I thought you were Prince Charming who came to save me.”
Tae-hyuk answered naturally.
“Prince Charming? I'm sorry I didn't live up to your expectations. I'm not such an upstanding person. Well, it is easier to think of me as a criminal catching other criminals.”
"A criminal catching other criminals...”
"Noona should be careful. You never know when you will be eaten by me.”
Tae-hyuk said before laughing.
He had a winning strategy. It wasn’t just the participants here. There were some criminals planted by Tiwai, like Cha Soo-hyun. They ate up other participants.
Tae-hyuk took out the Demon Revealing Mirror and checked the message. It was the name of his newly acquired seventh skill.
Crime Skill Counterfeit. The ability to make fakes. He used it to create a fake badge to trick Cha Soo-hyun.
Tae-hyuk watched the trembling Eun-jeong.
"Eh? It was just a joke... If you look like that, then I will really seem like a bad person. Ah, that's right. Noona. Do you want to see a magic trick?”
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