Jun Xie was in a conversation with Little Ke since he had nothing else to do. Little Ke feared him less these days – due to his changed behavior in the past few days. She was still fearful of going too close to him. However, she didn’t abhor him much; especially his story-telling. The girl would carry an incense pot in Jun Xie’s room at the same hour every day, and would listen to his stories attentively. She would blink her eyes as she sat in front of Jun Xie. She followed the characters and emotions of each of the stories. She cheered, laughed, and cried with the characters. And, she felt excited when a handsome prince arrived in the story.
Jun Xie once told her the unfortunate story of the little mermaid. The little girl was so moved that she burst into tears. In fact, she cried for an entire day. Jun Xie swore to himself that he would never tell tragic stories to women again.
Those tears… could drown a person to death!
One day, Jun Xie was narrating the story of the monkey Sun being captured in the Eight Diagrams Furnace to Little Ke. Little Ke held an incense pot in her hands, and stood in front of him. She kept on blinking her eyes while she listened to the story. Suddenly, a bodyguard rushed inside and said, “Young Master, Young Master Tang has arrived.”
“Young Master Tang?” Jun Xie raised his head in confusion. He then searched for the memories related to this person in his head. He then said, “Send him in.”
A meatball started to roll towards him from the courtyard. It shouted as it continued to roll, “Third Young Master, Brother Mo Xie, please save me! I’m stuck with a horrible problem…”
Jun Xie was astounded to see a meatball talk. He eventually understood that it was a man as it came near him.
This person didn’t seem to have a neck; at least Jun Xie couldn’t see one. He had wide shoulders, short and thick arms and thighs, and a round head. The layers of fat in his body moved up and down in the air as he ran; they looked like the raging waves of the Yangtze River. He could be described as an opposite of a bamboo stalk. He didn’t look like a human from any angle.
He walked in from the door of the courtyard. He kept on wiping his sweat; even though he had only walked a few steps. He seemed extremely tired. This person was the Young Master of the Tang family. His name was Tang Yuan. The status of this Tang family was at par with the Jun family.
Jun Xie thought, [He does look like him… but he looks bigger than before.]
“Uh… Young Master Tang… What’s wrong with you? Why are you screaming for me to save you? Who provoked you this time?” Jun Xie held back his laughter as he looked at Jun Mo Xie’s best friend.
Young Master Tang looked angry, “Bloody grannies! Who else but those slops from the Li and Meng families…?!” He tried to open his eyes in between the thick flesh of his face, and succeeded in opening two narrow slits. He continued, “Brother, I was in the Thousand Gold Hall from the past ten days. I’ve lost hundred-and-fifty-thousand silver liangs! Third Young Master, please help me! Otherwise, my old man will beat me to death…”
Jun Xie was stunned, “Hundred-and-fifty-thousand silver liangs! How could you lose you so much money? In fact, from where did you get so much money?”
Tang Yuan heaved a deep sigh, “I was winning at first. I had won around fifty-thousand…”
“Why did you continue to play if they weren’t letting you win after that? What were you playing to lose so much money for? You’ve got some guts…” Jun Xie stared at him and asked.
Tang Yuan didn’t dare to counter Jun Xie’s point. Instead, he grumbled, “Didn’t you lose hundred-thousand liangs last month? I’ve only lost a little higher amount than yours… and you’re…”
“Why are you telling me all these things? Can’t your Tang family afford to pay hundred-and-fifty-thousand liangs for you? Why did you come here yelling?” Jun Xie realized that these kind of people couldn’t be judged on the basis of common sense. These people were the typical spend-thrift Young Masters.
“Would your own father kill you for an amount of hundred-and-fifty-thousand silver liangs? It’s not that you haven’t lost such an amount of money before…”
“After I lost all my money… I told them that I’ll go home to get some more. Then, Li Bo started to provoke me. He said that everyone was tired… and that they would go away if I didn’t stay there. I became angry… and…” Tang Yuan looked at Jun Xie with a face filled with regret.
Suddenly, Jun Xie started to feel apprehensive, “And… what?”
“One can lose his people… but not his face. I pawned my precious jade and sword for three-hundred-thousand silver liangs in an impulsive fit. I thought that I would win all my money back. But, I didn’t expect… didn’t expect… that I would lose it all,” Tang Yuan said in a hesitant manner.
“You said that one can lose his people… but not face. I remember that your father spent a huge amount of money to buy the famed Snow Buster Sword for you. That divine weapon can cut iron like mud. That jade was made-up of Warm Jade. Your father had paid one-million liangs to buy those assets for you. And yet… you pawned them for only a three-hundred-thousand liangs? No one can make this kind of a loss in a bargain sale…”Jun Xie was speechless. [This man is a complete rake!]
“I too have rules… you know… but, my mind had become numb. I can’t even explain the state of my mind back then,” Tang Yuan grumbled.
“You still have the pledge note… even if you’ve lost your possessions. So, you can redeem your assets later on. I know that your father loves you a lot. He… at the most… will rebuke you. He won’t kill you over this. Moreover, your family has a lot of money. Is this such a serious problem…?” Jun Xie grunted twice.
“Nonsense! These two items are treasures. How can I not wish to win them back?” Tang Yuan replied in an indignant manner. “But, you’re well aware of my Grandpa’s rules. You saw it yourself… what I had to endure the last time. One layer of my skin had been torn-off because of his beating!”
“And yet… you continued to gamble. What did you pawn this time? I know that you possess a lot of precious assets. But, you don’t have anything else that was worth a million liangs…” Jun Xie was an experienced man when it came to the psychology related to gambling. He knew that this fat friend of Jun Mo Xie wouldn’t have been this anxious if he hadn’t gambled away something he couldn’t recover.
“Yes… Actually… I didn’t have anything valuable on me. So, I pawned my wife…” Tang Yuan’s face looked full of regret and a desire to end his life. “I’m not even married to her yet.”
“Ah?” Little Ke gasped and widened her eyes in shock. She stared at Tang Yuan with disgust in her eyes. She thought in her heart, [It was difficult enough for the Young Master to become a better human being… and now this friend of his has arrived.]
“What? You pawned your wife? You pulled your wife into this mess?” Jun Xie nearly tumbled-off his chair. He felt that he would faint. This was too shocking! It was unthinkable!
Tang Yuan’s fiancée was the daughter of Sun Cheng He – the Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Justice. A beauty from a prestigious family had been dragged into the Thousand Gold Hall. This news would attract an unsurmountable amount of ridicule and laughter if it was to spread.
[The son of the Minister of State Revenue went gambling… and lost the daughter of the Vice-Minister of Justice in a bet.] Grandpa Tang would pump-out all the fat and oil from this fatty’s body and use it as a fuel for the Sky Lantern if he came to know of this.
“I… I didn’t drag her there… ” Tang Yuan was on the verge of crying, “… but I signed a promissory note… pawning her for a million liangs… It was written in black and white. I signed it.”
“Pig… you pig!” She was the daughter of the Vice-Minister of justice… and Tang Yuan was the son of the Minister of State Revenue. This incident had the capacity to affect the future and reputation of the two prestigious families. And yet, he had pawned his to-be-wife for a mere one-million liangs. “You signed it as well! What happened to the one-million liangs?”
“I lost them too…” Tang Yuan fell to ground, and started to bawl and wail. This caused the ground to tremble a little. “They said that they don’t need the money or my fiancée. But, they will make the promissory note public if I don’t give them around a million-and-five-hundred-thousand liangs within three hours.”
“Oh My God!” Jun Xie was speechless. “How did it become one million-and- five-hundred-thousand liangs? Wasn’t it supposed to be only a million liangs?
“The extra money is the price for granting me three hours to get the money. Please save me, Third Young Master. I’ve nowhere else to go.”
“How can I save you? What made you think that I’ve such an amount of money?” Jun Xie said. [Are you serious? I can happily kill a person like you… and you’re expecting me to help a gambler like yourself? That’s another matter that I don’t have this much money with me. But, even if I had this sum of money… I wouldn’t have lent it to you.]
“I don’t need money from you…” Tang Yun’s spirits were lifted. He blinked his small eyes and said, “You haven’t visited the Thousand Gold Hall in the recent times. So, Li Feng and Meng Hai Zhou have put forward a condition that they’ll return the promissory note to me if I can bring you to gamble a few rounds with them.”
“Do I have such a high level of prestige?” Jun Xie shook his head as he thought about the wasteful ways of the original owner of this body. His fame in the gambling halls had transcended all notions of popularity!