Chapter 3: King of Gambling
Translated by: Chua
Edited by: Elkassar
Sheyan’s behaviour might be a little paranoid, but the fact was, this person had walked out at the same time, and was similarly alone in his hotel’s room! Anyone would notice the hidden significance. He may very well be on the same boat, one of the so called “contestants!”. Although Sheyan was an amateur here, he at least remembered the initial explanation; that this place was a peaceful setting, contestants that die would not drop any loot.
This detail, after eliminating that primary reason, held two hidden truths. A contestant could actually be killed, and there would be scenarios in the future where killing fellow contestants could allow one to reap huge benefits. The important point was that Sheyan’s main task was to destroy the space-time convergence in 48 hours, however what if there was only one space-time convergence?
Undoubtedly there would be a conflict of interests between the other contestants, inevitably leading to dire consequences. This possibility may not be big, but it was definitely possible! To Sheyan, relying on one’s fist would be the best option, there was no other!
That was why Sheyan couldn’t expose himself, he did not dare to! This bearded man looked as though he had no intention to leave. The reason was , if he turned his body around, it would expose his entire back, and he could only pray Sheyan was not hostile. If Sheyan was hostile, then he would die a very ill fated and unfair death!
The two remained motionless in the corridor, surveying each other, trying to figure out the other but both were not willing to make the first move. This was because both were not confident in their personal victory. Fearing there were others spying on them, Sheyan deliberated for a moment, slowly reaching out for a cigarette in his coat as he lighted it and took a puff. Squinting his eyes as though he was enjoying his cigarette, he slowly extended his left hand placing it on the mouldy wooden railing.
Sheyan’s actions were very slow and gentle wanting to prevent the other party from misjudging his sudden actions. As he pressed down harder onto the railing, suddenly this already shaky railing actually broke completely! Feigning, he fell down from the second floor in frantic. This was only the second floor, as Sheyan effortlessly did a somersault and landed on the ground. He looked up and took a nice long stare at the bearded man. Afterward, he kicked away the two crooked stool blocking his way, pushed open the main door and walked into the streets.
Walking through an alley filled with neon streetlights, looking at the surrounding architecture of the 70s-80s, the antique vehicles, Sheyan gave off a sigh. In his heart he felt a little wrong about rewriting the course of history, yet his expression was serene as though he had experienced a long and fulfilling life.
The city was bustling, and he had a lot of things on his mind: Accepting this request meant he was fully aware of the hidden dangers. The first course of action was to familiarize himself with the environment, it was best if he could find some useful equipment or weapons for himself, before thinking about finding and destroying the space-time convergence. At all times, he could only rely on himself to protect himself.
To achieve this objective, the fastest possible route was to resort to crime. Since young Sheyan had been living in poverty, he was extremely familiar with robbing and stealing. However he had always secretly looked down upon his kind of behavior, therefore Sheyan decided to forgo this shortcut.
Therefore, finding an expert guide would be an option; but such a method would merely require him to make a few threats or promises of rewards. However, threats were a double edged sword, if one did not possess domineering power, this could easily backfire on him. Therefore, to the amateur Sheyan, the best idea was to use rewards as bait.
Reaching deep into his pockets, he only found two measly 5 dollar notes. This small amount of money was only good enough for a meal, how would it be an incentive for someone to help him? In this world, being able to turn 10 dollars into hundreds or thousands was simply too difficult and rare. However, there was still one risky method that Sheyan knew of…. Gambling!
In his previous world, Sheyan’s livelihood led him to explore different ports all around the world, experiencing many different kinds of illegal entertainment. Recalling his memories, he had indeed relied on his keen intuition to win much on the betting table. However Sheyan knew when to cut his losses, and never intended to make gambling his hobby or professional career. Although he wasn’t famous, his gambling tactics and skills were a thing to behold.
“Since I need to resort to gambling to raise funds, then competing would be hard to avoid.”
“Before, dealing with two grown males was my limit. Even after the transformation, the maximum would be 5-6 grown men, however if a large group were to surround me, even I will have to flee for my life. Oh right! My innate ability, Endurance, should have been activated already, however the real strength of this ability is yet to be determined.”
“Time is of the essence, I can only try first, if it doesn’t work out I will think of another way.”
Sheyan was scheming in his heart, deciding to first survey his environment. Realizing that the bearded man did not follow him, he relaxed and continued walking down the alley, making a slight turn he reached a road intersection. On the left was the ground floor of a tall building, and a loop of shabby looking neon signs, vaguely spelling out the words “Dallas Pub”. The crowd here was small, and the surroundings were remote. The pub had a small slanted back door looking as though it was used as an escape route, and its main door was a rusty sliding door, making creaking sounds as it slides.
Walking to the entrance, once could smell a warm odour mixed with cheap cosmetics, beer, and sweat causing Sheyan to sneeze twice. Inside the bar was a chaotic mess, loud music filled the air, the walls were decorated with cracks, vandalism and obscene drawings.
Dust was everywhere, easily noticeable under the lighting. On the left was a bar counter and the wooden slab had been split open, while above the counter was an array of beer bottles hanging atop a metal extension along the wall. A wooden board was nailed onto the wall, resting on it were a few glass bottles and pictures of celebrities. Those glass bottles contained a mixture of red and green whisky and other alcohols.
The bartender was a bald man, currently folding his hands against his chest. He had a horse like face, a pair of small eyes staring cautiously at the unfamiliar Sheyan. Sheyan walked to the bar counter and very naturally produced a rolled up 5 dollar bill using an impatient tone he spoke:
“Hi Jack, get me a glass of beer.”
The bartender retrieved the money, his expression relaxing a little as his trained hands poured a big glass of beer, he replied coldly:
“I am Martin, thanks.”
Sheyan drank a mouthful of beer, as he looked at his surroundings. He noticed a gathering of 5-6 people. Most of them were gambling, and two ladies in a flowery costume were pacing about entertaining customers. Apart from serving and clearing the beer glasses, they used their deep cleavages to receive tips from customers.
Sheyan spun round observing, he got a clearer understanding of their betting games. He circled one of the group, cheering around with them as he blended in, fishing out the 5 dollar note in his coat. Although this time’s bet was only 5 dollars, but in Sheyan’s heart he felt a tinge of nervousness and a very strong desire to win, This was his entire fortune!
The fact that Sheyan’s heightened perception was extremely beneficial, was proven once again. 5 dollars turned to 10, he then lost 3 dollars, and after 20 minutes, his 5 bucks had increased 6 fold! Sheyan then proceeded to change to another betting group engaged in Texas poker. Normally this game had a higher rate of losing than winning, but the winnings for one round far outweigh the amount lost for one round, After a mere half an hour, his fortune had expanded to 4 digits, and the surrounding gamblers all had a terribly ugly expression. Of course, Sheyan’s gaze also adapted accordingly.
Full House! Sheyan’s hand once again decimated his opponents, and at this point in time, a large crowd had begun gathering around this betting table. Especially on Sheyan’s left and right unknowingly stood two huge thugs showing off a black tattoo on their bulky arms. They pretended to converse between themselves about beating someone to a pulp the previous night, but were actually trying to indirectly pressure Sheyan.
Currently, Sheyan was winning a lot and losing little. A small punk with a tiny beard, wearing a cowboy hat, sat directly opposite from Sheyan; he had clearly just lost everything, and left an empty space in front of him. However, this punk as though oblivious to his personal crisis, foolishly persisted in gambling as he shouted out:
Sheyan shrugged his shoulders as he unenthusiastically spoke out:
“Show me your cash first.”
Tiny beardy looked up and grinned evilly:
“Looks like you don’t recognize Bloody Jack? That’s fine, I have no cash but I will mortgage two fingers!”
He actually reached out and grabbed a shiny dagger from his leather shoes, before piercing it down onto the table.