Chapter 32 – Not according to common sense

As soon as he finished speaking, Centipede swaggered over to the table. He casually grabbed a bath towel from the rack, spread it on the table, and tossed his two decks of poker cards onto the towel.

He even made a show of gesturing to me, sneering, “Come on, kid! Let’s continue our game today!”

Seeing that he couldn’t dissuade Centipede, the lobby manager didn’t want to stir up trouble. He glanced at me and said indifferently, “Play a few rounds with Brother Centipede. I have other things to do, I’ll go ahead…” With that, he slipped away. But something didn’t feel right to me.

Why would Centipede choose to gamble with me in this dark, cluttered storeroom instead of the readily available gambling den? Could it be that there was a swindler among his men, and he was afraid of being discovered in the casino, so he chose to play here? I couldn’t quite figure it out. But I knew one thing. I couldn’t avoid this game today.

I could only sit on a chair to the side. I thought that the people Centipede brought would also join the game.

But to my surprise, Centipede opened the poker cards and said to me, “Today it’s just the two of us playing, no more ‘dragging nine’, straight to three-card poker. The minimum bet is 200, the maximum is 2000. Whoever has the higher hand is the dealer…”

I was slightly taken aback. Centipede was gambling with me alone, and he was so confident. Could there be something wrong with the poker cards he brought?

As I watched him shuffle, I said calmly, “I don’t have that much money, just over eight thousand…”

As I spoke, I took out the money and put it on the table. I was telling the truth. After winning the money that day, I gave ten thousand to Little Duo and Old Niu. I had thirty-eight thousand left. I had saved the thirty thousand and brought the rest with me.

Centipede snorted, “You won tens of thousands from me, and you’ve spent it all so quickly? But it’s okay, if you lose it all, I can lend you!”

I couldn’t help but frown. Centipede came prepared. He wouldn’t give up until he got a sum of money from me. But I still couldn’t figure out how he planned to win.

After Centipede finished speaking, he ordered one of his underlings, “Go, call a few of the bathing girls for me. I want to play something different today, getting a massage while playing cards…” As he spoke, Centipede chuckled lewdly.

And so, this simple card game began. When I looked at the cards, I carefully studied the poker deck. It was a regular Yaoji poker deck, with no markings. I was sure there was nothing wrong with the cards. So where did Centipede’s confidence come from?

Although I couldn’t figure it out, I didn’t cheat. After all, Centipede’s men were watching me closely from behind. I didn’t know if there were any swindlers among them. Perhaps they were waiting for me to cheat, so they could catch me red-handed. In our one-on-one game, I didn’t need to cheat. I could win just by remembering the order of the cards while shuffling. After all, when Centipede shuffled, he always revealed the points of the cards. With my eyesight and memory, remembering this was child’s play.

In front of Centipede was a total of fifty thousand. He played very casually, not even looking at his cards every round. If I placed a bet, he would follow. If I didn’t reveal my cards, he wouldn’t either. He just blindly followed to the end.

His way of playing could be described as the most foolish. Not to mention a swindler like me, even a regular gambler could easily win against him.

But I knew that things were not that simple.

After a few rounds, Centipede’s underling brought in a group of beautiful masseuses. As soon as they entered, they lined up neatly and bowed to Centipede, greeting him.

“Hello, boss!”

The masseuses at Sky Like were definitely top-notch. They were all over 1.65 meters tall. They all wore high heels and short skirt uniforms. Their long, bare legs were not allowed to wear any stockings. Of course, this was for the convenience of the customers. Their upper bodies were all in white blouses, with deep V-necklines. Their ample bosoms were half-exposed, very eye-catching.

Centipede leered at the masseuses for a while before choosing two. One of them was my acquaintance, Chen Xiaoxue.

Centipede sure knew how to enjoy himself. One masseuse knelt in front of him, massaging his legs. Chen Xiaoxue stood behind him, massaging his shoulders.

“Brother Centipede, you must have won a lot today…” Chen Xiaoxue cooed at Centipede.

Her eyes flicked towards me intentionally or unintentionally. Centipede laughed heartily, grabbed a few hundred-dollar bills from the pile of money, and handed them to the two women.

“You two serve me well. If you make me happy, I’ll reward each of you tonight…” As he spoke, Centipede burst into laughter. Chen Xiaoxue and the other woman also laughed along.

This round was Centipede’s turn to be the dealer. After dealing the cards, he still didn’t look at his hand. He placed a bet of a thousand dollars, casually throwing it onto the table.

“Let’s start with a thousand!”

Then, Centipede touched Chen Xiaoxue’s thigh with one hand while squinting at me with the other.

Up to this point in the game, I had won over two thousand. And I hadn’t cheated at all. Seeing Centipede place a bet, I prepared to look at my cards. I did this to numb the people around me. I couldn’t let them see that I could remember the order of the cards.

Just as I was about to peek at my cards, I suddenly heard a shout from behind me.

“Don’t move, you’re cheating!”

I was startled. Before I could react, a pair of large hands firmly gripped my wrist.

Then, I felt a cold sting at the back of my neck.

Someone was pressing a knife against my neck. The scene scared Chen Xiaoxue and the female masseuse, making them scream and lose their color.

I couldn’t help but frown.

I hadn’t cheated. I didn’t even have the intention to cheat.

Centipede suddenly stood up. Because of his abrupt movement, the masseuse who was kneeling in front of him massaging his legs fell to the ground.Centipede pointed at me, cursing ferociously, “Damn it, no wonder you won fifty thousand from me last time. Turns out this bastard was cheating. Search him…”

The man holding my wrist casually flipped up my sleeve. In his hand, a Spades Ace appeared.

“Brother Centipede, this is the card he was hiding…”

A sigh of despair welled up in my heart. I finally understood how Centipede planned to win against me today. Among the Swindler techniques, there’s one called ‘Switch and Frame’, used when stealing and transferring cards. And that’s exactly what Centipede was doing to me now.

However, his method was dirty. He didn’t rely on skill, but on blatant framing. This was the consequence of not having a Boss, not having my own team. If I had those, this scoundrel Centipede would never dare to treat me this way.

“Kid, do you have anything else to say?” Centipede said, collecting all the money on the table, including the money in front of me.

“I didn’t cheat!” I said coldly.

“You didn’t cheat? Ha!” Centipede said, pointing at the two masseuses, “These two are from your bathhouse, ask them if they saw you cheating.”

The masseuse who had just been kneeling on the ground was terrified by the scene before her.

She carefully looked at Centipede and shook her head, “Brother Centipede, I was massaging your legs the whole time, I didn’t see…” She was telling the truth. She hadn’t seen anything that had just happened.

Chen Xiaoxue, on the other hand, was looking at me being held down, and also carefully said, “Brother Centipede, I didn’t see clearly either…”

Unexpectedly, Centipede’s eyes narrowed, and he shouted, “Are you fucking blind? Can’t see clearly? Just say what you saw…”

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