Chapter 45 - Gambling
“Buddy, why are you so confident in determining the winner?” Xu Yi smiled as he filled a cup of tea in front of Teacher Zhou.
“Boss, one of the candidates is Gao Pan, who has already achieved eight successive wins in the arena. He is considered to be the best fighter in Guanan. However, his opponent, the so called Legendary Guard Yi, is an inexperienced newcomer here. Even though there are rumors being spread, that he has great potential in Wu Dao, I don’t think potential alone will win him this fight…” Qinghua replied.
“Legendary Guard Yi?” Xu Yi cut in, he couldn’t figure out why he was idolized as a legend. In Guanan, he was low-profiled, because he had only recently arrived here as a “refugee” to escape the doomful revenge of the Black Dragon Palace. It should be almost impossible for people on the streets to know anything about him.
“Ah, you asked the right person. I have some inside information to share with you, you know, my extended social circle allows me to easily obtain first-hand information…” Qinghua immediately used this opportunity to brag about his sociability.
“I’m not interested in your sociable abilities; just get straight to the point!” Xu Yi commanded, as he glared at Qinghua.
“The legendary name-calling is a rumor that was fabricated by the casino, which is used to lure gamblers into their trap. As Gao Pan is almost a household name in Guanan, everyone will bet on him. But a one-sided gamble won’t guarantee any profits for the casino. So in an attempt to balance the betting, they came up with such a bold strategy. Quite frankly, the casino itself is confident that Gao Pao will win his ninth fight and if everyone is to bet on the winner, they’ll be doomed. Under such circumstances, the casino only has two options to choose from...” Qinghua enunciated with great passion.
“The first option is to increase  the odds for a Gao Pan victory, in order to confuse the public. Even though, this method won’t deceive the more experienced gamblers, but it can successfully serve the purpose of disturbing public opinion. After all, innocent girls and young married women account for a great number of the gamblers.”
“How about the odds for the “Legendary” Guard Yi?”
“The odds for that guard is two to one!”
“How come? If Gao Pan’s odds were to be set at ten to one, then Guard Yi’s should be at the very least equal, or preferably even as high as twenty to one. As you just said, the casino intends to discourage people from betting on Gao Pan, in doing so, they should raise Yi’s odds drastically. Plus, if both sides have low odds, how can the casino reap the money?”
“At first, the casino rejected to start a bet for this fight, as the result is self-telling. However, in order to maintain their reputation, they maneuvered the odds at a reasonable rate to earn the trust of their gamblers. After all, they don’t want to lose the trust of their customers.”
“The difference between the odds between Gao Pan and Guard Yi should be controlled in a reasonable range, otherwise, no one would believe the rumors.”
Thanks to his gambling experience, Qinghua accurately analyzed the situation and he was currently rather proud of himself. However, it was also because of this gambling habit of his, that he had seldom accumulated any wealth during these years. Each month, he would pour his earnings into the casino, he did win sometimes, yet most of the time, he lost all of his money.
Realising all the tricks played by the casino, Xu Yi was filled with fury, considering he himself used to be one of the innocent partakers, who was just a piece of chess played by the casino. The only thing he could do right now was to curse at their dishonesty.
“Boss, the fluctuation of the odds keeps changing like the clouds in the sky, so it is hard to say if the odds for Gao Pan will further plummet. There is no time to hesitate anymore. We need to seize this opportunity to make a fortune. I’ve already put all my money on Gao Pan, including the ten gold coins I earned from you. Look, this is a receipt from the casino. Trust me!” Qinghua gestured hysterically as he urged Xu Yi.
“Enough! Stop gushing out saliva! I’ll bet immediately.” Xu Yi impatiently replied.
Xu Yi reached into his waist pocket and took out a pile of gold cheques, “1,200 gold coins in total!”
The 900 gold coins he had obtained earlier that day, plus 300 of the 350 remaining gold coins in his pocket, which added up to a total amount of 1,200 gold coins. Xu Yi took a total worth of 1,200 gold coins out, which would give himself almost no leeway!
Even those from prominent families wouldn’t go this far when gambling. Xu Yi’s actions left Qinghua completely dumbfounded.
“Alright... Boss, please rest assured that I’ll come back with more money!” Being afraid of the fluctuating odds, Qinghua quickly snatched the cheques from Xu Yi’s hand and lifted his feet.
“You don’t have to be in such a hurry. I’m not yet finished... I’ll bet on that “Legendary” Guard Yi.” Xu Yi calmly said, as he pulled Qinghua back.
“What?” Qinghua jerked his head towards Xu Yi, “Are you playing a cruel joke on me, boss? That guard is doomed to be chopped apart by Gao Pan. If you bet on him, it’s no different from throwing your money in the river. Oh, come on boss, don’t bet on Guard Xu, if you insist on throwing your money away, why don’t just give it to me!” Qinghua nearly went insane upon hearing Xu Yi’s unexpected decision.
“Shut up! Do you even know who this “Legendary” Guard Yi is?”
“You know him?”
“Ofcourse I do, it’s me!”
Qinghua stepped back, as if he was spooked by a ghost. It took several minutes for him to calm down just a little bit. Looking up at the nameplate on the gate, he came to the realisation that this house was an official building for guards. Plus, his boss’s name “Yi Xu” offered another clue to convince him. No wonder, at the time when the casino announced the odds, Xu Yi’s house was under close surveillance.
Dropping the luggage that he carried on his back, Qinghua shot a sympathetic look at Xu Yi. On one side, he was saddened by the fact that his boss would soon be killed by Gao Pan. On the other side, he was afraid to lose his impressive salary.
Xu Yi glanced back at Qinghua, “Don’t stand about idling. Go and do what you’re supposed to do! Don’t worry. I don’t owe you any salary, even if I am beaten to death in the arena. Just go!”
“Boss, I’m concerned about you! Well, I’m afraid that this is probably my last time to serve you. Good luck, boss!” Qinghua quickly finished his words, before he disappeared in the darkness.
: Editor note: Hey guys, I hope you guys won’t be upset with me over this, but I’ve gone ahead and slightly deviated from the original. The increase and decrease of the betting size in the original, is laughable and doesn’t make any sense… So I’ve gone ahead and slightly adjusted it, so that it actually does make sense ;)