Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had disguised themselves. He was dressed in white robes and a silvery-white face mask, which lent him a third of a sovereign’s arresting air. Like a mysterious prince, he allured viewers while aweing them to stay at a distance. Han Yunxi was dressed as a man--including a stuck-on handlebar mustache. Although she was sitting in a wheelchair, her aura was no less impressive. She didn’t need a mask to create a sense of distance like Long Feiye, but adopted the air of a well-tempered official’s son.
“Brother Qin,” she clasped her hands in a bow. Long Feiye was taking Qin as his surname.
“Feiyun,” Long Feiye couldn’t help a grin. He seemed to like her pseudonym very much. Despite acting as brothers, he had abandoned the “brother” part of her title.
Their arrival at the gambling house attracted a few stares, but they didn’t become the center of attention. After all, the gambling house was full of people dressed in masks or hiding their identities, so they looked perfectly normal. No one would try to guess the features of a masked guest or their identities.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye hadn’t gone a few steps before a familiar voice reached their ears.
“I’ve won! Hahaha, this master’s won!” The voice was none other than Long Feiye’s good “little brother,” Tang Li.
Myriad Merchant Hall’s biggest gambling house was called the Thousand Gold Pavilion. Some people said it was named after the idiom, “stake a thousand pieces of gold on one throw” (to throw away money like dirt), while the gamblers that came like to say it was inspired by “recovering a thousand pieces of gold after losing it all.” When it came to capital from the gambling houses, neither East Origin Hall nor Golden Wing could compare to Myriad Merchant Hall. Thousand Gold Pavilion was not only the busiest gambling house in the Three-Way Black Market, but also the one with the deepest waters.
Thus, no one dared to stand out too much here. Tang Li was the first! His shouts completely blasted over the hubbub of the floor, every one attracting the attention of its patrons. A few gamblers from next door even grew curious to come and take a look. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi exchanged glances while remaining silent.
If not for the shadow guards who sent them multiple messages about Tang Li’s situation here, Han Yunxi might have really believed the man had sunk into a trap. Actually, the entrance guards had recognized Tang Li as soon as he entered the black markets. Then he’d sent a report to East Origin Hall, whose shadow guards told Long Feiye promptly. At the same time, he’d sent people to follow after Tang Li and figure out what was going on. The scout had thought Tang Li had fallen for a trap as well until Tang Li recognized him and gave him a few looks to signal he was still rational.
“The masked woman by his side should be Ning Jing, right?” Han Yunxi asked.
“Mm.” Long Feiye murmured back as he pushed Han Yunxi closer to Tang Li through the crowd.
Although this gambling table had already become the focal point of the Three-Way Black Market, most of the people were watching from the sidelines instead of approaching the table. Occasionally, someone would throw in some chips to rub off some of Tang Li’s luck since his was nothing but wins today. Different tables had different rules. Tang Li’s table required stakes of at least 30,000,000 chips for the first purchase, the most expensive one in the entire black markets. To throw away that many chips just to have a seat here meant the stakes were high. Thus, there were only three other middle-aged men accompanying Tang Li at the same oval table.
Long Feiye started out by staking 60,000,000 chips, half for himself and half for Han Yunxi. Both of them had chosen to sit on either sides of Tang Li, who was caught up in the thrill of winning and only cast them a glance. He didn’t recognize them, but Long Feiye’s gaze was clearly unhappy. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi looked at Ning Jing with interest and discovered that she looked a little chubbier than before. Although the saying went that happy hearts led to rounder bodies, why would Ning Jing gain weight after being put under house arrest? Was her heart really that generous, or was she simply confident of winning these stakes?
And what was Tang Li doing on Ning Clan turf when he was perfectly fine at the Tang Clan? Han Yunxi didn’t know any of the answers, so she could only suspect Ning Jing. By now, the dealer had already shuffled the deck and politely invited everyone to place their bets.
“Small! It’ll still be a small! I’ll stake 10,000!” Tang Li slammed the table as he stood up. “If it’s not a small, then I’ll write my ‘Tang’ upside down!”
Everyone’s eyes zoomed in on Tang Li, while Han Yunxi just rolled her eyes. She couldn’t see any of his acting at all. This brat, he’s probably gone wild from gambling. At the same time, the dealer, Uncle Cheng, gave Ning Jing another look. This was already the third time, so there was no excuse for her to pretend she didn’t see him.
She smiled coldly and told Tang Li, “Since you’re so certain, why not bet all your chips? What’s so interesting about writing ‘Tang’ upside down?” As she spoke these words, she secretly tugged at him. Tang Li knew she was putting on an act for the dealer, so he cooperated.
“Bet it all? Then I’ll bet it all! Heheh, when your husband wins, I’ll treat you to something tasty!”
Many of the women present burst into giggles. Buying food with the winning? For a man with so much gold, he was so cute! He must dote on his wife a lot in private, right? Hearts fluttered as they imagined it. If this was any other day, Han Yunxi would be laughing too. Tang Li had his own methods to coax a woman into happiness, but she couldn’t smile at all now. She was more certain than ever that Ning Jing had lured Tang Li here on purpose.
If she could read their true hearts now, then Han Yunxi would know that this world held another woman who suffered the same sickness as herself. But she had no idea. She only knew that Ning Jing had schemed against Tang Li, who was paying her back with a plot of his own. The two of them were measuring each other’s strengths in secret, and now Tang Li was definitely in the lead. Without the West Qin princess status, Han Yunxi would say she was biased to protecting Tang Li’s side. She wished that he could win this silent battle between the couple. Although Tang Li was careless and slovenly, he was actually dependable when he got serious and suited for a better woman.
With a rumble, Tang Li pushed all of his chips onto the table. They scattered across its surface. After a day of winnings, he had already amassed 50,000,000 chips. Ning Jing grew alarmed. She had secretly tugged on Tang Li’s hand just to remind him that she was playacting, and to not listen to her. But who knew he’d be so willful!
A sensation rose in crowd. Many people stopped what they were doing and came over to have a look. If Tang Li lost this bet, he’d have nothing left! Discussions broke out around them while the three middle-aged men at the table remained unmoving. Neither did the onlookers dared to make any big moves. Under these circumstances, it was more exciting to watch the show.
“This master’s sure refreshing!” Uncle Cheng laughed, quite satisfied with Ning Jing’s behavior. He looked around the table and asked, “Does anyone else want to bet?”
Long Feiye was quite calm as he pushed out 5,000,000 chips and bet on a “small” just like Tang Li. Uncle Cheng gave him a polite smile without much thought. After all, there were so many masked guests at the gambling house, and 5,000,000 chips were paltry before Tang Li’s pile.
Tang Li glanced over carelessly once again. Han Yunxi was already cursing his thoughtlessness under her breath. But the real reason was that her and Long Feiye’s disguises were too well done.
“Won’t you play?” Long Feiye asked her quietly.
“I’m not interested. Just watching is fine,” Han Yunxi might like to gamble, but she didn’t play games of pure luck or cheating. 30,000,000 chips to buy a single seat won’t cost me anything if I return all the chips after the show.
Long Feiye didn’t press her. The dealer asked the table for bets one more time until he was sure no one was throwing any stakes, then opened up the container of dice. At this moment, a low and sexy voice emerged from the crowd to turn a bunch of heads.
“Hold it, this young gentleman wants to bet!” it was obviously an affected voice and not that of the original owner.
The crowd broke apart to open a path for a dark robed man that strode carelessly to the table. His clothes were low-key and mysterious, but his mask was incomparably showy! It was carved from pure gold and shone dazzlingly beneath the lights. Compared to his ostentation, the girl behind him was much more discreet. She was about 17 to 18 years old and dressed in yellow. A wide hat surrounded by a curtain of white gauze covered her head and obscured her features from view. Both Han Yunxi and the crowd disregarded the girl to focus on the black-robed man. She really wanted to ask him whether his gold mask was heavy.
Tang Li saw that someone had stolen his thunder and looked a little unhappy. The black-robed man and the yellow dress girl had hardly sat down when he urged impatiently, “If you want to bet, then hurry up. Don’t waste this grandpa’s time.”
The black-robed man glanced at the chips already on the table and asked, “How much is in this pile?”
“Master Tang bet 50,000,000 chips, while that Master Qin bet 5,000,000,” Uncle Cheng explained before asking in a professional tone, “This gentleman, how much will you two bet?”
The black-robed man ignored Uncle Cheng to look towards the three middle-aged men who hadn’t bet at all. He chuckled and said, “Aren’t you guys playing?”
The trio were experienced types who were more interested in money than the gambling that came with it. They wouldn’t act rashly or fall prey to mockery, so they all shook their heads in tandem. One of them smiled politely and said, “I’ve just played a few rounds and want to take a break. You guys enjoy yourselves.”
But the black-robed man immediately turned nasty. “If you’re not playing, then don’t stick around. You’re getting in the way of this young gentleman’s fun!” As he spojke, he waved disdainfully at Long Feiye and Han Yunxi. “5,000,000 chips? If you can’t afford to play, stay on the sidelines! Don’t block this young man from slaughtering Thousand Gold Pavilion with the other gentleman!”
At his words, Uncle Cheng’s expression shifted, while Ning Cheng grew displeased from the darkness. Who else could this black-robed man be, except for Gu Qishao? Ning Cheng had come to discuss Blacktower with him and their plans for tomorrow, but he’d sauntered his way to Tang Li’s side instead. He and Mu Linger had 60,000,000 chips each--not bought, but taken outright. What was he doing here instead of playing perfectly well at the gambling house next door?
“Master, shall this subordinate call Gu Qishao back?” his retainer asked.
“No need. Watch what he’s planning for now,” Ning Cheng said coldly. After interacting with Gu Qishao in the past few days, he could more or less understand the man’s moods. It was impossible to call him back when he went somewhere, and he still trusted in Uncle Cheng’s patience. He didn’t fear Gu Qishao making a ruckus or winning his bets. Going over there now would disturb Tang Li’s interest instead.
After all, those sunk into the gambling tables couldn’t afford to be disturbed. Otherwise, they’d come to their senses all too soon.
Gu Qishao joining in might not be a bad thing. He could make Tang Li even crazier!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
#1 of 12 owed PGC chapters. We got this, yo. ;)