Garn descended from the sky like a bolt of lightning.
A cloud of dust spun up in a funnel. With a wave of his hand, the dust cleared and Garn appeared before the soldiers and the woman. Grabbing the air, a force of power gripped the hooded woman and pulled her forward, then Garn’s fingers flexed and the woman’s body was forced down onto all fours. The weight of Garn’s power was putting such immense pressure upon the woman that it made it hard for her to breathe.
Garn’s eyes glowed a golden light and the tip of his staff glowed a bright red. Many in the crowd grew panicked and began to try and escape but the terror they felt from Master Garn locked their bodies up and paralyzed them in place.
The hooded woman could barely lift her head to meet Master Garn’s eyes but once she saw them, she felt as though her soul was about to leave her body.
Garn filled his voice with power and spoke like a dominating demonic fiend.
“I’ll ask you this one time and one time only, where is young Ryuta! If you lie to me, prepare yourself for death.”
Kazuki, wrapped in a black hood cloak Lamia had given him, made his way down a dark dank alley. At the end of the alley was a seemingly plain brick wall but Lamia had pointed him here and given him a hint.
He had told Lamia he was looking for a way to earn cash quick and she had told him of an underground gambler’s den.
Coming upon the brick wall, Kazuki spotted a few odd symbols on the wall. Were you to simply pass by, you would never notice the symbols as they blended supremely well with the wall. Only after close observation would one notice them.
Following Lamia’s direction, Kazuki tapped the three symbols in a certain order.
*Tap, tap, tap tap tap…Tap tap*
The brick wall began to creak and rumble. Kazuki could hear mechanical gears turning and metallic wires twining and flexing with small twanging noises.
(So this is how this place has stayed hidden for so long. With a secret passage made with engineering instead of magic, the guards would never find this place unless they searched every alley manually and up close.)
Kazuki nodded at such ingenuity. Living in a world of magic, a lot of science and engineering was ignored or not explored very much. With every problem solvable with convenient magic, why invest your mind in something so difficult and time-consuming. Criminals, though, would seek an advantage in any way that they could. Whatever could make them more money or have better ways of not being caught, they would do it.
As the gears finished turning, Kazuki took a step back and the brick wall opened inwardly. A pathway leading down appeared before him. Taking a step in, the brick wall shut behind him and everything became pitch black.
With the source of light cut off, the ceiling above slowly began to light up. An odd slimy plant was slathered upon the entire ceiling and glowed with a greenish-blue luminescent. Taking a closer look, Kazuki could tell it was some type of algae.
(They couldn’t use torches in here because of oxygen issues and they couldn’t use magic because they wanted to avoid detection but using a natural algae that glows in the dark, they can light this pathway. Interesting.)
Kazuki made his way downward for what seemed like 15 minutes until he finally entered a wide empty room. The only thing in this wide empty room was a plain stone table and a clear crystal orb floating just above it.
As Kazuki approached the table, the crystal spoke.
“Man who has entered, if you’ve come here then you know that this is a place of money and a place to make fortunes. However, it is also a place of rules.”
A long list of rules were read out and then the voice added.
“As you know, this place’s business is not on the up and up. Therefore we cannot allow those that are against us to enter. Place a drop of your blood upon this crystal and swear upon the god of thieves that you do not work for the crown or any crown on the Feya continent and that you only come here to fulfill your own greed. If you tell the truth you may enter but if you lie, Hmph…”
Kazuki ignored the warning and bit the tip of his finger. With a flick, a single drop of blood landed upon the crystal. The crystal devoured the drop of blood, absorbing it like a meal.
(For thieves to ask someone to be honest, how laughable.)
The crystal flashed for a moment before the entire room started to rotate.
(It seems they believe magic detection won’t work so far down…I wonder.)
The room finished rotating and the scenery changed completely.
The ambient noise of people cheering was the first thing that hit Kazuki. A large building nearly 5 stories tall lay before his eyes. He had yet to enter but he could already hear the excitement in the air. There were a few large guards or rather thugs guarding the entrance. They eyed Kazuki who wore a hood but did not stop him. Since they had heard no alarm then Kazuki must have entered normally and therefore they didn’t harass him.
Walking into the building the first thing Kazuki saw was a large crowd of people surrounding many tables with piles of gold on them. Men and women threw dice or played with cards while drinks and food flowed freely. A cute waitress wearing a small bunny outfit with stockings approached Kazuki.
“Good day, sir, is there anything you’re interested in today? A hard drink, a game of cards or perhaps, me?”
The waitress was very flirtatious but Kazuki had business to attend to and was in no mood.
“I’m looking for a game of dice.”
The waitress was a little sad that her flirting went ignored but like a professional, she wore a bright smile and said.
“Right this way, please.”
Kazuki was lead to a table near the corner of the room where many people were hooting and hollering as they gambled greedily.
Sitting down, Kazuki noticed a small man wearing a dark blue uniform, with a pencil mustache, stood behind the table. He held a plain wooden cup in his hand and held 4 dice in the other. With a quick movement, the dice that were in his right hand were thrown and disappeared into the cup in his left.
The man shook it repeatedly before slamming the cup face down on the table. In front of every customer, there were 4 small letters that were carved into the table. One was the letter O, one was the letter E, one was the letter H and the last letter was L.
The small man, looked at everyone at the table before he said.
“Odd or even, high or low, place your bets now.”
Several men and women placed either silver coins or gold Zeni on one or two of the letters in front of them. A few of them couldn’t help but swallow hard while a few more could be heard saying.
“Come on, come on.”
With the bets settled, the small man wearing a blue uniform eyed the bets before he thought for a moment and smiled. Lifting the cup up the dice were revealed.
4, 2, 4,5…
A few people threw their hands up in defeat and booed while a lucky fellow was jumping up and down in joy.
“Hahaha, I won I won I won, Onyx steak for me tonight, hehehe.”
Kazuki stared at the table for the moment silently and the waitress figured he was confused and didn’t know the rules so she explained.
“The letters on the table represent Odd, even, high and low. Dear customer is allowed to bet on up to two different letters. Odd refers to, of course, if the number added up altogether is odd then you win and the same for odd. If you just bet with that method then you can get up to 20%. So if you were to win an odd bet with let’s say 100 gold Zeni then you would receive 20% which would be 20 Zeni. The same is true for the high and low bet. ”
“Since there are 4 dice that each have numbers 1 through 6, the highest total number that can come about is 24, while the lowest is just 4. So for this bet, any number below 14 is considered low and any number 15 and above is considered high. If you bet on one outcome then you can win 20% but if you bet on 2 let’s say even number and high number then the 20% isn’t just doubled it’s considered a bonus and you receive an extra 60%. So if you win both bets at once then you’ve essentially doubled your money. Does this all make sense, sir?”
Kazuki already knew this but didn’t want to be rude so he just nodded to her in appreciation. Kazuki wasn’t confused earlier instead he was curious about the dice game. Kazuki could tell the dice were flipped just before the cup was lifted but there was no magic present whatsoever. If most people in the world could use magic then that meant they could feel it as well.
So if this pencil mustache man even dared to use even an ounce of magic, there would be a good chance that most if not all of the people at the table would notice. The question would then become how was he flipping the dice without magic.
Kazuki placed his hand upon the table and sent a sliver of ki into the dice. With a nod he understood.
(Now I see. There are tiny magnets in the dice and there are 2 small switches under the table. One is for flipping the dice to become either odd or even and the other switch is for flipping the dice and making the numbers either high or low. I wonder when someone thought of this method. Being on earth for almost a decade, I learned of this method as well but to think my world uses it as well when there’s magic around. Hmm, criminals will think of anything to make a few extra coins.)
With the game figured out, Kazuki smiled for a moment before he changed the last two pieces of counterfeit gold in his pocket into real Zeni.
The pencil mustache man collected all the losers’ money and paid out to the winners. Throwing the dice back into the cup he shook it for a few seconds before slamming the cup face down once again.
“Odd or even, high or low, place your bets now.”
(Time to collect a little spending money, hehehe.)