Chapter 99: Born Lucky
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
The new dice handler stayed on as the dealer, but Xiao Luo had not placed a single bet since his arrival. The other gamblers were getting anxious, and those who had started to lose money began laying into Xiao Luo.
“Bro, are you going to play or what? You’ve already sat out five rounds.”
“Maybe he feels like his luck has changed for the worse and doesn’t want to continue betting recklessly.”
“Ugh. And here I thought I’d found my lucky star for today. So much for tagging along and making a killing—this is all he’s got. What a waste.”
Xiao Luo turned a deaf ear to the other gamblers’ griping and whispered something into Sun Jian’nan’s ear.
“Are you sure about this?” Sun Jian’nan’s expression was troubled.
“I’m sure. Just do exactly as I say,” Xiao Luo replied.
The new dice handler laughed contemptuously. He had full control of how the dice would land. No matter how Xiao Luo placed his bets, he was not winning a single cent from this table.
The dice clattered vigorously in the box as he shook them, and after several seconds he firmly slammed the box back on the table.
Xiao Luo yelled out in a sonorous and forceful voice.
The other gamblers, who had been observing Xiao Luo, were delighted. They gleefully wagered their chips on ‘Big’ without any hesitation.
On the other hand, Xiao Luo made no move to bet after his outburst. Surprisingly, it was Sun Jian’nan who moved, grabbing one million in chips and rushing to the neighboring dice table. He squeezed in and placed all his chips on ‘Big.’
The dealer at the neighboring table announced, his voice carrying. It was ‘Big.’
The new dice handler’s eyes widened in disbelief as he looked at Xiao Luo like he was some kind of freak. He never would have imagined that Xiao Luo was capable of listening to the dice game at the neighboring table and accurately guessing the outcome.
“You guys have fun!”
Flashing a cheeky smile at the dealer, Xiao Luo left.
Xiao Luo put down two million in chips on Manager Geng’s table. He stared viciously through heavily lidded eyes at Xiao Luo, unable to express the mix of emotions he was feeling. In a way, he was at a loss for words. It was as though the universe had conspired to kick him in the balls. He could not believe that Xiao Luo had actually made two million from his initial hundred thousand—and with a bonus six hundred thousand to boot! How could he accept something so outrageous?
“The debt he owes you should be cleared now, right?” Xiao Luo asked, raising his eyebrows.
Manager Geng’s mouth twitched, and he slapped his hand on his desk violently. “Kid, were you cheating?”
To come in so casually and take two million off them, did he think their casino was some kind of charity?
Xiao Luo smiled almost imperceptibly. “The dealer works for you. I’m just guessing the results. If you want to accuse me of cheating, please, enlighten me, how could I have cheated?”
At this, Manager Geng’s face flushed red. He did not really believe that Xiao Luo had used any underhanded tricks. The casino monitored all their customers with surveillance cameras. The staff would have immediately noticed if Xiao Luo had made any overt moves to cheat. Yet, if he was playing by the rules, how did he win five rounds in a row without losing? Was his luck that good? The notion was absolutely preposterous!
“How did you do it?” Manager Geng asked with a death stare. He looked like he wanted to take a bite out of Xiao Luo.
“I’m just born lucky. See you!”
After tossing out this casual answer, Xiao Luo picked up the remaining six hundred thousand in chips and departed.
Manager Geng sank into his sofa, gritting his teeth. His hands were tied. He could not dispatch his goons to deal with Xiao Luo here and now. There were guests downstairs, and a brawl would ruin his casino’s reputation and force them out of business.
“Young man, thank you! Thank you so much!”
Leaving the casino, Sun Jian’nan tearfully knelt on the ground, kowtowing to Xiao Luo in appreciation of his help.
Xiao Luo helped him back to his feet. “You don’t look like a gambling man, so how did you end up two million in debt?”
“Ugh,” Sun Jian’nan sighed bitterly. “I was a manager at one of the Luo’s Workshop bakeries. When business was good, I had a monthly income of around twenty thousand. But after Luo’s Workshop’s food safety scandal, the flow of revenue from customers visiting our store has dropped to an all-time low. There are some days where we get no customers at all. My salary has also gone from twenty thousand to a mere five or six thousand a month.”
Xiao Luo was somewhat surprised to discover that Sun Jian’nan was a manager at a Luo’s Workshop stall. Digging deeper, he asked, “Your pay cut does not directly explain how you ended up with gambling debts, does it?”
Sun Jian’nan felt like the words were stuck in his throat, and he struggled to share his misery.
“Young man, you wouldn’t know this, but I recently bought a house in Jiangcheng. In addition to my car loan, I have to pay fifteen thousand a month. My wife’s salary is currently being used to fund our two sons’ university education. When things were normal, we managed to get by just fine, and we made enough to cover our expenses. However, now that my salary has dropped to five or six thousand, we are really feeling the pinch.”
“Uncle, if you’re facing financial difficulties, then why didn’t you tell us? My parents could have helped you out,” Sun Yu said.
Sun Jian’nan smiled bitterly and replied, “My niece, every family has their own problems to deal with. I could borrow from them once, but if I have to rely on your father every month, I could not bear to bring it up.”
“So, you decided to gamble?”
Sun Yu was somewhat triggered. Even she knew that gambling ruined lives, so why had her uncle not understood this simple fact? Gaming did not improve one’s fate. It only dragged one deeper into a bottomless abyss.
“I managed to win a hundred thousand at the start, but then…” Sun Jian’nan’s voice grew weaker and weaker as he spoke until he finally shut his eyes in remorse.
Xiao Luo explained, “The dice are rigged. There are microchips and electrodes embedded inside. This allows dealers to fix the games and show the results they choose. Basically, you’re guaranteed to lose if you gamble at the casino.”
Sun Jian’nan nodded solemnly. “I’ve learned my lesson now. I will never step back into that kind of place for as long as I live.”
“I hope you keep that promise,” Xiao Luo advised.
Saying his goodbyes, Sun Jian’nan climbed into a taxi and left.
Xiao Luo and Sun Yu were left alone at last, walking side by side. Xiao Luo was thinking about what he’d just heard about Luo’s Workshop. If a manager was only earning five or six thousand, how little were the other staff getting?
Just then, Sun Yu ran to a small road-side shop. She bought a pen and paper then scribbled down something quickly.
Xiao Luo was puzzled by her actions. But before he could ask, she passed the slip of paper with her writing to Xiao Luo.
He looked down at the piece of paper, which was clearly titled with the header ‘IOU.’ Written below that was: ‘Today, Sun Yu owes Xiao Luo the sum of two million dollars.’
Her handwriting was neat and beautiful, just like her.
“Brother Xiao Luo, I will return the two million to you,” Sun Yu said through pursed red lips.
Xiao Luo shook his head and laughed, “Don’t worry about it. I didn’t lose any money. In fact, I ended up five hundred grand richer.”
“No, I must pay you back. Otherwise, I won’t be able to live with myself,” Sun Yu insisted stubbornly. She did not enjoy taking advantage of others, even less so when it was a man she had just met.
“You really don’t have to do this. Even if I wanted to be repaid, that should be your uncle’s obligation, not yours.”
“My uncle is family, and his debt is my debt,” Sun Yu said, her pretty eyes aflame with determination. “Brother Xiao, I can’t pay you all at once, but I can spare two thousand every month. I’ll be able to pay you more when my salary increases. My uncle’s business is also sure to improve. One day, we’ll clear this debt.”