Chapter 148 - Phantom’s Counterattack #3
Bluff Poker was basically a game consisting of 20 cards numbered from 1-10. Once the dealer drew a card and placed it in front of the player, they would raise it to their forehead without checking it. They would look at the opponent’s card and make a bet.
Yet something strange was happening. Caterina had the perfect poker face and freely used card counting. She also had an eye for seeing through her opponent’s bluff so she didn’t need a lie detector. However, she couldn’t win even once.
Caterina groaned tearfully.
It was the same with Yamaguchi.
Due to Mister Park’s schemes, the dealers here were loyal servants of the Yakuza. When he gave a gesture, they would either deal him the card he wanted, or tell him what the opponent had. Even so, he failed to win even once.
Li Zheng laughed and tapped the table with his fingers.
"Am I not winning too much alone? I’m truly very sorry about this.”
Li Zheng’s funds, which started at 1.14 billion won, suddenly increased by 200 million. On the other hand, Yamaguchi and Caterina’s money had been reduced by 100 million each.
Yamaguchi clicked his tongue as he looked at Li Zheng.
"I had a lot of confidence in this game, but it seems like you came up with the best winning strategy.”
It was a face that Yamaguchi badly wanted to slice apart with a samurai sword. The fact that he couldn’t do that was really unfortunate.
Caterina was also watching the game with nervous eyes. She had to do something, but it was a situation where her head would be blown away if she did anything wrong.
There was a sniper rifle outside the door, so what could she do?
“...It is my mistake.”
Why didn’t she notice such a simple trick? The subordinates she brought were waiting outside the building. The rule was that only the boss and their lieutenant could enter. Finally, a weapon couldn’t be brought into the casino.
This applied to all teams. At first glance, it seemed to be a rule that aimed for competing in pure skills rather than force. But in reality, there were gaps in the conditions that would lead to foul play.
If she had been thinking calmly, then she would’ve read Li Zheng’s intentions when he wanted to send out their lieutenants. However, Caterina and Yamaguchi had gotten carried away with their winning strategies. Thus, they didn’t think of the simple method of ‘threatening the opponent with a gun.’
"A mafia boss shouldn’t use such a lowly trick.”
Caterina glared at the man aiming the gun from outside the door. He fired a bullet and destroyed a table. If Caterina didn’t follow Li Zheng’s words, then she would end up like that.
“Kuohh, huhuhu... I won.”
Li Zheng swept up the chips with a cheerful expression. Caterina asked with a humiliated look.
"Can you finish it quickly? Yes. You won.”
A laser pointer was aimed at her head while playing the game. It was a horrible feeling.
Li Zheng smiled.
"I’d love to, but I can only bet a few chips at once. Still, if it continues like this then I can become first within the time limit. Oh, Girlie. You seem quite good at calculating in your head. Calculate how long it will be until I want a drink.”
Li Zheng smiled at Caterina with a relaxed expression. There was nothing she could do.
"Don’t blame me too much. I just brought the most useful subordinate.”
An emotionless dealer gave a card to Yamaguchi and Li Zheng. Thanks to the incense, the dealers would follow Yamaguchi’s orders. However, it was impossible for the dealers to overpower the opponents armed with guns.
"Oh, what a shame. You picked a 10. Will you forfeit straight away? You can save some time.”
Yamaguchi narrowed his eyes and coughed. But the Yakuza boss, who had thousands of subordinates, was just a weak old man. He would be lucky if he didn’t lose his life. However, being deprived of Phantom was a very painful thing. The initiative of being active in South Korea would be passed to the opponent. In particular, the Yakuza still had something to do in South Korea so they absolutely wanted to prevent another organization from obtaining it.
"Ah, yes. There was that number.”
Yamaguchi closed his eyes and tried to come up with a plausible plan. There was a saying in Japan about turning over the table. It would happen when there was an unpleasant situation. Overturn the table itself.
More than this...
Li Zheng grabbed the chips again and said,
“There are a lot of complaints because I keep winning. Sorry. Then let’s replace the players. Next, I should obtain some chips from the girl.”
Caterina swapped places with Yamaguchi silently. Up to this point, it seemed like the fight over Phantom would end with Li Zheng’s complete victory.
Tae-hyuk waited for the perfect timing.
The bosses who participated in the mafia game didn’t notice the most important condition. It was decided with mutual agreement that the game would take place in three rounds. Regardless of the middle ranking, the person with the most chips at the end would get Phantom.
So what would happen if the game ended and all of the mafias had the same amount of money? The answer was that nothing would change. Phantom would continue to operate freely without belonging anywhere. The mafia would have a subtle war of nerves in South Korea.
It was the mafia game itself that Tae-hyuk was aiming for.
“Everybody has prepared one winning strategy for the mafia game. It is the same with me as well.”
The third round was reaching its end. Right now, the mafia’s money was perfectly tied at 1.43 billion won. And there was a 10 million won chip on the table. The winner of this round would be Phantom’s owner.
“I guess I have to go.”
Tae-hyuk put on the opera mask and headed to the casino.
"Oh, have you come to celebrate my victory?”
Li Zheng laughed as he played the last game at the table.
"Now we are on the same side. Despite the past, we should get along now! There is still something I want from Phantom.”
Of course, Li Zheng would dispose of Phantom after a year or so. Before that, he wanted to know the secret of Phantom’s abilities. While hiding such darkness, Li Zheng welcomed Phantom with a smile.
Tae-hyuk approached the table and asked,
"But didn’t you notice one strange thing?”
"Why is everyone in here, except for you, wearing a mask?”
"T-That is because they are your fellow Phantoms.”
"That is a preconceived notion. Why didn’t a person with a similar victory strategy notice it?”
“D-Don’t tell me...!”
Tae-hyuk pulled out a plastic sheet folded under the opera mask. After some manipulation, it became a good gas mask. Phantom wasn’t using a plain mask.
"Now, do you all understand?”
Tae-hyuk sent a signal and the cameramen all turned their masks into gas masks. The spellbound dealers just stared into the air blankly.
“D-Damn! Phantom deceived us!"
"You should always be aware of the situation. Gas! Gas! Gas!”
At Tae-hyuk’s orders, the cameramen took something out. Gray smoke poured out from it.
Li Zheng tried to escape the smoke but couldn’t because it happened so quickly.
“Now have a good sleep. Everything will have ended once you wake up.”
Yamaguchi and Caterina stared at Phantom with confused eyes. However, it didn’t last long. The powerful sleeping gas put them to sleep in an instant.
Li Zheng was fast asleep without being able to protest the unfairness of the situation. Tae-hyuk placed the remaining red chip on the table into his pocket and muttered.
"After the game is over, the chip left on the table is a tip right? There is still a little bit until the end. It will be tough to break them before that, so I will use the tip well.”
Li Zheng, Yamaguchi and Caterina all had 1.43 billion won in chips. However, there were still 10 minutes until the mafia game finished.
"Ah, yes. Shall I play doctor while I am bored waiting?”
Phantom brought out a surgical tool. Tae-hyuk alternated between looking at it and at the mafia bosses collapsed on the ground. Then he laughed like a criminal.
“...Illegal Surgery. Start.”
As the sleeping gas wore off, the participants of the mafia game woke up. They were lying on top of chairs that had been brought from somewhere. Tae-hyuk spoke from where he was organizing his surgical tools.
"Everyone was tired from playing games all night so you slept like logs. But what should I do? The game time ran out while you were sleeping.”
"Y-Y-You put us to sleep with a gas!”
Tae-hyuk smiled gently at Li Zheng.
"Can you say that?”
It was a reminder that he had threatened the other bosses with guns just two hours ago. He never thought he would be the one tricked. Li Zheng’s anger boiled up.
"Then let’s do the final closing. The Triad has 1.43 billion."
"The Yakuza has 1.43 billion.”
"The Red Mafia has 1.43 billion.”
Tae-hyuk declared proudly.
“Unbelievable! Coincidentally, all three teams have tied. The game is null and void.”
Yamaguchi and Li Zheng dropped their heads after realizing they had lost the game. They never thought that at the last minute...
At that moment, Caterina quietly said,
“N-No Phantom. The game can’t end in a tie. Clearly, the total betting amount if 4.3 billion. Once divided between teams, there should be 10 million won left.”
"Oh, that 10 million won? The chip left at the table is the dealer’s tip. I am grateful for it.”
Caterina had the most desire for Phantom among the three people so she stuck to it until the end.
"Isn’t that just the case in a regular casino? Obviously there wasn’t such a rule in the rules that you gave us.”
“Hrmm, that’s right.”
Yamaguchi and Li Zheng also added.
"Yes. The game isn’t over.”
“I also agree.”
Caterina glared at Li Zheng for interrupting. He had tried to kill her so why was he suddenly pretending to be friends?
However, the game wasn’t finished yet. Tae-hyuk licked his lips and nodded.
"Then let’s start the fourth round of the mafia game. There will just be one difference.”
"A-Aren’t you the master of the casino? If you want, then you can increase your chips as you like. It is unfair!”
"You don't have to worry about increasing the chips.”
"What does that mean?"
"I mean, I’m going to win with this one chip.”
Tae-hyuk raised the 10 million won chip.
“The rules of the 4th round are simple. If you make me broke, then you win."
"P-Playing with just one chip? T-That is ridiculous! Bluff Poker is an overwhelmingly advantageous game when there are a lot of chips!”
"If you want then I can fight all three people at the same time. Bring it on.”
Phantom's declaration of war caused the fighting spirits of the participants to burn.
"I haven’t given up yet Phantom.”
"Huhu, this will be fun.”
"I-I am going to win.”
The bosses had a total of 429 chips. Phantom had only one!
With this ridiculous difference, the last Bluff Poker of the mafia game began.
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