Xia Lei’s money was all put in one suitcase in less than an hour. 21,180,000 Euros in bills filled the large suitcase exactly.
Gu Ding-Shan and He Jia-Ying were obviously not as ‘barren’ as Xia Lei. Gu Ding-Shan’s man brought three such large suitcases and He Jia-Ying’s subordinate brought him four, all full of 500 Euro bills fresh from the mint. It was easy to tell how much they were prepared to spend on the games - Gu Ding-Shan had 60 million Euros and He Jia-Ying had 80 million.
“They brought so much money here to show that they are not after your small amount. If you lose, don’t ever bet your company, and don’t ever borrow anything with high interest from that one surnamed He.” Shentu Tian-Yin nagged in Xia Lei’s ear again. She could not stop him from participating in betting so the most she could do was to avoid the worst case scenario.
Xia Lei nodded faintly but still said nothing.
How could he not see it when Shentu Tian-Yin could? He just didn’t care.
The gambling was about to begin with the money having been delivered. There was just Gu Ding-Shan, He Jia-Ying and Xia Lei gambling; Li Ming-Ji and the other tycoons were just spectating and not participating. It looked like Xia Lei was the only one in the room who could not see that it was a set-up.
“Why did Shentu Tian-Yin choose a boyfriend like this?” said someone in a low voice.
“A man like this must be after Shentu Tian-Yin’s money,” said someone in a small voice.
“Watch. He’ll lose everything and Shentu Tian-Yin will see him for who he really is and leave him.”
“This Xia Lei is a fool. Having a girlfriend like Shentu Tian-Yin isn’t enough for him - he actually wants to gamble with the Gambling King He Jia-Ying. Sigh, I don’t get what’s going through his head.”
“Can’t you see? Gu Ke-Wu has been chasing after Shentu Tian-Yin. Gu Ding-Shan is taking action personally now to eliminate Xia Lei and try to get Gu Ke-Wu and Shentu Tian-Yin together. That Xia Lei is obviously gambling because of his pride. I can only say that he’s too young and too foolish.”
“Ah, let’s not talk so much about the Gu clan’s affairs…”
These people gossiped in low voices but the Gu siblings, who were standing close by, heard them and they couldn’t help the smiles on their faces. The Gu siblings didn’t care what others said - the Gu clan only cared about results. The methods and what others thought of them were of no importance.
Xia Lei was already a penniless loser in the eyes of Gu Ke-Wu and Gu Ke-Wen.
At the table, He Jia-Ying spat out a white cloud of cigar smoke and said slowly, “Can we begin now, Mr Xia?”
“Yes,” said Xia Lei casually, “What are we playing?”
He Jia-Ying smiled and said, “I’m a senior in this and I don’t want people to say that I’m bullying a junior so you can just pick whatever you want to play.”
“Sure.” Xia Lei did not stand on ceremony and said, “Let’s bet on dice. It’s not as troublesome as other games. Let’s each be the dice-dealer three times. What do you say?”
He Jia-Ying and Gu Ding-Shan exchanged looks. They did not speak but they seemed to have communicated something to each other with their eyes.
“Good. I shall be first to deal.” He Jia-Ying was good at handling many betting tools and the dice were just one of many.
A female hotel service staff member brought the dice cup to them. It was made of mahogany, was large, thick and rather heavy.
He Jia-Ying received the dice cup and lifted it to look at the dice inside it. He then covered it up and prepared to shake the dice.
“No need to rush. I’ll go through the rules first,” said Xia Lei.
He Jia-Ying’s brows wrinkled. “Mr Xia, I’ve gambled my whole life - would I not know the rules?”
“Rules were all made up by men. We are going to take turns being the dealer today. Every person must shake and every person must bet. I think these rules are fair. The person who is shaking the dice cannot reveal the dice himself. Let’s have Miss Tian-Yin do it.”
These rules were very fair and the aim of this was to make sure that the dice-dealer would have no way to do something to the dice when exposing the dice. If one rejected rules like these, then the rejecting person was likely meaning to do something unscrupulous.
Gu Ding-Shan looked at Shentu Tian-Yin. “Tian-Yin, will you do it?”
Shentu Tian-Yin wanted to reject the request but she glanced at Xia Lei and steeled herself against the disappointment in her heart; she nodded. “All right, I’ll reveal the dice for the table.”
“I have no problems with that either.” He Jia-Ying didn’t think much of Xia Lei at all. He also didn’t believe that Shentu Tian-Yin, who had never gambled, would pull a dirty trick. He picked up the mahogany dice cup and started shaking it.
Xia Lei’s left eye twitched and the dice in the dice cup appeared in his eye. He could also see every move of He Jia-Ying’s. He moved quick but it was laughably slow in Xia Lei’s eye.
About ten seconds later, He Jia-Ying put the dice cup on the table, then pushed it towards Shentu Tian-Yin. “Place your bet.”
“A million Euros. Small,” said Gu Ding-Shan. He picked up a stack of bills and pushed them into the betting zone. There were twenty bundles in that stack which added up to one million Euros exactly.
He Jia-Ying took a drag of his cigar and looked at Xia Lei. “Mr Xia, Mr Gu doesn’t seem to want to take my money. You don’t have to be polite - just bet however much you’d like and I’ll match the payout.”
“Really? I won’t hold back then.” Xia Lei pushed all his money into the betting zone. “All in. Big!”
Everyone was stunned.
“Is this boy insane? He just bet his entire fortune, just like that?” said someone in surprise.
“Doesn’t he know who he’s up against? That’s Macau’s Gambling King!” sighed someone.
“Looks like this guy will want to jump off a building soon,” sighed another.
20 million Euros was nothing to Shentu Tian-Yin but this was the entirety of Xia Lei’s bank account. She was more nervous than Xia Lei; her hands trembled even before revealing the dice.
“Mr Xia, I’ll give you a chance to change your bet. You can also bet on another result,” said He Jia-Ying. He looked relaxed but his heart rate had increased - he was very nervous too!
Xia Lei spoke evenly. “Bets are final once hands are off - this is the rule in gambling. I won’t change my bet even if I lose. Reveal the dice, Tian-Yin.”
Shentu Tian-Yin gave Xia Lei a look and the disappointment in her eyes was more apparent. She felt that the Xia Lei before her was not the Xia Lei she knew - he had turned from a man with many good points to a soulless gambling addict.
Xia Lei smiled at Shentu Tian-Yin. “Reveal the dice. I’ll leave immediately if I lose.”
These words made Shentu Tian-Yin feel a little better. She steadied her hand and lifted the dice cup from the table.
Three dice were revealed - 4, 5, 6 - Big!
He Jia-Ying’s and Gu Ding-Shan’s faces turned green in that instant.
“Good Heavens! I’ve never seen anyone bet like that!” said someone.
“This boy has guts!” said someone.
The room was abuzz with discussion again, but no one was calling Xia Lei a fool this time.
Shentu Tian-Yin let out a breath, but that was it. Xia Lei had won 21 million Euros but she was not one bit happy. She would have been much happier if Xia Lei had earned this doing business.
He Jia-Ying paid out the winnings of 21 million Euros to Xia Lei. The loss stung him inside but he put on an undaunted front. He chuckled, “Not bad. You have guts; I like that. Let’s have another round.”
This time, Gu Ding-Shan bet a million Euros and put in on ‘small’, as he had before.
“You should bet wisely while you’re ahead, Mr Xia. I think you’ll follow and bet just one million this time, eh?” said He Jia-Ying.
This was some reverse psychology at play. He wanted to provoke Xia Lei and make him bet on ‘big’ and also to entice him to bet small.
He Jia-Ying had gambled his whole life and there was a reason people called him ‘Gambling King’. He was familiar with the psychology of gamblers, and that meant a more suspicious heart than most. Say ‘big’ and the gambler will bet ‘small’.
This tactic worked on normal gamblers but it was useless on Xia Lei, because he was not affected by anything. He trusted only his eye!
Xia Lei pushed all the money before him into the betting zone. “42 million Euros. Big.”
He Jia-Ying could not maintain his relaxed act from earlier. His face darkened.
Shentu Tian-Yin lifted the dice cup again - 5, 5, 6 - Big.
Everyone’s eyes went to Xia Lei. There was no discussion this time - shocked looks were in all their eyes.
All three of the Gu family were flabbergasted. They had dug a pit for Xia Lei to jump into and he had jumped but damn it, he had played for a while in the pit and was bouncing out of it! What sorcery was this?!
He Jia-Ying braced himself as he paid out 42 million Euros.
Xia Lei’s money could not fit on the table anymore. The hotel staff stacked the money on the floor next to Xia Lei. The money was several times his body in volume and the sight of it was spectacular.
He Jia-Ying had brought 80 million Euros and paid Xia Lei twice. Add the two million Euros he paid out to Gu Ding-Shanand he had just 19 million left. He would have not money for payout if Xia Lei went all-in again.
“Mr He, you look like you don’t have enough money. You know how I like to play - I like excitement. I’ll go all-in every time. I have 84 million Euros now. How are you going to pay me if you lose?” said Xia Lei.
With the money Xia Lei had now, He Jia-Ying and Gu Ding-Shan would have to add their money together for it to be enough for Xia Lei to play!
He Jia-Ying had mocked Xia Lei earlier but it was now him on the mocking end.
“Hah! I, He Jia-Ying, have never forfeited on payment on the gambling table.” He Jia-Ying looked at Gu Ding-Shan and said, “Old Gu, don’t bet this round. Lend me your money - I’ll bet with him.”
“Sure.” Gu Ding-Shan did not hesitate and agreed. He had invited He Jia-Ying to help him in the set-up but this He Jia-YIng had already lost 60 million Euros. He Jia-Ying would not be on friendly terms with him anymore if he refused.
He Jia-Ying pushed the dice cup before Xia Lei and said coldly, “You’re the dealer for this round.”
“Okay.” Xia Lei snatched up the dice cup and started shaking.
He Jia-Ying stared closely at Xia Lei’s hand movements and his ears trembled.
When one reached a certain level of gambling, one was able to predict if it was going to be ‘big’ or ‘small’ based on the sound the dice made in the cup, their weight and their centres of gravity. He Jia-Ying was the Gambling King, so this was nothing to him!
Xia Lei shook the dice in the cup lightly as he looked at He Jia-Ying opposite him. Every one of He Jia-Ying’s small movements did not escape the notice of Xia Lei’s left eye.
Xia Lei put the dice cup on the table after about ten seconds of shaking. His left eye looked into the cup and at the numbers of the dice - 1, 3, 4 - small. After looking at the numbers, he looked at He Jia-Ying’s ears. His ears had stopped moving.
“Place your bet,” said Xia Lei casually.
“77 million, all in. Small,” said He Jia-Ying. He pushed the money before him into the betting zone.
Right at the instant He Jia-Ying pushed his money, Xia Lei tapped his right index finger lightly on the dice cup. A die in the cup jumped and turned over, changing from 1 to 6.
Xia Lei was lightning-quick; he’d used Wing Chun’s internal energy and his skills. Outsiders could not see anything or hear anything. Even if there had been a small sound, the sound of He Jia-Ying pushing his money forward would have masked it.
“Open!” said He Jia-Ying to Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Tian-Yin walked over and reached out to lift the dice cup.
3, 4, 6 - Big.
He Jia-Ying’s eyeballs almost dropped on the table, and he looked like he had screwed the pooch.
We have 47 chapters more to go to chapter 300 so here I am casting the net for some ideas on what to do for this happy event.
Ideas I have so far:
1) Doing a live-reading of chapter 300 on Discord. (There is a voice-channel called 'storytelling'.)
2) Another Q&A with me :D
3) I'll sing 3 songs of your choosing (top 3 highest-voted in comments) on Discord. Any language, as long as it's not something impossible like dubstep or inhumane screeching.
Get voting, get commenting, keep the suggestions coming till the last day of September 2018!
Not the same as above, but this made me think of an awesome old movie I watched as a child. God of Gamblers - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dweq35S-KuY