The summer season in Westmountain City was verdant and lush. This was especially so after a light rain. The clear air caused people to feel joy in their hearts as though they were one with nature.
“Eldest martial sis, are we really going to a gambling house?
Lu Zhiruo’s little face frowned into the shape of a bitter melon. In her heart, gambling houses and brothels were bad places. If she headed there and was discovered by her father, she would definitely be ruthlessly punished.
“Not a gambling house, but three!”
Li Ziqi reiterated.
The papaya girl was shocked and subconsciously grabbed Li Ziqi’s hand. “W...why so many?”
“Because I’ve put a heavy bet in these three gambling houses!”
Little sunny egg’s tone of voice was as it should be by right.
Lu Zhiruo was very nervous. She changed her wording. “H...how much money did you lose?”
Ying Baiwu didn’t say anything, but her gaze already turned over. For something like gambling, she hadn’t tried it before, but she was very interested in it.
Li Ziqi’s fingers rapped the papaya girl on her head as she spoke unhappily, “Why wouldn’t I win?”
“B...because my father said before that gambling is just a lie. The boss of the gambling house is merely exploiting the greed in human hearts.”
Lu Zhiruo explained.
“Your father is correct. Those who open gambling houses are no fools. If it’s a losing money business, who would be willing to do it? Hence, each of them is a swindler, wanting to cheat those people who dream about striking it rich overnight!”
Li Ziqi smiled. “But I definitely won’t suffer a disadvantage!”
The papaya girl blinked her eyes and had a look of curiosity on her face. “Because you are smarter?”
“No, because Teacher, Xuanyuan Po, and the others are more powerful than their opponents!”
Li Ziqi smiled.
“For the great teacher examination, all the gambling houses in the city are opening bets. I placed a heavy bet on Teacher becoming the champion, Xuanyuan and Jiang Leng entering the top three as well as Baiwu entering the top five!”
As Li Ziqi spoke until here, she felt very regretful. She sighed. “Who would have expected all three of you would be in the top three? What a pity, if I knew those other personal students would be so weak, I would have bought the bet of you all getting into the top three.”
“Those who are content are the happy ones!”
Tantai Yutang teased.
“Eldest martial sister, how much did you put on the bets?”
Lu Zhiruo was curious.
Ying Baiwu also pricked her ears up.
Li Ziqi held them in suspense.
After Lu Zhiruo spoke, Ying Baiwu interrupted. “50,000? Wrong, you are very rich and you trust Teacher very much. Don’t tell me you spent 100,000?”
“Haha, I bet a year’s worth of my allowance!”
Li Ziqi was joyful.
“Ah? Merely a year of allowance?” The papaya girl’s lips twitched. “Even if you won, you wouldn’t have won much!”
“1 million taels?” Tantai Yutang teased.
Li Ziqi grinned. This time around, she had made a huge profit. Sigh, actually she was also holding Sun Mo’s money for him, but she didn’t dare to use it recklessly. If not, she would definitely have betted it all.
The papaya girl was dumbfounded. “I thought you said you betted a year’s worth of your allowance? Why is it so much?”
“Yeah, a year of allowance. I have a monthly allowance of 100,000 taels. So there’s no mistake!”
Li Ziqi frowned, her vision slid down to the papaya girl’s chest. (Did all the nutrients flow there? Why have you become so dumb!?)
“No, 1.2 million, this...”
Lu Zhiruo didn’t know what she should say. (Did being poor limit my imagination? I’ve only a few hundred taels as allowance per month.)
(In addition, if I didn’t complete the homework my father gave me, a part of my allowance would still be deducted.)
Ying Baiwu kneaded her pockets and discovered that there were only a few taels of silver there. This was money her teacher had given her. As for in the past? Allowance?
Sorry, kids from poor families would never receive such a thing.
“Westmountain City is too remote. The bankers are not that rich and don’t dare to accept bets that are too large. Hence, I chose three of the largest gambling houses here to bet. If this place was Jinling, Yangzhou, or places like Shengjing, I would even bet my land and houses. If I won, I would be able to gain as much as five years of taxation from Jinling.”
Li Ziqi felt very regretful.
“How much is five years of taxation?”
The papaya girl didn’t have such a concept in her mind.
“Let’s put it this way. If a flood or poverty occurs and 100,000 refugees appear, I can use the money I earn to feed them for three years.”
After Li Ziqi finished speaking, the papaya girl and Ying Baiwu were both dumbfounded.
They were unclear how much money that was, but there was no doubt that the sum of money was excessively abundant.
“Don’t gamble anymore. If Teacher learns of it, you might be punished.”
Jiang Leng spoke in reminder to warn them from stepping into an incorrect path. “Moreover, even if ordinary people won so much money, they wouldn’t be able to claim it from the gambling houses.”
If Li Ziqi wasn’t a princess of Great Tang, she might go ‘missing’ if she went to claim her winnings.
“I won’t gamble!”
The papaya girl shook her head. With her small brain, she would definitely lose however much she betted.
“How much did you earn this time around?”
Ying Baiwu felt a little agitated.
“40 million+? Sigh, I wonder if those gambling houses can cough it out!”
Li Ziqi glanced at Xuanyuan Po. “If some trouble happens later, I will have to depend on you!”
“Leave all the fighting to me!”
“Eldest martial sister, please bring me along when you gamble in the future!”
Ying Baiwu sincerely begged. She didn’t need to earn a lot. It would be good enough if she could buy a birthday gift for her teacher with her own money.
Li Ziqi patted her chest. Leading her junior martial siblings to become rich was the responsibility of an eldest martial sister.
The Ten Thousand Gold Gambling House, the name sounded so imposing and its signboard that was suspended up in the air was inlaid with gold and jade, exuding an air of extreme lavishness. With a single glance, one could tell that this place was a top-grade money squandering establishment.
However, after the boss saw Li Ziqi and knew why she came, he started to speak in a sobbing tone.
“Can you give me a few days? After all, the sum of your winnings is really too large. Even if we want to pay you, we need a while to gather the money.”
The boss of the gambling house smiled in mock apology.
“Is it time for me to appear?”
Xuanyuan Po unwrapped the cloth around Silver Paste as he brimmed with the desire to fight.
The boss looked at Xuanyuan Po with a smile that was not a smile. (Since I dared to open a gambling house, how would I be afraid of people coming to make trouble? Just go ahead and stir up trouble, when shit hits the fan, I will have an excuse not to pay up!)
“Wait a little while!”
Li Ziqi stopped the combat addict. She looked at the rotund boss who looked like a ball. “My teacher is Sun Mo, he has the nickname ‘God Hands’!”
Upon hearing this, the boss’s expression instantly changed and became gloomy.
He had heard Sun Mo’s name so much that his ears almost grew calluses. Rising 2-star in a year and being a two-times champion. He was so outstanding that it was terrifying!
“Esteemed guests, please wait awhile. I have a stomachache!”
The boss used this as an excuse to leave temporarily.
As they waited, half an hour passed.
“Should we smash the place first?”
Xuanyuan Po waited to the point where he grew a little impatient.
Li Ziqi took out a pocket watch and looked at the time. “Let’s give him five more minutes!”
“If we started to fight, it would probably be harder for us to get back the money, right?”
Ying Baiwu was worried.
“Junior sister, do you think Ziqi will lack this bit of money?”
Tantai Yutang composedly drank tea. “Besides, you don’t have to worry. The boss of this place will definitely pay out!”
Roughly two minutes later, the boss of the gambling house returned with perspiration all over his head, and even his clothes were drenched. A wealthy man was following behind him. Just from the aura the wealthy man exuded, one knew that he was someone with high status and authority.
“Is Great Teacher Sun not here?”
The wealthy man clasped his hands, not showing any signs of slighting Li Ziqi and the others because of their youth.
“Teacher is meeting some guests and has no time to come.”
Li Ziqi spoke generously, “Besides, this small sum of money isn’t worth us alarming our teacher!”
The wealthy man was an important minister who had retired from his government post. He was extremely experienced. When he saw how composed Li Ziqi was, as well as the air of nobility exuding from her, he already guessed that she would at least be a minor princess of the empire.
Naturally, whether she was or not, it was not important. As long as this group of youth were Sun Mo’s personal students, he could only suck it up and pay out their winnings.
“I wonder when Great Teacher Sun will be free? I would like to pay him a visit.”
The wealthy man’s expression was one of respect. He was then the real head behind the Ten Thousand Gold Gambling House. At his age, what did money count for? His life was the most important thing to him.
For people like him, if he casually wanted to meet Sun Mo, there was no way he would have a chance to. But now that Sun Mo’s students had appeared in front of his door, he naturally had to grab hold of this opportunity.
“You should come to Jinling then!”
Li Ziqi’s answer was concise and comprehensive. Since this man was willing to rush about to pay her teacher a visit, he should just come over then. If not, just forget it.
“I have noted this down!”
The wealthy man idly chatted for a while more and not long later, a small wooden chest was carried over by that boss of the gambling house.
“Little miss, please check it. The banknotes here are worth a total of 43 million!”
Upon hearing this, Ying Baiwu and the papaya girl wanted to stretch their hands out to check. After all, they couldn’t possibly let their eldest martial sister do such a chore.
“No need for that!”
Li Ziqi stood up, she couldn’t be bothered to check. “Xuanyuan, pack this up and let’s go!”
Ying Baiwu felt a little anxious. What if there were 10,000 taels missing?
“Wait a minute!”
Tantai Yutang called out.
“I wonder if this little brother needs anything?”
The wealthy man smiled and asked.
“I have a few betting slips with me as well. Could you please exchange them for me?”
Tantai Yutang took out six betting slips from his robes and smiled. He was like a fox that just ate a chicken.
The wealthy man who had been calm since the start suddenly trembled. If he had to pay out another 40 million, he would be better off dead.
Ying Baiwu and the others stared at Tantai Yutang in astonishment. (We didn’t expect that you would have concealed yourself so deeply.)
“How much did you bet?”
The papaya girl was curious.
“I’m not as rich as our eldest martial sister, so I only bought several tens of thousands.”
Tantai Yutang smiled. “All this money was saved up painstakingly by me!”
“If I believe you, I will become a ghost. Sickly invalid, you are a very cunning person!”
Ying Baiwu’s lips twitched. He must have gotten this money through some illegal means.
“Can you exchange them?”
Tantai Yutang asked calmly.
The wealthy man squeezed out a smile, yet he sighed in his heart. (As expected of a brilliant disciple from Sun Mo. Look at his aura and style of doing things.)
(Sigh, if those brats of mine could be at this standard, I would be able to live my later years in ease.)
After some time, the betting slips were exchanged for banknotes.
“Let me send you guys!”
The wealthy man quickly moved forward to lead the way.
Li Ziqi rejected him. After walking a few steps, she suddenly stopped and smiled. “Oh right, the boss said earlier that the red tea was from Ebony Mountain. I apologize, I didn’t smell any of that fragrance.”
The wealthy man started. After that, his expression sank as he turned to look at the boss of the gambling house.
The wealthy man lifted his hand and forcefully smacked the mouth of the boss of the gambling house.
The wealthy man roared in anger.
The boss felt depressed. He had thought that these youths were inexperienced fledglings who had never seen much of the world before. Who would have known that they would be able to differentiate between fake and real ebony red tea?
The main point was the tea leaves. That little girl didn’t even drink a mouth and merely sniffed a little. (Does your clan operate a tea house?)
As they stood on the street and basked in the sunlight, Ying Baiwu held the wooden chest in her hands tightly. She tried to bear with the impulse but ultimately failed to do so.
“Should we check the money? What if 10,000 is missing?”
“That won’t happen!”
Tantai Yutang chortled. “Teacher is a new rising star of the great teacher world, someone with a boundless future. He is a super genius with many major characters lining up in a queue to treat him to a meal. Even if that wealthy man ate leopard guts, he wouldn’t dare to covet teacher’s money!”
“They won’t be able to afford offending some people!”
Li Ziqi was very complacent. “Unfortunately for them, Teacher is a part of those ‘some people’!”
Just like what Tantai Yutang said, when their group went to the other gambling houses to collect their winnings, their paths were incomparably smooth. Although the bosses’ reactions were the same – unhappy at the start, after the bosses heard that they were Sun Mo’s students, they immediately squeezed out smiles on their faces.
Moreover, the true heads behind the gambling houses also personally appeared to receive them.
“Teacher is really a very famous person!”
Ying Baiwu sighed ruefully.
“When Teacher becomes a 3-star great teacher, you will discover that every time you head out to settle some businesses, things will be much smoother and more convenient.”
Tantai Yutang smiled. Some people wanted to fawn on Sun Mo but weren’t able to do so. Hence, they could only fawn on his personal students.
“Everyone, let me say the unpleasant things out first. You guys are not allowed to do anything that will tarnish our teacher’s reputation!”
Li Ziqi’s tone turned solemn as she warned, “If not, don’t blame me for cleansing the filth from our group!”
The gazes of everyone directly turned to Tantai Yutang.
“What do you guys mean by this?”
The sickly invalid was speechless. (Am I so unreliable in the eyes of all of you?)
“Next, what are we doing? Is there a fight happening somewhere?”
Xuanyuan Po was unhappy. (Where is the promised fight? Nothing is happening at all!)
“Since we have money now, we naturally must spend it. I’m going to the bookstores of this city to take a look and see if there’s anything worth buying. I will also be heading to some antique shops.”
Li Ziqi spoke while passing out banknotes for everyone. She was too lazy to count and directly passed over a stack of banknotes worth 1,000 taels for each of them.
“I’ll go with you to pick antiques!”
The papaya girl hugged Li Ziqi’s arm. She felt that it would be very fun to go to antique shops and try out their luck.
“I wish to visit some weapon stores!”
Ying Baiwu didn’t take the money.
“Take it, we are martial siblings, and we don’t have to be calculative with each other. Moreover, Teacher will also give you some reward because you became the champion.”
Li Ziqi forcefully stuffed some money to Ying Baiwu.
“I and Xuanyuan will accompany Ziqi and Zhiruo. Tantai, you can accompany Baiwu!”
Jiang Leng suddenly spoke, splitting everyone up.
“I don’t want to. I want to go back to meditate!’
Xuanyuan Po frowned. He had already wasted a lot of time today.
Jiang Leng wanted to persuade him, but he was stopped by Li Ziqi.
“Don’t worry, what danger would befall us? You guys should just go and do whatever you want to do!”
Li Ziqi was still very at ease about the public security of Westmountain City. Moreover, there were still so many great teachers who came here for the examination. Who would dare to take any rash action?!
Jiang Leng wasn’t able to persuade the little sunny egg. However, he still carried the box and followed beside them.
Although Tantai Yutang looked very emotionless, he still followed Ying Baiwu from afar. He didn’t get near her because he knew the iron-headed girl didn’t like him. Besides, touring the streets with a girl didn’t fit in with his aesthetic sense.
(I don’t want people mistaking us as a couple!)
The sickly invalid’s lips curled. But very soon later, he started to frown. Ying Baiwu had entered a weapon store for over 20 minutes, but she hadn’t come out yet!
Not only that, but the other customers who went in also didn’t come out.
“Isn’t this an ordinary weapon store?”
The sickly invalid’s emotions grew heavy. But in order to inadvertently not alert the enemy, he pretended to be a passerby and snuck a glance inside the shop when he walked past it.
After that, his heart violently tensed.
There was no one inside!
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