Chapter 17 – Mystery solved

My job at the bathhouse was relatively laid-back.

Every day, I distributed supplies to various bathing areas and guest rooms.

The rest of the time, I waited for notifications from the walkie-talkie about where else needed replenishing.

Today was no different. After distributing the supplies, I sat on the steps in the backyard of the bathhouse, quietly smoking.

Halfway through my cigarette, the backyard gate suddenly opened.

Two men walked out side by side.

I knew these two all too well.

One was Hou Jun, who had tried to embarrass me in public this morning.

The other was his childhood friend.

Old Hei, who had a one-on-one fight with me that night.

Hou Jun had his back to me, so he didn’t see me.

On the contrary, when Old Hei saw me, he was taken aback.

Then, he quickly averted his gaze.

The two of them were not far from me.

Even though they spoke softly, I could hear their conversation clearly.

Old Hei: “Monkey, I’ve scraped together 3,500 yuan. You take it first. I’ll give you the 2,000 I owe you later.”

Hou Jun: “Alright, Old Hei. I’m in urgent need of money, otherwise I wouldn’t be pressing you. You can give me the remaining 2,000 within a month.”

I sneered inwardly.

Hou Jun always claimed that Old Hei was his childhood friend, his best brother.

He cheated and set up a game, not only winning all of Old Hei’s money but also lending him a lot.

Now, he claimed to be in urgent need of money and started to ask for repayment.

This man was so hypocritical and cunning that he would deny his own family.

After a few more casual words, Hou Jun spoke again.

“By the way, Old Hei, our underground casino is opening in a few days. If you can’t get the money, you can bring friends to play. Win or lose, you get 300 for each person you bring. If your friends lose a lot, I can talk to Sister Mei and give you a little more…”

Old Hei looked troubled.

“You know, my friends don’t like to gamble. If I bring them here and they lose money, I’d feel so guilty…”

“What does their loss have to do with you? It’s not like you’re forcing them to gamble. Just bring them here first, we’ll see if they want to play…”

Hou Jun continued to persuade.

Unexpectedly, even before the casino opened, Hou Jun had taken on the role of a tout.

This role exists in casinos everywhere.

They are commonly known as “chip stackers”.

Of course, there are such people in the Blue Path Swindler Sect as well.

Since the inception of the Swindler Sect, there has been talk of the Eight Generals of the Sect.

And those who specialize in persuading people to join the game.

They belong to the Eight Generals of the Sect and are known as “Recruit Generals”.

As they were talking, Hou Jun’s walkie-talkie rang.

It was Su Mei asking him to come to the office.

He said a few words to Old Hei and hurried off.

When he turned around, he saw me.

He glared at me fiercely before pushing the door and going in.

The whole yard was left with just me and Old Hei.

After we exchanged glances, Old Hei walked towards me in large strides.

And I, I just sat on the steps, unmoving.

When he got to me, Old Hei actually offered me a cigarette.

“Have one…”

I took it, lit it, and took a big puff.

Old Hei also lit one.

The two of us, one standing and one sitting, quietly smoked, neither of us speaking.

After a while, Old Hei suddenly spoke.

“Aren’t you afraid of dying?”

“I am!”

“Then why did you dare to fight me to the death that day?”

“Because I thought you were more afraid than me!”

Old Hei laughed, a very honest laugh.

“What if I wasn’t as afraid as you, what would you do?”

“Then it would be a matter of who has the longer life!”

My tone was still cold.

But Old Hei laughed, albeit bitterly.

“Alright, I admit defeat. I, Old Hei, have never admitted defeat to anyone in all these years. You, Chu Liu, are the first…”

As soon as he finished speaking, Old Hei immediately corrected himself.

“Oh, no. I lost that day, so I should call you Master Liu, Master Chu Liu!”

I barely won that day, and was beaten up by Old Hei.

But my impression of Old Hei has always been good.

He was willing to accept his loss, and he kept his word.

At the same time, he had principles and boundaries, and he didn’t cheat his friends.

He fought me one-on-one to stand up for his friend.

He was just a bit simple-minded, a bit naive.

But for me, that was a good thing.

I took a puff of my cigarette, looked at Old Hei, and asked casually:

“Have you ever thought about why you always lose money in Hou Jun’s games?”

“Bad luck, poor fortune, what else could it be?”

What a blockhead!

A genuine blockhead!

People like him are born to be prey for swindlers.

He loves to gamble, and he’s not the least bit savvy.

He insists that everything comes down to luck.

Even that day when his Leopard J met Hou Jun’s Leopard A.

And Hou Jun’s Leopard A met my 235.

Such an unusual event, and he didn’t think anything was wrong.

I took a puff of my cigarette and slowly shook my head.

“It’s not luck, you were cheated by Hou Jun. The poker cards he used in the game are swindler’s cards. He knows them all…”


As soon as my words fell, Old Hei immediately denied it loudly.

“Monkey and I grew up together, we’re the closest of friends. He could cheat anyone, but he would never cheat me. You can’t try to drive a wedge between us because of what happened that day!”

Old Hei spoke righteously.

I rarely smile.But at this moment, I really wanted to laugh.

In this world, there really are such fools who get sold and still help count the money.

“Don’t believe me?”


“It’s simple, go to that supermarket, buy a few decks of poker and you’ll know…”

Seeing my firm words, Old Hei was also a bit confused.

After thinking for a while, he said to me:

“Alright, you come with me, and tell me how to recognize it?”

“I’m at work!”

“I’ll ask Hou Jun to give you a leave…”

Old Hei was very persistent.

I thought for a while and said:

“Forget it, I’ll ask for leave myself…”

Saying that, I took out my phone and called Su Mei.

She had called me once before, and I saved her number.

As soon as the call went through, I told her I needed to take a leave.

I thought Su Mei’s attitude would definitely be as cold as it was in the morning, or even angry.

But to my surprise, Su Mei’s tone was very calm.

“If you have anything to do in the future, just go and do it. You don’t need to ask for leave, and it won’t be counted as absenteeism. If anyone mentions it at the bathhouse, just say you’ve asked me…”

I was stunned.

I didn’t expect Su Mei to give me such a privilege.

Was she not angry anymore?

The supermarket where we used to play was not far from the bathhouse.

When we arrived at the entrance, we hadn’t even entered yet.

We heard an old man’s voice from across the street.

“Oh, aren’t these the two who were boxing that night? How come you made up so quickly? It’s too boring, I was hoping to see you two fight again…”

The speaker was Old Wu, who was watching the excitement at the door that night.

At this moment, he was sitting on a stool in front of the yard, fanning himself with a straw fan in his left hand and holding a half-moon purple clay teapot in his right hand.

He was drinking tea by himself, not caring about his white hair being blown messy by the wind.

Old Hei and I didn’t say anything, we just went straight into the small supermarket.

The supermarket owner obviously didn’t expect the two of us to come.

His eyes were clearly a bit flustered.

Old Hei didn’t waste any words, he just said:

“Give me two decks of poker…”

The owner first glanced outside the door.

I guess he was checking if Hou Jun had also come.

Seeing no one coming in, he immediately said:

“The poker is sold out, the goods will be delivered tomorrow, you guys come back tomorrow…”

“What the hell, do you think I’m blind?”

Old Hei suddenly shouted.

Both the owner and I were startled.

He pointed to the shelf next to him.

“Isn’t that poker, or is it your mother’s sanitary napkin?”

On the shelf, there were two types of poker displayed.

One was Yaoji, and the other was the AAA we often played.

Actually, I suspect that both of these were placed by Hou Jun.

It’s just that since we always play AAA, I didn’t bother to check if Yaoji was rigged.

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