Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 134

Chapter 134 - Gambling

Gu Fei was eyeing Silver Moon with extreme disdain, yet the latter did not even notice it. After winning everyone’s sympathy with his speech, the relationship between everyone in the cell seemed to have become closer. Silver Moon was truly leader material, as he actually managed to become the core of the cell occupants with just a few words. Gu Fei felt disgruntled when he saw everyone instinctively gravitating and crowding around Silver Moon.

After Silver Moon’s sob story, he addressed everyone anew, “Everyone’s pretty bored, right? Come. Let me show you something good to pass the time!”

“What is it?” everyone asked, curious.

Silver Moon beamingly opened his palm. All peeked at it and their eyes shone brightly afterward. Three dice lay on Silver Moon’s palm.

“Wanna play a few rounds?” Silver Moon smilingly asked, and everyone excitedly nodded their heads.

“Why don’t you guys join us as well?” Silver Moon beckoned Gu Fei’s ‘customers’ that were huddled in the opposite corner of the cell. After Gu Fei successfully countered their plan to appeal to Royal God Call’s ‘customers’, they glumly maintained their distance from the rest of the cell occupants.

The men looked at one another for a while. Imprisonment was a dull affair, so they would gladly participate in something that could allow them to pass the time, yet they were currently hesitating due to their pride.

“Come on! It’s better with more people,” Silver Moon shouted, turning to address his two companions, “Go drag them over here.”

Silver Moon’s two friends moved to get up, but the players already used that excuse to head over. Gu Fei chuckled impassively, Pull? Pull, my a*s. There’s no way for players to have contact with one another in a safe zone like this cell.

Silver Moon proved to have quite a good grasp of people’s hearts, yet he forgot to consider someone. After successfully gathering everyone, Silver Moon finally noticed that Gu Fei did not join them, so he quickly waved at him, “Brother Miles, come and join us in the fun, too!”

“No, thanks.” Gu Fei smiled, saying, “I’m a little tired, so I’ll lie down for a bit! You guys go ahead.” With that, he folded his arms and placed them behind his head like a pillow and lay down. Silver Moon felt quite disappointed. He really wanted to pull Gu Fei to his side, but this Mage was not receptive to his methods. As he was about to try calling him over again, Gu Fei turned to his side and faced his butt to him. Thus, Silver Moon could only swallow what he had wanted to say.

Everyone of course knew how to play with dice. With how much they were shouting, it was as if this sort of gambling did not depend on luck but on their vocal cords instead.

How would Gu Fei sleep with such a din? He began to regret his earlier decision. Lying down for two hours in such a noisy environment without anyone to talk to… Was this not as good as self-punishment? With that thought in mind, Gu Fei got up and turned around. Silver Moon had a sly smile on his face as he glanced at him, “So, I guess you can’t sleep!”

Gu Fei nodded his head, “Forget it! I’ll join in as well!”

Silver Moon beamed in delight and vacated a spot for Gu Fei to sit in, “That’s right; it’s boring to do nothing. Oh, yeah. How long are you in here for?”

“Two hours,” Gu Fei casually replied.

“Oh. How about you guys?” Silver Moon asked the rest of the players.

When fellow cellmates met for the first time, their usual question to one another was “How many hours?”, so no one found Silver Moon’s question suspicious. All stated their prison time. Since Royal God Call and Gu Fei had specifically chosen players with high PK value as their bounty targets, all these players had quite a long duration ahead of them.  Gu Fei turned out to be the one serving the shortest time with only two hours after all stated their imprisonment duration, yet these players entered the prison earlier, so all were at the final stretch of their stay.

This last portion was usually the hardest to endure, so many found it a blessing that Silver Moon had brought this game of dice in, allowing them to pass the time quicker with something largely entertaining as gambling.

Gu Fei usually took things in stride, so he immediately immersed himself into the game. Because he did not have the same conservative attitude toward in-game currency like the regular players, he gambled with a sort of ‘did not matter if I won or lost’ mentality. Although that was well worthy of praise, the amount of joy he could gain from playing the game decreased by quite a bit.

The other players were different; they hooted, hollered, and stared at one another with competitiveness, making the game exciting and nerve-wracking. When they won, they wanted to win more; when they lost, they wanted to recover their loss. This was how people found gambling so addictive. Furthermore, most players were not rich and some even had very trashy luck, losing all their gambling funds after a short while.

This was when Silver Moon would swoop in and lend them a hand, passing them a few gold coins and simply stating that it was a loan.

Those players who had received a loan from him naturally continued to play. If they won, they would pay up; if they lost, they would borrow some more.

After a while, it became a habit for everyone to borrow some coins from Silver Moon after losing everything they had. Silver Moon did not reject any of them. Gu Fei, who did not lack in-game currency, also tried reaching out and borrowing coins from him several times, getting 5 gold coins from Silver Moon in total.

Silver Moon’s dubious character made Gu Fei suspicious of all this. However, he had yet to discover anything shady after observing the gambling process.

Everyone’s playing style was simplistic. There was no specific dealer or player. When it came to the dice roll, the largest number would win the whole pot. If there were two same rolls, the pot would be split 50/50. This was a game entirely dependent on luck and it was the simplest sort of gambling that did not need any consideration whatsoever.

After observing the players’ winning and losing expressions, he realized that all of them, including Silver Moon, were guileless gamblers. Seems like this really is an innocent game to while the time away, Gu Fei refuted his original thought that Silver Moon had some devious plan in mind. Honestly speaking, winning this game was easy for Gu Fei. If it was a rolling with a dice cup, Gu Fei would not be able to roll out any particular result. But if it was a straight toss like what they were doing now, although he did not have any practice in doing so, Gu Fei had the dexterity to toss out the numbers he needed three out of ten times. This was much better odds compared to others who purely depended on luck.

Gu Fei did not see a need to use it, though, so he honestly depended on his luck to make the casual throws. Moreover, rolling out his required numbers with the three dice was quite taxing; he even thought of it as a harder feat to accomplish than throwing a flying dagger to kill someone. If he had to do such tosses, Gu Fei reckoned that his wrist and hand would immediately cramp up from the effort. Having adroit fingers was truly very difficult.

And so, the bunch of cell occupants continued to engage in their theoretically illegal gambling without a hitch. They cared naught for who would lose or win, only that they could while their time away. One after another, the players were sent out of the prison once their time was up. There was even a player who had just won a big pot right before he left. Just as he happily pounced upon the pile of coins, his time in prison was up and he was unceremoniously sent out before he could put even 1 copper coin inside his dimensional pocket. Everyone became alert after that.

This was a game, after all. The quest log would have a countdown timer on how much time was left before the players could be released from prison. Players who therefore continued to gamble despite their time almost being up were simply fighting against time at that point. The power of gambling was clearly displayed in everyone’s attitude. Seeing that their time was almost up, each of them looked very unwilling to leave. Some players who were intently playing the game even looked as if their leaving was akin to them dying.

As Gu Fei did not care about winning or losing, he naturally did not feel any attachment toward the game. His heart fluttered like a sparrow in the spring when he saw that his time was almost up. He did not know how much he had won and lost throughout the course of the game; the only thing he knew was that he owed Silver Moon 5 gold coins.

At this point, the only ones left serving their time in the cell were Gu Fei and Silver Moon and his two companions. Playing with just the few of them was no longer exciting, so they began to chat with one another more.

“Miles, I’ve felt that you are not just an average player the moment I first laid my eyes on you,” Silver Moon complimented Gu Fei graciously.

“He he!” Gu Fei chortled.

“You should consider my offer; join me and let’s build the number one mercenary group in Yunduan City,” Silver Moon offered.

“There – There’s no need!” Gu Fei rejected once more.

Silver Moon chuckled, “Fine, I won’t force you anymore. Join us whenever you feel like doing so. Add me to your friends list once you get out.” All sorts of messaging services were restricted in the underground prison; adding someone as a friend was part of these restricted services.

Gu Fei did not give a definite answer to Silver Moon’s suggestion.

Silver Moon looked at the time, “How many minutes do you have left?”

“Sixteen minutes.” With that, he threw his dice and collected the gold coins into his arms while maintaining a poker face the whole time.

“You’re pretty lucky; how many consecutive wins is that?” Silver Moon asked, surprised.

Faking puzzlement, Gu Fei scrunched his face and openly exclaimed, “How annoying; why wasn’t my luck so good when there were more people around.” Now only four of them were left, the final pot was no more than three gold coins. The content was far fewer than what it had before.

The speed of the rounds between them was faster, though. Gu Fei fought for every second faster than the people who had left before him now that it was his turn to leave. Silver Moon pointed at him and jokingly said, “Man, I never saw you playing with such vigor when everyone was here. Now your luck with the rolls has become good, are you trying to sap me of my coins?”

Gu Fei laughed politely.

“How many coins do you have? Why don’t we play for a larger wager?” Silver Moon suggested.

“Oh, that’s great. Let’s have 12 gold coins as the ante,” Gu Fei readily agreed.

“12 gold coins? Why is it 12 gold coins?” Silver Moon could not understand why he had picked such an odd number.

Gu Fei laughed, “There are three of you, so a winning of 12 gold coins can be split evenly!”

Three against one; the three would win as long as one of them had a higher roll than Gu Fei, whereas Gu Fei only had one chance to win against all three of them. This was no longer about luck and was now an arithmetic equation of probability.

Silver Moon’s face immediately blanched when heard what Gu Fei had said, “Miles what do you mean? Are you saying that us, three, are trying to fleece you?”

Gu Fei still had that same smile on his face, “Man, can’t you tell I was joking?”

Silver Moon still maintained that wronged expression on his face.

Gu Fei said, “Look. If I truly suspected you guys of foul play, would I suggest upping the ante? Do you think I’m stupid?”

Hearing that, Silver Moon’s face slightly softened as he nodded his head, “I hope Miles didn’t think we’re that sort of people.”

“How could that be,” Gu Fei laughed forcefully. “Why don’t we just bet 13 gold coins, instead? How does that sound?”

“Not a problem,” Silver Moon accepted it readily.

Fourteen minutes later, the betting had to stop. One of Silver Moon’s companions paled, “I have no coins left.”

Gu Fei’s expression was even more serious than this person’s. Staring at the small mountain of gold coins, he gaped, “To think all my good luck today rest entirely in these few minutes.”

Silver Moon’s face was ashen and he said dryly, “Your luck is really great.”

“Yeah, it is!” Gu Fei nodded his head as he began to fill his dimensional pocket with his earnings. When it got to his last 5 gold coins, he returned it to Silver Moon, “I’m returning you the 5 gold coins I borrowed earlier.”

“Forget it. It’s only 5 gold coins,” Silver Moon pushed his hand away.

“Take ‘em! Take ‘em!” Gu Fei forcefully stuffed the few gold coins into Silver Moon’s hands as he patted his dimensional pocket, “I’ve already gotten quite a bit of gold coins from you.”

Silver Moon’s eyes twitched crazily.

Gu Fei glanced at that companion of his that that had lost all his gold coins, “Shall I lend you some gold coins? Else, you guys can’t continue once I leave.”

The person shook his head and did not say a word.

“Are you sure you don’t need any?” Gu Fei asked once more.

“Nope,” the person croaked.

“Oh! If that’s the case, I’m leaving,” Gu Fei stood up.

The three nodded their heads as Silver Moon said, “Keep in touch.”

“How much longer are you guys in for?” Gu Fei asked instead.

“About four hours more,” Silver Moon answered.

“Good luck. See you guys around,” Gu Fei looked at the broke player and waved goodbye. In a white flash, he found himself out of the cell.

“F*ck!” Just as Gu Fei disappeared, the broke player who had lost everything to Gu Fei beat the floorboards in exasperation.

The other player picked up the three dice and studied them closely, “Was his luck truly just amazing?”

“What else could it be?” Silver Moon retorted.

“Skill?” someone voiced his suspicion.

“If he had this skill, he would already be rich. Why would he use it here to win a few shitty gold coins?” Silver Moon stated the obvious.

The other two companions of his were speechless, neither able to make sense of what had just happened. Actually, Silver Moon also did not feel good right now as he had lost many gold coins as well.

“Forget it; let’s not think anymore about that. Now that the prison is empty, let us begin our quest!” With that sentence, his two companions nodded their heads and all three began to get busy in the cell.

Gu Fei, who had finally exited the prison, breathed a huge sigh of relief. The game environment inside was too real. The air in the underground prison was damp and rotten. The game designers boldly designed everything inside to be so life-like because they knew that the simulation would have no negative effect on people’s health in reality. However, the psychological effect of undergoing that entire ordeal was evident. Gu Fei gasped for quite a few breaths of air and instantly thought that the world was a truly wonderful place to live freely in and would never ever enter the prison again even if it meant his death. After Gu Fei collected himself, he finally noticed that a person was seating on the stone steps of the underground prison’s entrance.

As he bewilderedly backed away for a bit, the person turned its face toward his direction. “It’s you,” the person said expressionlessly.

It was Vast Lushness. Gu Fei sighed in relief as he asked, “Are you waiting for Silver Moon?”

Vast Lushness nodded her head, “I sent him a message and the system prompt stated that he is ‘not in a serviceable area’, so that probably means that he’s currently serving time in prison.”

Gu Fei nodded his head, “He’s inside. I saw him.”

“Oh…” Vast Lushness said, yet no happiness was visible on her face.

“I’m going.”

“Bye.”

Gu Fei walked off a few steps before turning back. Vast Lushness sat there by the stone steps by herself, looking very lonesome. He thought for a bit before finally returning to face Vast Lushness.

She raised her head to look at Gu Fei.

“There are some things that you should know…” Gu Fei began. As Vast Lushness looked at him unerringly, Gu Fei repeated everything Silver Moon had said inside the prison.

Her expression actually did not change much when he told her everything. No rage or sadness was visible on her face and she just listened quietly to Gu Fei’s recount.

“I… I still want to ask him myself,” Vast Lushness finally said.

Gu Fei nodded his head and walked away. Turning his head backward after five steps, he shared, “Silver Moon said he should be out in four hours or so. Maybe you can log off and take a rest first.”

“Alright,” Vast Lushness nodded her head.

Gu Fei faced forward once more and left the area. He did not look back even once and walked all the way to a log-off point and went offline.

When he got online the next day, he immediately received Royal God Call’s message asking him to head over at Ray’s Bar. By the time Gu Fei entered their usual private room, all the members of Young Master’s Elite mercenary group were already there. Before everyone would grind in earnest each night, the mercenary group members would meet up and spend time together for a bit. Truthfully, there would hardly be any form of interaction between the six if it was not for this habitual meet-up. This was because the mercenary group had not had anyone hiring them for anything for a long time.

This reality proved that Young Master Han was not fit to be in charge of the mercenary group’s operations.

Many ways existed for a mercenary group to gain fame compared to a guild. A guild’s strength lay in its number of members and the quality of these members. As for a mercenary group, besides the two methods mentioned, it also had the quest completion leaderboard in the Hall of Mercenaries to display the group’s prowess.

The leaderboard was arranged by the total number of quests taken, the number of quests completed, and the overall percentage of quest completion of every mercenary group. The amount of completed quests and percentage of completed quests were very important factors. With a higher percentage of completed quests, a mercenary group would indubitably be widely lauded.

As for Young Master’s Elite mercenary group, it was not even listed there. Just based on the percentage of completed quests alone, the mercenary group achieved the highest possible 100%. However, when the number of completed quests was considered, people would think that the mercenary group was a newly established one. This was especially so because the mercenary group’s attainment and completion of system-issued quests was glaringly zero.

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