Chapter 279: Gamble
Translator: WQL Editor: EbonyFrost
It was very quiet in the canteen. Nobody knew why this person was asking for Zhang Tie. Therefore, nobody spoke but fixed their eyes on Zhang Tie.
Under many strange stares, Zhang Tie naturally stood up and walked towards the newly arrived juvenile. The moment he stood up, the juvenile had already fixed his sharp eyes on Zhang Tie's face. After seeing that Zhang Tie gazing straightly at him without any timidity, that person showed a faint smile.
Walking in front of the juvenile, Zhang Tie obediently greeted, "Cousin!"
"Good, very good! That juvenile nodded as he heavily put his hands onto Zhang Tie's shoulders,"Let's talk outside."
They then went out of the canteen.
"I didn't know that you were in Hidden Dragon Palace until I received a letter from home. How about that? Have you adapted to the living style here?"
"It's alright, I went to pick up navy-blue iron ores and made 5 silver coins today." Zhang Tie touched his nose.
"Don't ignore this task. Keep practicing your diving skills. When you enter the Lingtian Department, you will find that there are many more ways to make money. For newbies, it's not that easy to make 1 gold coin a day. If you are to excel at diving, you will have more chances to make money after entering the Lingtian Department."
"What other tasks are there in the Lingtian Department?" Zhang Tie asked out of curiosity.
"When you enter the Lingtian Department, you will not be forced to perform tasks to make money. But you will have to perform some fixed tasks to gain clan contribution points. By then, if you want to make money, it will depend on your ability as there are many chances for you to make money in the sea. However, they require great diving skills. Therefore, you have to practice your diving skills well!" Zhang Tie's cousin seriously admonished.
"Thanks, cousin, I got it!"
"You are my brother, don't be so polite." Zhang Tie's cousin smiled, "Oh, what battle qi do you practice? When you reach level 6, I can take you to Dragon Cave in order to form battle qi."
"I'm practicing Iron-Blood Battle Qi."
"What?!" Hearing Zhang Tie's words, his cousin became slightly shocked, "You're ambitious; even in the Palace, there are still very few people who have formed Iron-Blood Battle Qi during the past dozens of years. This battle qi is very hard to form. So, you'd better make a plan for yourself. If you cannot form it, you'd better change to another battle qi. If you have other chances in the future, you can continue to practice advanced battle qi! Otherwise, it might take you a lot of time to reach level 6 which would be disadvantageous to you."
After feeling this cousin's good intentions, Zhang Tie modestly nodded and received his suggestion without mentioning that he almost had met no obstacle when he practiced the Iron-Blood Fist Skill, "Got it!"
Zhang Tie's cousin then continued, "There are sky-reaching stages and many opportunities that could change your fate in the Hidden Dragon Palace. However, these items are all for the truly powerful people of the Palace. You could only gain these opportunities by yourself. Nobody else can help you. It's rarely seen that two brothers of the same generation in a clan like you and me could enter Hidden Dragon Palace at the same time. It means that our clan's bloodline is very excellent and eye-catching. The relationship between you and me might be known to the public, therefore, you will catch a lot of attention here. I have two opponents in Lingtian Department, they are also cousins. I ferociously beat them down before. As you are now in the Xingzhi Department, you don't need to worry about them as they will not find trouble for you. However, when you enter Lingtian Department, they might come looking for you. You should be prepared for that."
Zhang Tie became dumbfounded, "Do you mean they will set me up?"
"Not that bad, but they could ferociously beat you up in the public according to some rules of Lingtian Department!"
"Argh..." Zhang Tie became stunned. He had never imagined that he could gain this cousin's troubles in such a way.
At the sight of Zhang Tie's expression, his cousin became bashful as he forced a smile, "At the beginning when the two brothers entered Hidden Dragon Palace, they were also very eye-catching and arrogant. I didn't like them. I had not imagined that someone else in Zhang clan could enter Hidden Dragon Palace, therefore, I thought they were from other clans and beat them up according to the rules of Lingtian Department.
Zhang Tie finally understood it. Because his cousin always beat up others, now, it was his turn to be beaten up.
When they talked, Zhang Tie saw two men entering the Zhixing Department, one was 18-19 years old while the other was as old as Zhang Tie's cousin. The two men looked similar. The moment the two entered the Zhixing Department, they had walked directly towards Zhang Tie and his cousin.
"Zhang Su, I heard you've got a brother entering the Zhixing Department. Is this the one?"
Walking over here, the two guys fixed their eyes onto Zhang Tie at once.
Zhang Tie's cousin then turned back and peered at the two men walking towards them, "This is my brother Zhang Tie. How about that? Do you want to see how you are beaten up by my brother?"
Zhang Tie realized that his cousin's mouth really drove him mad. Even if he was in such a disadvantageous position, his mouth was still unyielding.
Hearing Zhang Su's words, the two guys' smiles instantly became stiff. At the same time, their faces blushed.
"Trust me, when your brother Zhang Tie enters Lingtian Department, we will definitely 'guide" him!" That person of 18-19 years old gritted his teeth.
"I've forgotten to tell you that my brother is practicing Iron-Blood Battle Qi, you'd better not be afraid of that by then!" Zhang Tie's cousin still urged.
"Ha..." As if having heard a joke, that person who was as old as Zhang Su glanced at Zhang Tie in a contemptuous way," Do you mean to stay in Zhixing Department longer this way? This trick is too low, don't you think so?"
"You can't form Iron-Blood Battle Qi, it doesn't mean that others can't. Additionally, how would you know without having a tried?" Zhang Tie's cousin said in a calm way.
"Hahahaha...it seems that you are very confident about your brother!" The one as old as Zhang Su ridiculed as he rolled his eyes, "Zhang Su, dare you bet with me?"
"What's the wager?"
"The wager is on whether your brother could form the Iron-Blood Battle Qi."
Zhang Su slightly hesitated...
"Are you afraid? Were you not just talking about your confidence in your brother? If not, I've guessed it, your brother just wants to stay longer in Zhixing Department for this reason?" That person further urged, "If your brother can form Iron-Blood Battle Qi, I will pay you 300 gold coins. How about that? Dare you wager 300 gold coins to bet that your brother will definitely form the Iron-Blood Battle Qi?"
"300 gold coins?" Zhang Su looked at the two people as he frowned his forehead. Although this figure was not too much outside the Hidden Dragon Island, it was already a lot for people in Hidden Dragon Palace. It's not that easy to make so much money on the Hidden Dragon Island. Even though they were in Lingtian Department, many people could not make that much money in half a year. Now, Zhang Su only had a bit more than 200 gold coins. He knew that it was a trick, sending him in the dilemma by using his own words.
"Argh, I almost forgot it. As Iron-Blood Battle Qi is very hard to form, how can I profit at your expense? I remember that you don't have that much money. If you are confident about your brother, I can give you a concession. Once you can pay 200...no, once you can pay 100 gold coins, we will reach the agreement. 1 for 3, how about that?" That person pretended to be serious.
"300 gold coins, that's a deal. I don't need others to make a concession for me. I will bet with you!" Saying this, Zhang Su raised his head. He could lose a fight, but he could not lose his personality. This was what Zhang Su firmly believed.
"Fine, how long will you give your brother to form his Iron-Blood Battle Qi?"
"2 years. Before we leave the Hidden Dragon Palace, if he still couldn't form his Iron-Blood Battle Qi, you win then!"
"That's settled then!"
Zhang Su then clapped that person to settle it.
After that, the two people peered at Zhang Tie and sneered in a contempt way before left.
"Wait a moment!" Zhang Tie who was always being silent suddenly opened his mouth.
The two people then turned back and glanced at Zhang Tie.
"I will also participate in this bet. I bet that I will form Iron-Blood Battle Qi by then!"
"You? Bet what?" One of the two glanced over Zhang Tie from his head to his feet.
"I will also bet with 300 gold coins." Zhang Tie calmly said.
"Hahahaha. You're just a newbie. You won't have that much money. You'd better not cry while asking for your parents to pay for you. According to the rules in Hidden Dragon Palace, each cent you spend here, even the wager should be made by yourself on the island. How much have you made now? By what dare you bet 300 gold coins with us? No debt is allowed by then!" That person continued to look at Zhang Tie in a contempt way, "Young man, it's easy to boast, but you should concern your real ability before you bet. Do you want to say that you prepare to pick up 300 tons of navy-blue iron ores for me if you lose it, ha...ha...ha..."
"That's what I'm thinking about! I bet that if I lose it, I will go pick up 300 tons of navy-blue iron ores for you. If I cannot fulfill this bet, I will never walk out of the Hidden Dragon Island in the rest of my life" Zhang Tie faintly said.
That person's laughs suddenly ceased. At this moment, the three people fixed all of their eyes onto Zhang Tie. Even Zhang Su, the cousin of Zhang Tie seriously watched Zhang Tie, seemingly having never recognized him.
"Do you dare to take my wager?" Zhang Tie gazed at that person.
"What a joke, of course I dare. But if you lose it, I will have no time to wait for you to pick up navy-blue iron ores to exchange for 18 silver coins each day. By then, the money you exchanged for with the navy-blue iron ores might not even match the interest of the 300 gold coins. If you pick up navy-blue iron ores on the island for 20 years, do you want me to wait for your debt on the island that long? What if you cannot pay it off in the rest of your life? Who will pay it off for you? If we bet, of course, we will bet with real gold and silver coins. There's no reason for you to bet just by saying! Do you think it is that easy to make 300 gold coins on the Hidden Dragon Island?" That person sneered.
Zhang Tie had not imagined that this guy was that shrewd, "What do you want then?"
"It's very simple. Now that you want to play, certainly, it has to count when you show us your wager. Before you reach level 6 and try to form Iron-Blood Battle Qi, I will regard all the money that you make through picking up navy-blue iron ores as your wager..."
"Fine, that's settled then."
"Zhang Tie..." Zhang Su wanted to stop him.
"Cousin, as you dared to bet 300 gold coins for me to form Iron-Blood Battle Qi, dare I not bet for myself? It's nothing serious even if I lose it. Additionally, I'm thinking about picking up more navy-blue iron ores so as to practice my swimming skills and built my body. As it's our first time to meet with each other today. We will bet with them. According to a traditional Chinese phrase, father and son will go to battle hand in hand while brothers will beat tiger shoulder to shoulder. I also want to be on your side when betting."
"Fine!" Zhang Su's eyes gleamed as he loudly shouted. He had not imagined that his cousin was that manly. He felt very interesting to be a friend of Zhang Tie.
"Heh...heh, this time, we will make you brothers lose everything!" After that, he clapped with Zhang Tie's hands to show his consent to Zhang Tie's participation.
"Everybody knows that Iron-Blood Battle Qi could be hardly formed. The odds between you and my cousin is unfair. My cousin is forced to accept 1: 1 with you. For me, as I'm younger than you and don't like to suffer from a loss, how about 1: 3 between you and me? If I win, how about paying me 3 times the wager?" Zhang Tie smiled as he set a trap for that person at once.
That person had not imagined that Zhang Tie was that shrewd either who wouldn't suffer any loss at all. 'But, 3 times...' That person quickly racked his mind. "Even though the comprehensive ratio between him and Zhang Tie and Zhang Su is 1: 2, as the opponent is practicing Iron-Blood Battle Qi which was hard to accomplish even in Hidden Dragon Palace. Actually, this ratio is also quite reasonable for me. If it were others, they would never bet with me on this. But this brat looks too calm. It seems that something is wrong with him..."
"What, you don't dare to? With the exception of the imperial households of Norman Empire, across the Waii Sub-continent, the chance to form Iron-Blood Battle Qi is even less than 1 out of 10000. The rate should be at least 1:1000 to make it fair. Considering that we are all in the Hidden Dragon Palace, I set the odds between you and me at 1: 3, I've already made a concession for you by over 300 times. Do you want me to take another step back for you? How about 400 times then. Even though I'm new here and have not reached level 6, even though I have no money, I should at least show my respect to seniors. Do you want more? How about 500 times?" Zhang Tie glanced at that person with contempt. He treated that person in the same way that he treated him. With the same tone, he instantly took advantage of them. Just like how he dealt with Samira, Zhang Tie would never be polite with them.
That person then gritted his teeth and said, "Fine, 1 for 3. I will see how many navy-blue iron ores can you pick up from the sea!"
After clapping with Zhang Tie to fix the bet, the two people then left. After walking a few steps away, that person turned back and sneered, "Iron-Blood Battle Qi is not that easy to form. I hope your boast today will not become a joke across the Palace!"
After the two people walked away, Zhang Su patted Zhang Tie's shoulders, "Well done! Be a man! Don't care about the bet. Even though we may lose the bet, we will not lose face! I can still afford the several hundred gold coins. You should treat this bet as a rare experience!"
Although what Zhang Su said was to encourage Zhang Tie, he was still not confident about whether Zhang Tie could form Iron-Blood Battle Qi. What faced Zhang Tie were two tasks: to pick up navy-blue iron ores; to form Iron-Blood Battle Qi if he wanted to win. Each one of the two tasks is very difficult to achieve. Zhang Tie had no other choice now.
"Cousin, trust me, we will win." Zhang Tie revealed a smile, "I'm worried about whether that guy can pay off the wager or not."
"That guy is called Zhang Haige, who's one of the figures who are very good at finding ways to make to make money in the Lingtian Department. He has about 2000 gold coins now. But he's also known as a mean guy. If he dares to repudiate the debt, I will peel off his skin!"
"Additionally, based on my acknowledgment to him, he must have thought that he's set to win this time. So, he will definitely spread the news on the bet across Hidden Dragon Palace in case we repudiate when we lose it."
"Hoho, I will let them know how it feels when they lift one rock only to drop it on their own feet..."
After chatting with Zhang Tie for awhile, Zhang Tie's cousin left.
After Zhang Tie returned to the canteen, Wei Wu and the other pals started to be very curious about that person who came here for Zhang Tie just now.
"He's my cousin." Zhang Tie briefly introduced Zhang Su without even mentioning the bet at all.
As was expected, hearing that two of Zhang Tie's family entered Hidden Dragon Palace at the same time, the other guys sitting together with Zhang Tie all became very surprised as their eyes showed a sense of curiosity.
After eating supper, the girls in Zhixing Department set up a booth in the pavilion of the courtyard. They were beautiful pairs of seashells. In the seashells was oil extracted from seashells. This kind of oil, when being pasted on face and body, could be used to protect people from being scorched by sun. It could also help recover skin after being scorched.
The cost of seashell oil was 1 silver coin a box. A great amount of boys were surrounding their booths. God knew whether they were there to buy commodities or to get acquainted with girls. Even Zhang Keliang and Wei Wu were moving there along with the masses.
After glancing at the sky and touching his 5 silver coins in his pocket, Zhang Tie left Zhixing Department.
"Zhang Tie..." Zhang Yunfei caught sight of Zhang Tie's shadow as he hurriedly shouted, "The seashell oil is nice, will you want one?"
"No need, that item is useless to me. It's purely wasting money to buy them. I'm heading for the wharf!" Zhang Tie waved his hands as he left, "Are you kidding me? As I have preliminary recovery body, do I need any seashell oil at all? The tiny problem of being scorched in the daytime will be healed overnight. With such money, it's better for me to buy a great amount of seashells and set them free in the sea and check what kind of fruits will I get.'
Zhang Tie left while some girls who were selling seashell oil started to glare at his shadow. "This bastard is really disgusting! His words are really jarring!"
Zhang Tie didn't know that because of his honest words, he had been drawn into the blacklist by the girls.
After leaving the Palace, thinking of that wharf where he first came, Zhang Tie started to increase his pace.
"As I've made the bet with them, of course, I will win. My expenditure on Hidden Dragon Island will depend on this bet."
In the breeze, Zhang Tie felt that he was a bit sinister...
"It's all because of that disgusting bastard!"