1955 Betting (2)

"This..."

The smiling duo suddenly went completely silent.

How in the world did the green-clothed young man manage to achieve victory?

Had he not been losing a moment ago?

The green-clothed young man knew that his swordsmanship isn't on par with his opponent's, so he acted weak to numb the white-clothed young man while biding his time for an opportunity to strike!"

"Indeed. The duels over here are life-and-death battles, not just simple swordsmanship sparring. Even a stronger opponent can easily be killed in a moment of carelessness!"

Such discussions could be heard all around.

They were all disciples from the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, and they viewed observing such duels to be a form of training as well.

It was apparent to them that the green-clothed young man's swordsmanship was inferior to that of the white-clothed young man, but he was the one who had the last laugh.

In a true battle, it was not the one who was more skilled in swordsmanship that would always be the winner. There were far more factors involved than that.

"That fellow sure got lucky!" the gray-robed young man cursed beneath his breath.

How in the world did that fool manage to win ten Sword Pavilion Coins from him so easily?

It had to be beginner's luck! There could be no reason other than that!

"Hey, I would like to redeem my winnings!"

While the gray-robed young man was still cursing angrily, the 'fool' from earlier walked up to him and passed the redemption card over.

The gray-robed young man stared at the 'fool' for a moment before reluctantly passing him thirty Sword Pavilion Coins.

Meanwhile, the green-clothed young man and white-clothed young man had stepped out of the dueling ring, and another pair of opponents took their positions.

A glint flashed through the gray-robed young man's eyes as he asked, "Would you like to go again?"

Luck might favor a person once or twice, but ultimately, what determined the final winner was the odds. That was also why the house was the one that always raked in money in casinos.

"Sure!" Zhang Xuan nodded.

Barely a minute after arriving there, without even lifting a finger, he had already earned ten Sword Pavilion Coins. Since he had stumbled upon such a convenient way to earn money, there was no way he was going to stop with just ten Sword Pavilion Coins!

Very well. This time, we shall each place a bet so that it'll be fairer!" The gray-robed young man took a look at the dueling ring before remarking with a smile, "Let me see... I'll bet on the victory of the black-robed middle-aged man!"

"Since that's the case, I'll put thirty Sword Pavilion Coins on the victory of the white-robed young lady then!" Zhang Xuan unhesitatingly placed his entire wealth into the bet.

"I'll match your thirty Sword Pavilion Coins!" the gray-robed man replied.


On the inside, the gray-robed young man was already mocking Zhang Xuan on what a fool he was. As a broker of the dueling ring, he had a huge information network that provided him with the identities of those who frequented in the ring.

Of the two who had just stepped onto the stage, the black-robed middle-aged man was Senior Zhou whereas the white-robed young lady was Senior Wang.

The two of them had fought with one another on multiple occasions in the dueling ring, and more often than not, Senior Zhou would outdo Senior Wang and win the duel.

Shortly after they decided on the bets, the duel began.

Just as the gray-robed young man had predicted, Senior Zhou was on the offense from the get-go. Every single strike from him was precise and sharp, heaping immense pressure upon Senior Wang. As a result, the latter was forced to back away again and again. It felt as if she would have no chance to retaliate at all.

The gray-robed young man glanced at Zhang Xuan and scoffed in his mind. Heh, just wait till you lose all of your money!

It seemed like he would be able to win back the ten Sword Pavilion Coins that he had lost with this and even make a huge profit!

Back to the dueling ring, it eventually came to a point where the white-robed Senior Wang was backed to the very edge of the dueling ring, and it felt like she was going to fall from it at any moment. However, with a sudden change in momentum, she pounced to the side like an agile leopard.

This maneuver resulted in the black-robed Senior Zhou's attack to fall empty. This attack was exceptionally heavy as he had intended it to be the finishing blow to end the duel, but when it missed, it turned into a huge liability. Realizing that he was exposed, Senior Zhou immediately halted his advancement and attempted to leap back so as to create some space for him to regain his momentum.

Unfortunately, before he could do so, a sword was already pressed against his neck.

With this, the black-robed Senior Zhou had lost!

"Pardon me, but I think I have won this bet too!" Zhang Xuan replied with a light chuckle.

Having lost two rounds consecutively, the gray-robed young man's face twitched wildly. Despite his reluctance, he still passed thirty Sword Pavilion Coins over to Zhang Xuan.

Duels were constantly happening in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion's Ethereal Hall. Barely after the previous one just ended, yet another pair of challengers had headed up.

The gray-robed young man hesitated for a moment before looking at Zhang Xuan once more.

"Do you dare continue our bets?"

The truth was that he had made quite a fortune from those bets, and this was the first time that he had lost so tragically.

"Of course! It should be my turn to make the first pick now, right?" Zhang Xuan asked with a smile.

"Go ahead!" The gray-robed young man nodded slightly.

"I'll bet on the victory of that white-robed fellow up there! I'll put sixty Sword Pavilion Coins into it!" Zhang Xuan said as he gestured to the dueling ring.

The gray-robed young man shot a glance over at the dueling ring before nodding in agreement. "Very well, I'll bet on the black-robed guy then!"

This time, he only recognized one of the two fighters on the dueling ring—the black-robed guy, Senior Du. As for the white-robed person, he really had no idea at all.

However, Senior Du's swordsmanship was known to be formidable in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion. There were only ten people among the inner disciples who were a match for him. Since he was unable to recognize the white- robed person, it was unlikely that he was one of the ten people. Thus, Senior Du's victory was pretty much assured!

The two sides began clashing with one another, and soon enough, the battle came to an end.

Just as the other party had deduced, it was the white-robed person who won. Senior Du had actually lost!

"This... How can this be?"

Having lost three consecutive matches, the gray-robed young man was clearly starting to panic a little.

He had earned a small fortune for himself over the years, but even so, he could not afford to lose so much money just like that!

Zhang Xuan took a momentary glance at the gray-robed young man's flustered face before asking with a smile, "Shall we continue?"

"This..."

The gray-robed young man looked at the dueling ring once more, and another two challengers had gotten onto the stage. However, unlike his previously relaxed mood, sweat was seeping down his back.

He had lost three rounds so far. That was one hundred Sword Pavilion Coins! He wouldn't be able to stand losing any more money than that!

But if he did not continue, he would lose all one hundred Sword Pavilion Coins! That was something he could not accept either!

There was a momentary internal conflict in his mind before he eventually gritted his teeth and steeled his resolve.

Very well, I'll go with you once more! However, it should be my turn to choose first!"

Unbeknownst to the gray-robed young man, he had fallen prey to the same gambler's fallacy that he had exploited far too often.

The more a person lost, the more desperate they were to recoup their losses. There was a tiny thought at the back of his head that said, since he had lost so much, it was about time for him to make a comeback. However, it was this also very thought that would eventually sink him into the depths of despair.

"Be my guest!" Zhang Xuan gestured gentlemanly.

The gray-robed young man pondered carefully for a moment before saying, "This time, I'll pick the white-robed youth!"

Similar to before, he only recognized one of the two fighters onstage, and that was the white-robed Junior Luo.

Despite being age, Junior Luo was a formidable genius. It had only been two years since he entered the sect, but he had already made a name for himself among the inner disciples. Even he would have to admit defeat before Junior Luo!

If anyone had a better chance of winning, it would be indubitably Junior Luo.

"Since you picked the white-robed youth, I guess I will..." Zhang Xuan looked at the two fighters meaningfully for a moment before asking, "Would it be fine if I bet on the battle coming to a draw?"

"A draw?" The gray-robed young man was stunned.

Battles in the Ethereal Hall were vastly different from those in the real world. In the real world, in order to avoid incurring severe injuries or even death, opponents possessing similar strength were more inclined to agree to a draw.

On the other hand, there were no such worries in the Ethereal Hall. Thus, cultivators would usually fight to the very end, often concluding the match with the demise of one side.

Only in extremely rare circumstances would there be a draw.

Yet, this fellow actually wanted to bet on that unbelievably slim possibility? Was there something wrong with his head?

Nevertheless, the gray-robed young man suppressed the blossoming smile on his face and asked with forced nonchalance, "Are you certain?"

"I am. However, I am also aware of the fact that draws are extremely rare, so could I request my payout to be higher?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"You're right. The norm for the payout in matches with a draw is five times the bet!" the gray-robed man replied. "Great. I'll bet 120 Sword Pavilion Coins then!" Zhang Xuan said.

Fearing that Zhang Xuan would back out, the gray-robed young man quickly agreed to it. "Sounds fine by me!"

Betting on a draw was no different from delivering money right into his hands! Finally, he could recoup his losses!

Right after they agreed on the bet, the duel on the stage began.

From the very start, it was apparent that both fighters were formidable experts. Sword qi swiftly filled up the entire dueling ring, prepared to tear the flesh of the careless mercilessly. Exquisite sword maneuvers were displayed one after another, invoking roaring cheers from the crowd beneath.

The white-robed Junior Luo was indubitably powerful. His offense was vigorous, reminiscent of wild beast. However, the opponent whom he was facing was not weak either. Even though parrying Junior Luo's relentless offense had left him in a slightly unkempt state, he remained completely unharmed even after some time had passed.

Just like that, they traded over three hundred blows, but there was still no victor to be seen.

"Junior Luo, you can do it!"

As the fight dragged out longer and longer, the gray-robed young man started to panic. Perspiration trickled profusely down his back.

Such a long duel was extremely rare, perhaps occurring at most once a month. Who could have known that he would be so 'fortunate' as to bump into one of them at this critical juncture?

The two fighters continued clashing for over a hundred blows, but neither party was able to hold a decisive advantage. If anything, it seemed like they were just grinding each other's energy down.

Eventually, the white-robed Junior Luo leaped back and said, "Friend, I acknowledge that your swordsmanship is indeed extraordinary, and you have won my admiration. However, I don't think that there's much point in us continuing like this. Even if one of us emerges victorious, it will just be a miserable win. Why don't we settle it with a draw for the time being and spar together another day?"

The other party nodded in agreement. "My thoughts exactly!"

The gray-robed young man felt as if the world around him had gone dark, and he nearly passed out right there and then.

He had actually managed to stumble upon such a rare draw... and it was while he was betting against another person.

"Oh my, it seems like I have won again." Zhang Xuan glanced at the gray-robed young man with a surprised smile.

Of course, the reason he could win was not just because of his eye of discernment. More importantly, he had the Library of Heaven's Path on his side. Through it, he was able to peek into the sword arts, state of mind, and battle techniques each of them had practiced.

Given that everyone was of equal cultivation, the differences in mental resilience and battle techniques made a massive difference on everyone's fighting prowess.

It was with the availability of such information that he had been able to accurately determine the winner for the past few rounds and win the bets.

"I placed my bet on a draw, and as you said before, the compensation of such a bet is five times what was in," Zhang Xuan said. "Thus, you have to pay me a total of six hundred Sword Pavilion Coins!"

"600 Sword Pavilion Coins?" Hearing those words, the gray-robed young man's body stiffened in horror.

That fellow had to be a hacker!

Otherwise, how could he possibly have predicted the outcome of every duel correctly?

He had always been the one earning as a broker, but who could have known that he would squander nearly all of his money within ten minutes... This was driving him crazy!

It had been ten years since he became an inner disciple, and he had been accruing his money by going through all kinds of missions and working as a broker. Despite that, his savings did not even reach a thousand, and before he knew it, he was already going to lose nearly all of it!

The gray-robed young man's face turned livid as he spat through clenched jaws, "I don't have that many Sword Pavilion Coins!"

"You don't have the money to pay up? It was a fair bet, but you intend to shirk off your payment?" Zhang Xuan asked as the smile on his face gradually grew a little eerie.

Yeah, that's right! I'm not going to pay you the six hundred Sword Pavilion Coins. So, what can you do about it?" the gray-robed young man scoffed coldly. "Do you even know who I am and where you can find me?"

As gambling was prohibited in the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, he made sure to switch to another Ethereal Token when he worked as a broker.

Other than a few others who worked alongside him to manage the entire business, practically no one knew of this persona of his.

"Heh..." Zhang Xuan shook his head, as if mocking the gray-robed young man's naivety.

Without any hesitation, he sent a kick right at the gray-robed young man.

Taken aback, the gray-robed young man hurriedly flitted to the side to dodge the attack. A hint of contempt flashed across his eyes as he said, "You are going to make a move on me now? Have you forgotten that we are in the Ethereal Hall? Even if you kill me, all I'll lose is an Ethereal Token. No matter what you do in here, it won't make a difference to me at all!"

"Is that so?" Zhang Xuan placed his hands behind his back and looked at the gray-robed young man. "I guess I should pay a visit to Elder Han of White Cloud Peak and inform him that an inner disciple under his jurisdiction has set up an illegal gambling den in the Ethereal Hall. Say, this is quite a major affair, isn't it? Don't you think that he'll immediately investigate the matter and nab those brazen fools who dare flout the sect rules?

"I wonder what he'll do to those brazen fools... Well, if you ask me, I reckon that there's a good chance that Elder Han will drive those brazen fools out of the sect! What is your opinion on the matter, Senior Zhu Yanzhi?"

You..."

The gray-robed young man, Zhu Yanzhi, tottered backward fearfully, as if he had seen a devil. Before he knew it, his entire back was already dripping wet.

"How in the world do you know who I am?"

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