Chapter 589: Hole card is a dud
Late that night, the Jin family’s villa.
The travel-worn Jin Twenty-four was smiling brightly. Little Jinshan stood beside him, stably carrying the tea that their grandmaster had brewed to the various seated uncles.
Eleven, Eight, Twenty and Twenty-nine were all seated openly, not seeming awkward because of what they had attempted to do earlier. They were only curious, much like gamblers who had given up on calling an all in and really wished to see their opponent’s hole card, learning if their earlier choice had been right or wrong and if they should rejoice or feel regret.
“Uncle Twenty-seven. Have some tea,” Little Jinshan said respectfully.
He Twenty-seven was seated too, not having been restricted in any way.
“Thank you,” He Twenty-seven’s smile was conversely sincere and honest at a time like this.
Maybe it was because his death was imminent...having always lived a very tiring life, He Twenty-seven now actually felt relaxed for once.
Twenty-nine knocked the wall, smiling as he asked, “No one’s hidden, right?”
“No one’s hidden,” Old Jin said.
“So, what if we had really charged in earlier?”
“I wouldn’t be standing here serving Uncles tea now then,” Little Jinshan smiled, “Actually, I nearly wet my pants. Luckily...uncles ultimately doted on me and refrained. It’s really you guys who’re good! Can you guess what Jin Twenty-four said to me? He said, son, only your current state of being protected but vulnerable to capture too can lead them to make a move. If I don’t protect you, the hook will be too straight. They won’t bite the bait. If I protect you too well or hide you, they might give up without even trying.”
In order to hide his awkwardness, Old Jin slapped him, “Kids shouldn’t imitate what the adults are saying. It’s annoying.”
“Jin Twenty-four...am I adopted? I just secured great merits, but you still hit me,” Little Jinshan begrudged.
Amidst much laughter with varying undertones, Old Jin pulled him back beside him and rubbed his head. Anyone would be able to see the pride on his face, really.
There was already completely no need to say something like a tiger of a father begets a tiger of a son. The remaining five forced a smile, unable to find any suitable words to describe Old Jin’s ruthlessness, much less this eight-year-old’s unparalleled brilliance.
Of this father and son, one could let his own son be placed in danger while the other could stay unflustered amidst chaos, relaxed and composed to a terrifying extent.
Still, the other four besides He Twenty-seven were actually still mostly relaxed at this time. After arriving, Jin Twenty-four had indeed not made things difficult for them as their subordinates had also successfully retreated from the mines, returning to their respective camps.
Even He Twenty-seven’s people had retreated, just that they were being suppressed and kept watch over. It was the same for Jiang Three’s people as well.
Therefore, despite the massive scale of tonight’s situation, it was actually merely Jiang Three alone who had perished.
He Twenty-seven drank a mouthful of tea and said, “Other than the five of us, everyone was only notified to enter the mines when they were in their vicinity. Also, only a few of them were contactable by phone. So, I actually don’t really understand: When exactly did you get wind of this matter?”
He glanced at He Chunhua who was standing a distance away, “She only knew that I was going to act. She couldn’t have known of the specific plan. Also, my most trusted subordinates were all keeping an eye on one another these past days. She should not have been able to notify you.”
Old Jin smiled and said, “Actually, I only learnt of it after your people had all entered the mines. There is someone by Third Sir’s side who is on pretty good terms with me. He requested to be the leader for that squad. He had his phone with him...he’ll be coming over to my side after this anyway, so we’re not afraid of you knowing.”
“Then, without sufficient time at all, without even an opportunity, how could you possibly have thought of a way to plant the explosives in time?” Eleven straightened and asked.
“It’s true that there was no time. There was no way too. So, actually...there were no explosives.”
The hole card was revealed. It was a dud.
The gamblers hugged their heads in regret...sadly, regret meant that it was already too late and hence utterly meaningless.
“Wait, that’s not right. What happened on Third Sir’s end then?” After feeling vexed, Twenty-nine pressed.
“I got people to secretly throw two bundles of explosives in a ditch for you guys to hear. Then, my person from Third Sir’s retinue called him, saying both ends of the mine had been blown up,” Old Jin said.
“Just like that?” Eleven asked.
“Just like that,” Old Jin answered.
“I...no, wait,” Eleven said rather unresignedly, “Impossible. Weren’t you afraid that Third Sir might think of another way to confirm it? As long as he checked for confirmation, you would…”
“Did you think of getting Third Sir to check and confirm at the time?” Eight who had not spoken throughout and had only listened attentively up till now now spoke, cutting Eleven off.
Eleven froze for a moment before shaking his head.
“It didn’t cross my mind at all too,” Eight turned towards the others, “Did the thought cross your minds? Even as a passing thought.”
Twenty-nine, Twenty and He Twenty-seven all shook their heads.
“Why is that so?” Twenty was bewildered beyond himself.
It was such a simple thing, yet not one of them had thought of it, not even the slightest hint of doubt permeating their minds...it had been the same for Jiang Three himself too.
Eight explained, “First was because it was too chaotic at the time. Our minds fell into chaos along with us. To be honest, we were actually all very nervous then, Twenty-seven included.”
The remainder nodded in agreement.
Eight continued, “Still, that’s not the most important. Most important is the second factor. It’s because he’s Jin Twenty-four. We are all used to Jin Twenty-four never having made a mistake, being ruthless and in control. We overestimate his power. So, when suddenly happened on Third Sir’s end, we subconsciously thought ‘here it is’ as if it was the natural thing for Jin Twenty-four to be prepared. Who would doubt it? Maybe on the contrary, if everything went smoothly, our thoughts would instead run wild as doubt, hesitation seeped in…”
There was a short silence for a time before everyone felt like they had been enlightened.
He Twenty-seven sighed slowly, shaking his head before he lowered it and ceased speaking.
This was really too depressing.
“A person’s reputation, a tree’s shade,” Twenty-nine commented in wonder at Jin Twenty-four’s huge shadow that loomed over them.
“Who knows? Maybe it’ll be for real next time?” Now, Old Jin chuckled and added from the side.
Despondence stifling their chests, everyone else was clear that he was right. Even if they had everything explained to them this time as they saw through it...if there really was a next time, they would still be stuck in the same situation, similarly unable to circumvent this problem.
Maybe they would suffer from even more fear and doubt, being even more hesitant and uncertain.
“What about that dagger?” He Twenty-seven looked up and asked.
“It’s not convenient to say,” Old Jin replied.
He Twenty-seven nodded and fell silent once again.
Just like this question, precisely because everything that had been revealed was really just too intricate, they actually very much wanted to ask if Old Jin had any backup plans in case one of these steps had gone wrong.
They guessed that he definitely had some. It was just that they held other costs. Otherwise, it would be impossible for Old Jin to relaxedly walk a wire tightrope like this.
Still, they had no way of asking this since it concerned the future. While frankly revealing what had come to pass did not matter at all, they just could not ask about things that concerned the future. Even if they did, they would not receive an answer from Old Jin anyway.
Who knew when there might be another round amongst the Binzhou Thirty?
It might be tomorrow, or it might be the day after tomorrow...Previous Chapter Next Chapter