Chapter 52 - Death Circus #3
Three hours had passed since the Death Circus started. Kim Joon-young frowned as he watched the progress on the monitors.
He didn’t like it.
"This is a stage that is lacking in beauty.”
There was no drama, nor was there a stunning victory. Usually, at least three times the amount of the current scenes would emerge.
All of this was due to that Choi Sung-yeol brat. Kim Joon-young had prepared the best stage and produced a variety of situations that would pull out human instincts and selfishness. Choi Sung-yeol’s role was to gather the participants. It was a divided structure that took full advantage of both people’s skills.
He usually put a wolf among 29 general participants before opening the Death Circus. However, the number of regular participants was exceptionally low this time. In the end, only 25 people were gathered. Two people entered shortly after it opened. In the end, he was forced to call five wolves in.
The result was this: nine people had already died, but none of the proper scenes came out.
In particular, Cha Soo-hyun was the worst. He cheated the opponent with his words and took their money away. It wasn’t fun or impressive.
Kim Joon-young wanted to see participants challenging the attractions. Betraying those who believed in them to take the money away, or people risking their lives on a last gamble for revenge. Kim Joon-young wanted such drama.
Humans were filled with desires, selfishness, and greed. These emotions were the best seasonings for the Death Circus. If Cha Soo-hyun was left alone, then he would completely ruin this stage.
This had to stop. Kim Joon-young pulled out his phone to deal with Cha Soo-hyun.
For him, sheep and wolves were both consumables. The most important thing was to create the best stage, and it was necessary to get rid of Cha Soo-hyun in order for that to happen.
Kim Joon-young suddenly got a good idea. If Choi Sung-yeol didn’t act properly, then Kim Joon-young would recruit the participants. Most of the people prepared by Choi Sung-yeol were those on the verge of ruin due to their debts. There was a bitter taste and they lacked freshness.
What if he lied to a young woman on the street about becoming a model in order to make her follow him? Maybe he could abduct a child and force their parents to participate. That way, a drama that was several times better than the current one would be born.
Kim Joon-young decided to try it next time.
Then the phone was connected.
"It’s me. Replace a player. Take Cha Soo-hyun out right now.”
-S-Sorry but he has already been sent off...
A thick vein throbbed on Kim Joon-young’s forehead.
“Who told you to send him off?! This stage is mine. Without my permission...”
-It wasn’t me. He was forcibly ejected by another player.
-He was deceived by a man called Lee Cheol-su and handed over all of his money to the other party.
Kim Joon-young’s face distorted. It was really unexpected, but Kim Joon-young decided to think of this as another opportunity.
“Hahat! That’s right. Isn’t a situation like this fun? Indeed, he was a black sheep.”
It was slang for a criminal hiding amongst the sheep. Kim Joon-young’s thoughts started to move rapidly. He had to take advantage of this situation and turn it into a great drama. It was the only way to save the stage that had been ruined.
“Yes. Deliver a message to all the wolves on stage right now. I will give a special bonus to those who hunt the black sheep.”
-Yes! I understand.
Cha Soo-hyun was the smallest of the wolves, since all he could do was move his mouth.
Kim Joon-young started laughing. How long could the black sheep last against the wolves, armed with solid teeth and sharp claws? He couldn’t stand the anticipation.
Hunt the black sheep.
This instruction was issued to the wolves. A special bonus would be given to the one who was successful. A huge 100 million won bounty. That was 50% of the sum that they needed to earn.
The wolves’ eyes flashed. Although they were experts in various fields, this was the Death Circus, a place where they never knew what would happen. There wasn’t a 100% guarantee that they would be safe. Even so, they decided to participate for the sake of making money. Of course, there were some wolves who liked the taste of sheep, but they were few in number.
‘I will get 100 million by catching Lee Cheol-su!’
That thought popped into the heads of all the wolves. If four wolves converged on the black sheep at the same time, then he could be easily eliminated. Of course, they had no intention of doing that.
The Producer would be angry that the spectacle that he created had been suppressed. Everything they did was in the name of the entertainment of the guests.
The remaining four wolves prepared to catch the black sheep.
There were monitors of various sizes in the ballroom. They could see images from hundreds of cameras. If they chose a place that they wanted to watch, then it would be displayed.
The guests could pick the participant that suited their tastes. But now, the same person was showing on every monitor. All the masked people wanted to see him. In the end, they all assembled at the biggest monitor to watch the showdown between the black sheep and a wolf in Bluff Poker.
The opera mask said,
"For those of you who just arrived, I will briefly explain the situation. The sheep on the screen has just eaten a wolf. His name is Lee Cheol-su.”
The masked people were dismayed.
"The younger one?”
“Yes. It seems like he hasn’t even gone to the army yet.”
"Looking at those clothes, he looks like a good-for-nothing neighbourhood punk...”
"Did he really eat a wolf?”
The opera mask clapped, forcing everyone else to fall silent.
"The game if Bluff Poker, everybody's favorite game. Lee Cheol-su has 180 million right now. Let’s see, the wolf... He has 90 million.”
“What? Isn’t that close to 200 million? What’s going on?”
The opera mask’s eyes narrowed at the question from another masked person.
"I was surprised at first as well. Such an amount means that he will have an overwhelming lead over the wolf. However, that isn’t the case. In fact, the game hasn’t even started yet. This is the result of taking that woman and Cha Soo-hyun’s money.”
Those who had questions were convinced and nodded.
"He looks like a punk, but it is kind of good? By default, he has the advantage in Bluff Poker.”
"With this amount, then he might win again.”
The opera mask refuted the people talking.
“Do you think the Producer wouldn’t take action?”
Opera mask manipulated the monitor to see the wolves. There were two men in their 30s. The masked people shouted as they remembered their faces.
"The Park Tae-soo and Park Dae-soo brothers!”
“Yes. The brother wolves have gathered to catch the sheep.”
“T-This is a jackpot!”
The masked people shrieked.
The Tae-soo and Dae-soo brothers were famous card sharks known for working together.
“Yes. Each brother has 90 million. They always go against another person and win. It might be the same in this situation.”
Tae-soo was known for his poker face that never lost its calm, no matter the circumstances, while Dae-soo had a keen eye for reading the opponent’s cards. Of course, dexterity was a basic thing for both of them. If the two of them combined their strengths, they became a team that no other card shark could compete with. It was a confrontation between the sheep who took Cha Soo-hyun’s money and the gambling brothers.
A huge battle was about to happen. The opera mask manipulated the monitor towards the viewpoint of the table.
"The game seems to be started straight away.”
A time limit existed in the Death Circus. Thus, all the games were fast paced. Bluff Poker needed a dealer so a man in a black suit came and started to mix the cards.
It was two sets from 1-10. That was a total of 10 games. The number of cards meant it was relatively easy to count the cards.
It was Tae-soo who participated in the match. The lion mask sat on a chair and stared at the screen in front of him as he spoke. The opera mask next to him was in charge of commentary.
"This match is important, so the brother with the good poker face emerged before the other one.”
"The basic bet is 10 million.”
“Hoh. Isn’t it usually one million?”
"They know that the opponent has a lot of money. It’s an action designed to end this quickly.”
The opera mask laughed.
“So if they run out of money, they will need to bet 100ml of blood. One litre of blood might be pulled out.”
“Haha! I am looking forward to it. It will be a really exciting match.”
The card was placed in front of Cheol-su and Tae-soo. The two men put the card on their forehead. They could see the opponent’s card but not their own. Betting or withdrawing would now begin.
"Cheol-su has a 3 of spades, and Tae-soo has an 8 of clubs.”
Cheol-su bet 10 million, even though his opponent’s card was quite high. Tae-soo maintained his poker face and followed the call. In the end, Tae-soo won. In a time that was shorter than a minute, Tae-soo had won 20 million.
"Indeed, a professional gambler. He figured out his opponent’s playing style, and is playing calmly.”
The next game immediately started. The masked people sighed as they saw the cards on both foreheads.
Cheol-su had a 10 of spades. The strongest card. It would win no matter what card the opponent had. However, this was Bluff Poker. Only the opponent could see the card.
“Oh my god... Tae-soo pulled a 9 of clubs. I think this game is over.”
The situation was very fun.
And 9 of clubs and a 10 of spades were going against each other. Tae-soo saw the opponent’s 10 of spades and had to decide if he would bluff or forfeit. If he chose to bluff, then he would have to risk a high bet. In the case of Cheol-su, he might withdraw when seeing that the opponent had a 9 of clubs. The game depended on whether Tae-soo bluffed or forfeited.
Indian Poker, the base of Bluff Poker, had a special rule. Those who forfeited after drawing a 10 of spades would have to pay 10 times the base money.
The masked people listened to what Tae-soo would do. Each participant had a miniature microphone built into their badges. They could hear the conversation through it.
-I will bet 100 million.
Tae-soo had drastically raised the ante by 10 times. If this occurred, then the opponent had to hesitate. If Cheol-su called, he might lose more than two thirds of his money. In addition, Tae-soo’s face hadn’t changed the moment he made a bluff. He was a person who could fool a lie detector.
The lion mask said,
“Cheol-su will withdraw. The experience itself is too different.”
"That's right. Eh? Cheol-su is saying something instead of withdrawing!”
The lion mask swallowed his saliva and listened.
-You are called Tae-soo? You aren’t pretending to be a regular participant but aren’t you actually a card shark?
Tae-soo looked at Cheol-su with an expressionless face.
-Have you heard of someone called Kim Shin-hyeong?
Tae-soo finally opened his mouth.
-I’ve heard rumours. He is a pretty good gambler.
-In fact, I’ve fought against him.
-You aren’t curious about the result?
-I would have heard if you won.
Cheol-su... No, Seo Tae-hyuk said with a smile.
-I’ll tell you right away. I won perfectly. Then I will call 100 million.
All the masked people watching the monitor stood up in shock. The food in their bowls fell to the ground. It was a completely unexpected situation. He bet a large sum of money, despite the opponent holding a 9 of clubs. A person would never agree to that call, unless they were confident they had picked a 10 of clubs.
Tae-soo got up and threw the chips that he was using as money at Tae-hyuk.
-This bastard... You are cheating.
-Let’s move on. By the way, it is amazing. I will pick another 10.
-Shit. You’re barking nonsense. I will definitely find out what trick you used.
The dealer handed out the cards. Tae-hyuk also pulled a 10 this time.
The crowd cheered as they watched it. The ballroom had become a complete mess. Thus, they didn’t realize that the butterfly mask, who informed them of Cheol-su’s existence, had disappeared.
[TL Note] For those who want to watch Bluff Poker (Indian Poker) in action, I've included a link below.
It is from a Korean variety show called the Genius, with the participants being Kim Gura, a famous Korean comedian and Hong Jin-ho, a former pro Starcraft player under the alias of YellOw and is famous for always coming second to BoxeR.
For those interested in watching the series, here is a youtube link for the first season. It is very good variety show so please watch it if you are interested.
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