The Native Americans were enlivened when they heard the word "bet."
But Harris was deeply wary about it as he knew too well about Li Du's superb gambling skills.
The last time they had met in the Comanche Casino, Li Du swept more than five million dollars away, having perfect control over the situation.
Later, when Harris and Marlin had watched the surveillance video, they could not find any possible trace of Li Du cheating. What they saw was a young, confident Chinese man, who was enthusiastic and full of drive at the gambling table, sweeping millions away from the casino.
When they had finished watching the video, Marlin broke out in cold sweat. He had never met such a person. If he had not been involved and known the story behind it, he would have thought he was watching a movie.
The young man in the video was the exact image of the God of Gamblers!
If Li Du had only gambled and won that night, both Marlin and Harris would have thought nothing much about it. But what had appalled them was that Li Du had actually found out the secret of the gambling table.
Whether it was a coincidence or not, it was a fact that he had found out about the table. "To tackle a snake, strike it at the weakest spot" the secret of the gambling table was the casinos weakest spot.
That was why Marlin had warned Harris and his men not to provoke Li Du and try to avoid conflict with him. More importantly, they should not gamble with him.
If he were alone, Harris would not gamble with Li.
But now he had a group of followers with him, and he did not want to lose face. Thus, in a confident manner, he asked, "How do you want to bet?"
"You think youre the best hunters around, so you ran after the herd of deer without thinking about it," said Li Du. "Well, we also feel that were the best hunters, so, why not have a competition?"
Hans nodded in agreement. "That makes sense, as we cant tell who snatched whose prey," he said. "Lets do it the old-fashioned way and have a competition: well see whos the better hunter and the prey shall belong to the winner."
"A hunting competition?" Harris asked.
Li Du answered, "You can set the rules, such as to compete for best marksmanship with fixed-point shooting or something like that. Or to see who can hunt ten wild animals first and so forth."
Harris stared at Li Du intently; he was chewing over Li Dus words.
Li Du was not afraid. He smiled and stared back at him.
After a while, Harris slowly nodded his head. "Let me talk to my men."
Mr. Martin pulled Li Du away to one side and whispered, "If its marksmanship, we need not be afraid of them. Me and my old pals are good at that.
"But," his tone changed to that of worry, "were out of stamina. Our endurance level might not be enough if we need to hunt wild beasts."
Li Du comforted him, "Dont worry, Mr. Martin. Ill play on your behalf."
When Hans heard this, he was shocked and exclaimed, "You? Have you ever played with a gun?"
Li Du raised his crossbow and said, "Im using this."
Hans slapped the crossbow and snapped, "Are you kidding me? You want to use a cold weapon to compete against a hot weapon? Are you sure your brain's not broken?"
Li Du assured, "Don't worry, I can handle it."
Hans was actually full of confidence in him. He knew that Li Du was a very reliable man; he would not engage in challenges that he had no chance of winning.
However, Mr. Martin and his group did not have much confidence in him, and persuaded, "Come on, Li, let us do it. We're good marksmen, especially Terry ..."
A taciturn little old man raised his shotgun. His hands were rough, strong, and powerful and he firmly held the gun with one hand.
"Terry, you can take them on, right?" Mr. Martin asked.
Terry looked worried. "Old pals, the group of men over there are not easy to deal with. Theres a fellow by the name of Bruno Hugo. He's a good marksmangreat accuracy."
"You dont have confidence?" someone asked, upset by Terrys remarks.
Terry explained, "All of you know how I am. Ill put in my best, but Ill be honest, Im quite beaten up right now."
The group of old men was suddenly disheartened. Mr. Martin sighed, "The youngest among us is already 52. D*mn it, were not at our peak anymore!"
The quarrel between the Native Americans and the group of old men had attracted some people. Upon hearing their conversation, a middle-aged onlooker carrying a shotgun advised, "You better compete for marksmanshipif its hunting ability, youre going to lose."
"Those Native Americans are jerks, but their marksmanship is f*cking accurate. I know that Hugo guy that Terry mentioned. He's a Marine."
"A b*st*rd who got expelled by the Marines. He liked to play the hero and almost messed up an operation once, and was dismissed by the Navy."
"But he's a really amazing marksman. I've seen his long-range shootingits just like a d*mn guided missile."
By contrast, it was apparent that Martins group was more popular with the crowd. The curious crowd of onlookers was helping by offering them some advice.
Li Du wore a candid smile. "Ive said that Ill take on the challenge. Just wait to watch the show."
Mr. Martin looked at him in doubt. "Are your shots accurate?"
Li Du raised his crossbow again. "I'm good at archery."
Harris and his group quickly decided the rules for the challenge. They walked over, with Hugo following behind Harris. Hugo, looking confident, seemed to be in high spirits.
Li Du asked, "Decided on the rules?"
"Yes," Harris replied, "our rules are like this: a time limit of 30 minutes to see who can hunt more game. If both sides hunt the same amount of game, then we go by weight to determine the winner."
The group of old men frowned. This kind of competition not only required good marksmanship, but also the ability to find prey, which was very physically demanding.
They were old and had hunted the whole morningit was inevitable that they were exhausted by now. Even if the whole team of old men was to hunt together, they may still not be up to par against Hugo, an expelled Marine elite.
Li Du was not bothered. He nodded and said, "Yes, we accept the rules."
Harris gave a few pats on Hugos shoulder and said, "This is the hunter who will be representing us. How about you?"
Li Du walked out, carrying the crossbow. "Me, Ill take him on."
Hugo smiled coldly. "Are you going to use this junk? Im telling you, Im not changing my gun."
"We did not request you to replace it, you can use this gun," said a nonchalant Li Du. "As for me, Im using this crossbow."
Hugo roared with laughter and said sarcastically, "You dont know whats in store for youyou think this is your playground?" He suddenly sprinted for some distance, for what seemed quite a while, then he stopped and lifted the gun.
A gunshot was heard, and in an instant, one of the deer next to them had another bloody hole in its body.
The Native Americans were clapping and cheering. Harris wore a complacent expression.
Hugo ran back like a gust of wind and declared, "Thats a distance of over 600 feet, and I can shoot a lot farther than that. Can your piece of junk shoot that far?"
As Martin and his group of friends watched, their already worried facial expressions darkened.
Hugo's marksmanship, stamina, and speed were beyond their imagination. The young man was indeed a formidable hunter and opponent.
The onlookers shook their heads. "Old pals, drop the challenge. The Marines are experts."
"Big Li, just forget the whole thing. You have no lack of money, why do you want to go against a bunch of maniacs?"
"This fellas marksmanship is so accurate. I cant even see clearly beyond 600 feet!"
Li Du did not say a word, appearing very focused.
Seeing this, Harris's face split into a sly smile. "It's too late to pull out now. Everyone, the rules have been set. Lets talk about the stakes."