Although Las Vegas was near Flagstaff, it was not within the state of Arizona. Instead, it was in the state of Nevada the desert and gambling state.
From Flagstaff, they headed west toward Kingman, and then northwest from Kingman across the Colorado River, and then they reached the state of Nevada.
On maps, the state of Nevada appeared to be a vast, but virtually unpopulated desert, with mining towns scattered sparsely throughout the state.
These mines had since become yesterday's wilted flowers; the hoes and shovels had since been soldslot machines had taken their places.
The Colorado River had become a watershed, and the southeast belonged to the state of Arizona where everything was normal. After entering Nevada, everything became crazier.
Even when they filled up gas at the gas stations, went shopping in the supermarkets and ate in the restaurants, they could see slot machines everywhere.
As soon as they arrived in Las Vegas, around noon, they found a restaurant to eat in. The server said, "We've got quite a number of customers, and the food may take a while to arrive. If you can't wait, you can go and play at the slot machines for a bit."
Li Du's eyes widened. "Isn't this blatant encouragement of gambling?"
Hans spread his hand out and said, "Hey foreigner, welcome to Nevada!"
Not only was gambling legal, the country *** was also legal. There were two girls in the restaurant wearing see-through dresses and black stockings with garters flirting with the customers.
Li Du felt a little out of place; he felt as though he was not in the 21st century but in the 19thcentury, which was the era in which the western United States had developed the wilderness.
This had to do with Hans's restaurant choice. It was decorated like how Western movies depicted the 19th century to be. A revolver on the wall, a tethering stone outside, a cowboy hat and saddle rein next to the table.
There was nothing special about the food; it was regular hamburgers, sandwiches, grilled meat and all kinds of green salads that could be found everywhere else. They also had beer.
The western region had always been regarded as the birthplace of the free American spirit. The people here still advocated being free, wild, outrageous and tough. Hence, in restaurants, they had an activity.
A beer drinking activity. There was a large pint of beer on the table and whoever could finish it within five seconds would save on paying for drinks and tips.
Servers' wages were low and they mostly depended on tips to supplement their income. If the customer were to tip very little, the server might react in a hostile manner in return.
Yes, this sounded incredible because the restaurant business was also a service industry, but there was no other way. This was a practice ingrained in the culture, and everybody did it.
Li Du left a 50-dollar tip, meaning that they had left ten dollars each. The tip was significant, because their meal had cost only 100 dollars.
If it were not for the big-eater Godzilla, the other four people would have only eaten 50 dollars worth of food. Food expenditure in the country was really low, and the portions of food were large.
Li Du was generous with his tips because the server had provided a bench for Ah meow, Ah Ow, and Crispy Noodles to sit on. Many restaurants did not allow their patrons to bring pets.
A 40-minute journey later, a towering city appeared before them.
It was a city with multiple personalities, and it had continued changing since the time of the Rat Pack. In order to catch tourists' eyeballs, this city was willing to offer anything.
Other parts of the United States had paid attention to matters like inheritance and conservation history. Las Vegas didn't do this; the entire city chased wildly after the current trends.
Here, the old things continued to give way to new things. The signs that had flourished in the past now lay in the cemetery for neon lights collecting dust. The changing footsteps never ceased.
Only the casinos weren't this way. The time in casinos seemed to be stagnant: there were no clocks in there, no time. There was only fresh air being pumped in regularly, ongoing buffets, and endless drinks.
There were endless streams of cars on the road. While luxury cars such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches were not seen everywhere, they could always be easily found if one wanted to look.
Li Du's Hellcat could attract some eyeballs in Flagstaff, but in Las Vegas? No one bothered to spare the effort of a second glance.
Hans turned on the GPS and keyed in a very impressive destination: Caesars Palace.
Li Du was stunned. "Yo, you booked Caesars Palace?"
This was one of the best hotels in Las Vegas, and was almost regarded as a landmark. Many people came to Caesars Palace to sightsee, and treated it as a tourist attraction.
Hans shrugged. "Just received that 800,000 dollars in my account. Couldn't resist spending some money."
Li Du gave him a thumbs up. "Cool!"
Hans said, "Actually, Caesars Palace is not that costlyabout 200 300 dollars a night. I didn't book the presidential suite but everyone has a room."
Lu Guan was overjoyed. "D*mn it. I knew it was the right choice to work with you." He laughed with joy. "I've never stayed in Caesars Palace before."
Caesars Palace was a big hotel. Many hotels and entertainment places around the world had adopted this name. It could be said that this hotel in Las Vegas was an ancestor of sorts.
They stopped the truck at the door, and a few fine-looking men in suits were about to help them open the doors. But as they looked up at the big truck, they were stunnedthey would need to step on the foot pedals to reach the handles.
Li Du and others had already pushed the doors open and so the two handsome men could only bow and smile as they spread their arms wide. "Welcome!"
The hotel was huge. The magnificent-looking building was modeled after the Greco-Roman style. If an architecture expert were present, he would definitely sneer at its mish-mash design.
But it was meant for the rich tycoons and not for the experts. Upon entering the hotel, he saw many replicas of the classic sculptures. While the feeling was quite unexplainable, one could still feel an artistic air permeating the hotel.
Service from the staff was attentive. Upon noticing Li Du's interest in the sculptures, an employee said, "If you like the stone carvings, you shouldn't miss the Brahma Shrine. It's this way."
Unique-looking gods could be seen at the temple made of marble. There was also a towering fountain, and a group of beautiful girls dressed like goddesses. They were actually servers carrying cocktails and canapes in their hands.
Hans grabbed a glass of rainbow-colored cocktail and gave a 10-dollar tip in return.
The girl bowed carefully to show her gratitude, while making sure she did not expose her chest and her legsdisplaying mannerisms of a goddess indeed.
Li Du said, "I do think this place is called the Labyrinth? The Roman Labyrinth? Where is the Minotaur?"
The Minotaur, a half-man and half-bull creature from Crete, was the offspring produced after Pasipha, the wife of King Minos of Crete, mated with the bull sent by Poseidon. To contain this being with a man's body and a cow's head, Minos built a Labyrinth in Crete.
Hans pointed to his side. "Go take a look if you're interested. Though the buffet restaurant with Kobe beef sounds like a good option too."
Li Du was amazed. To think they had this too? How big could this hotel be?!