Chapter 1 – Going out is the world

On the day I was kicked out of my uncle’s house, I first kowtowed to my aunt, thanking her for taking care of me all these years. I then told my uncle that if he ever dared to hit my aunt again, I would kill him.

My name is Chu Liu, and since I was born, my parents have entrusted me to my aunt’s care.

At first, my uncle treated me very well.

Of course, it wasn’t because he liked me so much.

It was because my parents would send him money from time to time to thank him and my aunt for taking care of me.

There was a lot of money, so much that every time my uncle got drunk, he would happily say that I was his money tree.

I was young at the time and didn’t know what my parents did.

It wasn’t until one summer day when I was six years old that my father came back.

But he didn’t come back on his own, he was carried back by people.

My father on the stretcher had lost his arms and legs.

His whole body was wrapped in white bandages, soaked in blood, glaring red.

At that time, my father was already on the verge of death.

In his last moments, he left me with only one sentence:

“Be an ordinary person, live a simple life, never gamble!”

That day, I cried all my tears.

And it was from that day on that I seemed to have never smiled again.

After my father passed away, my mother never appeared again.

Without my parents’ money transfers, my uncle treated me worse and worse.

From verbal abuse at the beginning to physical beatings later on.

And his cousin Li Dabiao, who was five years older than me, also joined in.

I clearly remember that over the years, the two of them slapped me 2,436 times, kicked me 3,487 times, and punched me 2,329 times.

The number of times they whipped me with a whip or a stick added up to 336.

If it weren’t for my aunt protecting me, I think I would have been beaten to death by them long ago.

I hate them, and I hold grudges.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t remember it so clearly.

At that time, I couldn’t fight back, I didn’t dare to.

But I learned how to take a beating.

When I was kicked out of my house, I didn’t become homeless, I followed Master Liu.

Master Liu is not his real name, he never told me his real name.

The reason I call him Master Liu is that after he found out my name was Chu Liu, he let me call him that.

He came to our town in the second year after my father died.

When I met him, he told me that he was the most powerful magician in the world.

And he was willing to teach me all his magic.

Indeed, his magic was amazing.

Playing cards, mahjong, dice, Pai Gow, they flew up and down in his hands, sometimes appearing, sometimes disappearing, sometimes more, sometimes less, elusive.

And so, starting from the age of seven, I began to learn his so-called “magic” from Master Liu.

Master Liu is an extremely carefree person.

Apart from supervising my practice of “magic” every day, he drinks and enjoys himself, and seeks women.

He seems to have an unusual obsession with women.

Even though he is over sixty years old, he revels almost every night.

Master Liu has also found women for me.

They were young, about eighteen or nineteen years old.

Their chubby faces were covered in thick rouge and powder.

When she put on a professional fake smile, flirted in front of me, and took off her first piece of clothing.

I gave her one word: “Get lost.”

It’s not that I don’t like women, it’s just that I don’t like this kind of woman.

My woman must be gentle, obedient, loyal. Attached to me, with me as the king.

Just like the “King” in a deck of playing cards.

But one day, a woman, sweaty and exhausted, lying in my arms, told me.

The “King” in a deck of playing cards actually means “Joker”.

On my twentieth birthday, Master Liu took me to Drunken Xiang Tower.

It was the best restaurant in our town.

In the quaint private room, Master Liu smoked a pipe made of golden nanmu wood. With his silver hair, he was still carefree and unrestrained.

“Pour the wine…”

In the blue and white porcelain bottle was thirty-year-old aged wine made from bamboo leaf green.

The wine flowed into the large bowl with jadeite porcelain and green glaze, and the wine foam rolled, filling the air with its fragrance.

“Young Liu, how long have you been with me?”

Master Liu took a puff of his pipe, blew out smoke, and asked me.

“Thirteen years, two months, and twenty-two days!”

“What have I taught you?”

“The Swindler techniques!”

“What are The Swindler techniques?”

“The techniques of deceiving the heavens and crossing the sea, to achieve the goal of changing day and night!”

Master Liu nodded slightly.

He was satisfied with my answer.

Tapping his pipe, Master Liu picked up the large bowl and said to me:

“After drinking this bowl of wine, you will graduate! From now on, you don’t have to follow me anymore…”

I knew this day would come sooner or later.

I just didn’t expect it to be on my twentieth birthday.

The thirty-year-old bamboo leaf green wine entered my throat, and a spicy fire shot straight from my stomach to the top of my head.

Putting down the bowl, Master Liu said again:

“Young Liu, remember this. You have learned The Swindler techniques, entered The Swindler Sect, and joined the Blue Path. From now on, you are no longer an ordinary person. You are a Swindler in The Swindler Sect!”

The so-called Blue Path refers to all gamblers and swindlers.

As long as you gamble, the path you walk is the Blue Path.

Thinking of my father’s dying wish for me to be an ordinary person and never gamble.

But I never expected that more than a decade later.

I would become a Swindler in The Swindler Sect.

Perhaps this is the unpredictability of life, the irony of fate.

“Young Liu, let me ask you again, do you want to be the master or the loser from now on?”

“The master!”

I think in this world, no one would willingly be a loser.

“Good, since you want to be the master. I want you to use what you have learned in the past decade to make sure that within three years, everyone in The Swindler Sect knows that there is a Master Liu, Master Chu Liu!”

Three years?

Can I do it?

I was a bit lost.Over the years, I’ve accompanied Master Liu to countless gambling rounds, in casinos big and small.

However, I’ve never actually gambled myself.

I don’t know, how good am I at the Swindler techniques?

But, I still nodded in agreement.

Master Liu once told me, the hardest part of being The Swindler isn’t the technique, but the psychology.

In front of thousands of people, whether you can fully display what you’ve learned in your life, that’s the key.

“Alright, from now on, you’ll venture alone in the world of the Swindler Sect and Blue Path!”

Master Liu’s tone was light and breezy.

But in his eyes, I still saw reluctance.

“The world? Where is this world?”

I looked out the window in confusion, asking softly.

“Step outside, and you’re in the world!”

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