Chapter 100: Schemes
Chapter 100 O_O woooo never thought i'd be able to get here lol. Well if you guys spot any errors/typos please do point them out. I wish you all a good and enjoyable read. Sorry I didn't post yesterday, had to work 8 am until 11pm and was dead tired.
Chat with me O_o
With his experiment complete and a good night’s sleep, Zhang woke up early to watch his plan unfold. As soon as the run rose to the sky, the entertainers and storytellers that Zhang hired all quickly left the hotel and began doing what they were paid to do.
It did not take long for wild tales of Jiangshi to be spread throughout New Moon City. Horrifying tales, comedic tales, and all sorts of others were being spread like wildfire. The people of the city began to let their imaginations run wild after seeing the plays and hearing the stories of Jiangshi attacking the city.
According to his calculations, Zhang figured that it would take a few days and a few more dead bodies to be discovered before the citizens of New Moon City began trying to leave the city. All he had to do was add more fuel to the fire and fan it, soon he plans would be a success.
While Zhang was busy over watching the performers, Yuying was wracking her brain trying to come up with a way to mass produce talismans that can repel the Jiangshi. Each talisman required a decent amount of prep to create and to produce them on a scale large enough to help the entire city was something that was most likely impossible, but one won’t know one’s limits unless one tried. Yuying figured if she wished to have an army of Jiangshi then we must have a way to stop an army of Jiangshi.
Lingqi was also keeping herself busy by concocting highly corrosive acid, which was figured she could use to melt the Jiangshi. “An acid strong enough to melt a Jiangshi to a pile of bones.” She said with a chuckle before running off to acquire ingredients.
Ai and Ling on the other hand decided to just tag along with Zhang and enjoy their honeymoon because time spent worrying is time best spent having fun and it’s like either of these two know how to deal with a Jiangshi. So in the end that got the long end of the stick and got to have fun with their husband.
Zhang, Ling and Ai spent the majority of the day roaming the city and seeing the various plays that they had hired the troupes to enact. A variety of different stories had spawned from Zhang’s initial request. It was evident that Ai really enjoyed watching these plays solely from the broad smile on her face after sitting through each play.
“Brother let's go! The next one is starting soon!” She yelled as she tugged on Zhang’s sleeve. She was being like a child who was let loose at a candy store. Her eyes glimmered as she, Ling and Zhang walked through the festive streets. It was clear she absolutely did not care a tiny bit about the incident regarding the Jiangshi that was occurring in the city at all.
Perhaps even if something even more dangerous than Jiangshi appeared, Ai would still be without a single care in the world. That is simply how she is, a free spirit that cannot be weighed down by worries, a lofty being that is able to gaze down at everything.
Before Zhang and the girls headed off to the next play, Cheng Yu appeared and whispered something into Zhang’s ear before disappearing.
“Actually I think we have to visit a certain place before we go see the next play.” Zhang said as his arms were wrapped around Ai and Ling’s waists.
It did not take long for Zhang and his two wives accompanying him to arrive at a dark alleyway.
“Sweetheart, you're not thinking of reenacting what you did with Lingqi in that alley that one time here are you?” Ling teased.
“If you want to.” Zhang replied with a chuckle as he walked into the alleyway.
After taking a few turns and walking a short distance, Zhang, Ling and Ai arrived as an ordinary looking door.
“I had Cheng Yu find this city’s best place for entertainment.” Zhang said as he proceeded to knock on the door four times with momentary pauses after the second and third knocks.
Moments later a tiny slight on the corner of the door opened and a pair of eyes peeled out.
“State your business.” A voice sounded out from the other side of the door.
“The panda, eats, shoots, and leaves.” Zhang replied as his eyes scanned his surroundings. Ling stood beside him with confusion present on her face.
“How many wears do you need young master.” The voice rang out once more as a compartment on the wall beside the door opened.
“Three.” Zhang replied as he stuck his hand into the compartment and placed a silver coins inside.
Once Zhang placed the silver coins inside the compartment closed and moments later it opened one more. This time when Zhang stuck his hand into the compartment he pulled out three beautiful looking animal masks.
“Put these on.” Zhang said as he handed Ai a cute looking rabbit mask that cut across her face sideways and Ling a unique fox masked that covered a fourth of her face, while he donned a wolf mask covering the upper half of his own face.
Each mask was beautiful and most likely made by some own fairly proficient in the arts.
Once they donned the masks, the door in front of them slowly swung open. A hulking man wearing an ape mask stood on the other side and behind him was an empty room with a single stool placed by the door.
“Please follow me young master.” The man said.
The ape masked man led Zhang and the two beauties with him to a seemingly normal corner of the room. That was when the man produced a small bronze key, which he stabbed into a wall. Although the wall looked completely solid the instant the man stabbed the key into it a keyhole happened to be where his key touched the wall.
Moments later the floor beside the stool moved and revealed a descending staircase. Without saying a word, the ape masked man began walking down the staircase.
After a few dozen steps the man and the trio arrived at another door. With a combination of knocks, a slit opened up in this door just like the last.
“The tall giraffe licks the honey; the hippo drinks the tea.” The ape mask man said. Not long after the door opened and Zhang, Ling and Ai entered a new world.
The epitome of luxury was present on the other side of the door. Luxurious furniture from all corners of the Warring States Region, hundreds of people dressed in exquisite clothing and masks stood about. Dozens of tables where all sorts of games were being played.
“Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon!” A cheerful voice yelled out. the trio had just entered what could be considered the center of New Moon Province’s underworld. To be exact they were currently at an underground gambling establishment, basically a casino, an illegal one.
Spotting a relatively secluded spot off in the far end of the casino, Zhang led the two beauties by his side toward it.
Despite the casino being crowded with people, that certain corner only had a few people seated.
Upon arriving at their destination, a pair of largely built men blocked their path.
“I'm sorry young master but this table isn't for just anyone, a minimum bet of one thousand gold coins must be made and whoever does not have enough money to pay for their tab must leave behind an arm and a leg.” One of the men said.
“Hmm sounds interesting.” Zhang said while walking straight past the two men.
A game of Tai Sai also known as Big and Small or Hi-Lo or Sic Bo was taking place. Atop a large round table were dozens of squares where one can bet, along with two large circles that either said big or small.
The dealer was currently shaking a round cylinder as everyone present at the table was placing bets.
“Place your bets and hands off the board.” He said loudly as he placed the cylinder into the table with a thump.
After all of the bets were placed the dealer lift the cylinder revealing three dice, one with five does, one with two dots and another with three dots, totaling ten dots.
“Small!” The dealer yelled as he gathered up all of the bets placed in the square on the table that said “Big.” If the dice totaled a number from four to ten, then it is considered a small while if a dice totaled a number from eleven to seventeen the it is a big. A person could also bid on certain numbers if they wished, of course this would result in a higher payout if they win.
Zhang after arriving at the table simply picked a seat and sat down, Ling and Ai pulled up seats beside him and also sat down.
The next hand was able to begin and everyone began placing bets once more. With a wave of his hand, ten thousand gold coins appeared on the table.
“Ai which one do you think we should bet on?” Zhang asked in a playful tone.
Ai’s eyes glimmered as she pushed the pile of gold coins into the square that said big. While she was doing that many people at the table stared blankly at her in disbelief. Although the minimum bet was a thousand gold coins, rarely did anyone ever bet more than a thousand gold coins and it truly did not seem like Ai had put any thought into her bet at all.
From this one could be able to guess how much wealth Zhang had at his disposal because he did not hesitate a single bit when she was betting with his money.
The dealer’s eyes also glimmered as Ai placed her bet. It was the eyes of someone who was counting their money.
“Place your bets and hands off the board.” The dealer said like he had done before.
Moments later after tossing three dice into the cylinder once more, the dale at began shaking the dice and after a dozen shakes the dealer placed the cylinder into the table with a thump.
Once he lifted the cylinder a dice with four dots, two dots and one dot came into sight. In an instant the dealer collected Ai’s ten thousand gold coin bet.
Maids appeared and offered wine and tea to those at the table Zhang and the beauties were currently sitting at. These people could be considered VIPs so they had preferential treatment compared to the other people in the casino.
“What should we bet next?” Zhang asked Ling, while waving his hand and making not ten thousand but twenty thousand gold coins appear.
“I say we pick big again.” Ling said with a smile as the wine in the cup in front of her snakes out of the cup and pushed the gold coins to the square that said big.
A mere few moments later a few creases could be seen on Ling and Ai’s foreheads, they hadn't been able to win a single round and they've been playing for about five rounds each. Of course each round they would double their bets, so the amount of money they lost could be considered astronomical to regular people. But to them it wasn't too much of a big deal, however the mere thought of losing ten games in a row was frustration.
“Okay my turn.” Zhang said with a grin, while tracing the silky hair of his two wives present. He made it seem as if he was putting up a front because after each loss he would make sure the dealer saw the displeasure on his face.
“Everything going according to plan, to lure the snake out of its den suitable bait must be used.” Zhang thought as an unnoticeable and invisible pulse of essence began emitting from him. The Underworld Heart will now be used to create a miracle of sorts.
“I bet six million gold coins on small because ten rounds of betting on big hasn't been so lucky.” Zhang said, by now it was an accepted fact that he had mountains of money in his interspatial ring so Zhang no longer had to even place money on the table anymore.
“Okay young master, but are you sure?” The dealer said with a grin. He obviously was taking Zhang and the two beauties for idiots.
“Yes, now roll the dice.” Zhang said in an unhappy tone, trying to make the dealer think he's angry.
“Hmph you must be the idiot son of some influential lord since you're going to help papa get rich. Try to play cool as long as you’d like but I know you’ll lose it soon; six million gold coins can put a hole in anyone’s pocket.” The dealer thought as he began shaking the dice. He clearly was thinking that Zhang was just another loaded playboy who doesn’t know that he’s in over his head.
“You think your rigged dice can help you win against me when I want to win?” Zhang thought mockingly as he an invisible layer of essence coated the dice.
“Alright all hands off the board!” The dealer yelled as he began shaking the cylinder in his hand thought that his commission from the winnings the casino got off Zhang would be able to let him live in luxury for the rest of his life. Moments later the cylinder was placed on the table with a thump and the dealer had a wide grin on his face, as if he had just struck gold. But as he lifted the cylinder three dies with only one point each were visible.
The dealer looked startled however he did not say a word and paid Zhang his winnings. A few attendants arrived at the table with a few chests full of gold coins. Being a large underground establishment the casino had an unbelievable amount of money under its control but six million gold coins was not something it could keep paying out. By now tons of attention had been gathered on that specific table and a large crowd had gathered to look.
“Young master, do you wish to have someone count your winnings?” The dealer said with scorn in his eyes. “What the fuck is wrong with these dice, I made sure to use a bit of fire magic to melt the iron inside so they would land on sixes.” The dealer thought.
“No need, we’ll be better again.” Ai said as she pointed to one of the squares.
“Time to draw out the snake.” Zhang thought.
“Now Ai I think we should bet a little less, we wouldn’t want to bankrupt the casino now would we?” Zhang said with his arm around Ai’s waist.
“Sweetheart how about just a thousand coins?” Ling said as she waved her hand and a thousand coins appeared neatly stacked on the table. Withdrawing from her interspatial ring was much simpler than having to count out a thousand coins from the chests holding their winnings.
“Just you watch I’ll make you lose so badly that you’ll even have to bet the clothes on your backs or perhaps you’ll be leaving without those two pretty ladies beside you.” The dealer thought as he began falling for Zhang’s plan.