The treasure hunters took the chips Li Du gave them and placed their bets. They didnt have unified opinions on which to bet on. Some bet small, because most of the time Li Du had bet on small and won a lot of money. Some bet on big, as they felt that according to sheer probability, it should be big next.
When the dice cup was opened, it was big; some people cheered while some were dismayed.
Li Du did not pay attention to this. He looked towards Marlin and greeted him, "Hey Marlin, old pal, good evening."
The casino business thrived at night. Many white-collar folks would come to the casino to play a few rounds to relax after work. All the surrounding tables were very crowded and many people were staring at them.
Due to the watchful crowd, although Marlin was dissatisfied, he could not show his emotions on his face.
He waved warmly at Li Du. "Li, my brother from China, you are here again?"
He emphasized the word "again," saying it in a heavy tone. And when he said that word, the smile on his face went stagnant.
"Yes," Li Du said, "Ive come to play."
Marlin pretended to be surprised. "When you left the last time," he said, "didnt you say youd never come back again? So why are you here today? And with so many men?"
"Youve misunderstood, Mr. Marlin," said Li Du. "What I meant was I will not deliberately come here to gamble, not that I will not come here again. My intention this time is not to gamble but to look for someone."
"Look for who?"
"Joffrey Rick," answered Li Du. "I want to find him because he owes my pals some money and I have to get it back."
Marlin looked at the chips Li carried with him, and gradually frowned. "What happened? Are you able to tell me about it?"
"No problem," laughed Li Du. "Youre Joffery Ricks boss, and you have the right to know what happened.
"Recently, two Californians came to FlagstaffIm not sure what exactly happened, but Mr. Rick became friends with them. The three of them plotted and scammed 10,000 dollars from my pals."
He patted his chips and stressed, "10,000 dollars."
Being in the casino industry for many years, Marlin could estimate with just one look at the chips that Li Du had, and they were indeed worth 10,000 dollars.
He now understood why Li Du had come. This was some sort of a warningLi Du had come to get the money back. From him.
Marlin smiled coldly at Li Du as he now understood his intention. He felt that Li was provoking him. "Young man, I understand your intention. However, is this really appropriate?"
"We Chinese have a saying: Paying debts is a justified act. Another saying goes: The creditor knows where to look for the debtor as the angry one knows who to look for to get even.The one who owes us the debt is Mr. Rick, but you are Mr. Ricks boss. Theres nothing wrong with us looking you up, right?"
Marlin answered coldly, "Youre really confident, arent you? Do you think Im an easier target to mess with than Dog Ears, that dumb b*st*rd?
"No, Li Du said sincerely, "youre not to be messed with. I know you cant be messed with. In fact, Im scared of you. But I have no choice. Ive been challenged, and I need to fight back."
Not waiting for the other party to respond, he continued to talk, "Look, ever since the last time I left, I havent come to your casino. Ive got no choice this time. If I dont do anything, your lackey will think that Im easy to mess with and will continue to do so in the future.
"Furthermore, Mr. Marlin, if I wanted to trifle with you, I wouldnt stop at this small sum of money."
The manager-in-charge of the table whispered to Marlin, "He won 14,000 dollars just now and gave 4,000 dollars to those rednecks. Theyre all beginners and theyve almost lost all their chips."
Marlins facial expression smoothed out and he waved for the manager to get back to work. He turned to Li Du and said, "Lets talk in the loungeis that fine with you?"
Li Du said, "My pleasure."
Big Quinn and Godzilla wanted to follow Li, but with a snap of his fingers, he said, "Both of you stand watch here. Whoever loses all of their chips, stop them and dont let them gamble anymore."
"Yes, Boss." The two big men obeyed and stood still like giant towers.
At the same time, Godzilla glanced at Marlin and pulled up his shirt, revealing the fiery tattoo of a ferocious eagle grabbing a dazzling dahlia. A well-built Native American man behind Marlin had a startled look on his face.
As the group sat down in the lounge, Marlin commented, "Li, youve got guts to come alone. Youre not afraid that I may do something nasty to you?"
"If you really want to do that," replied Li Du, "Im certainly fearful. But I know you wont. You know by now that I dont mean to provoke you, and you also know we should be friends, not enemies."
Marlin questioned, "If thats the case, why did you still come to win my money?"
"Ive come to convey some information as well," said Li Du. "Be mindful of Joffrey Rick. Those two Californians hes befriended are not common folks. Hell create trouble for you."
Having heard this, a wicked light flashed in Marlins eyes. "Be rest assured, Ill have a good talk with Joffrey!"
After getting Marlins assurance, Li Du stood up to leave. "Thank you, Mr. Marlin. I should get going and check on how my pals are doing. Well leave when they lose all their chips."
"Dont say that," laughed Marlin, "maybe theyll win all the way."
Li Du shook his head and remarked, "No, nobody can always win money in the casino. The old man who taught me gambling tactics always emphasized this to me..."
Li abruptly stopped talking as if he had accidentally revealed something he should not have.
Marlins eyes twitched, then he asked, "Oh yes, Li, since you have such good gambling skills, I would like to ask if youre interested in working for me? Its certainly more lucrative than your storage auctions."
"Sorry, Mr. Marlin," said Li Du. "Ive made an oath that as long as no one provokes me, and that if theres a good reason, Ill never enter the casino!"
"Dont be in a rush to reject the offer," said Marlin, "go home and think about it."
"Okay, I thank you for your offer," said Li Du. "In addition, I can promise you, as long as your men dont force me, Ill not create trouble for you!"
Marlin cackled and said cheerfully, "You didnt come to create trouble. Li, youre a good young man. Actually, youre always welcome to look me up, provided that its a conversation over coffee."
"Okay then, well see each other again."
The 4,000 dollars was split among close to 30 people, which was not a lot of money. When Li Du came back, more than 10 of them had lost all their chips.
After a while, the remaining treasure hunters had also lost all their chips. Everyone looked at each other, speechless for a moment.
"Sh*t, the moneys all gone in the bat of an eye!" Turis exclaimed.
"Okay, the moneys all spent," said Li Du. "We should leave now."
Olly winked at him and suggested, "Li, youre in luck today. Why dont you continue betting? You could earn 100,000 dollars!"
"And then lose my life?" Li Du gave a bitter laugh and was the first among them to leave the casino.
The rest of them looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and followed after him.
Li Du was their leader; just like the cars behind the locomotive of a train, they followed him religiously.