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“Lu Yan,” Zhang Heng introduced himself while patting the dust off his pants at the same time. Waldo and Philip gawked at him in shock.
Waldo instantly snapped out of his bewilderment and stretched out his hand, “You must be the one who saved Philip and the others. Philip mentioned you before.”
He seemed to be a lot more cheerful and talkative than Philip and appeared to be in a steadier mental state as well. He wasn’t too afraid when he saw Zhang Heng but was instead excited.
“Wow, did you really defeat those four strong men all by yourself? You don’t look like you could achieve such a feat. Did you use Chinese Kung Fu?”
Zhang Heng did not answer him. Instead, he looked at Philip, who was beside him. “Are all your things packed?” he asked.
“I have packed everything for you,” Waldo said, pointing at the two suitcases at the corner. “Don’t worry, I’ve put your book, Lui, that you hid under the pillow into the luggage.”
Philip blushed when he heard what Waldo said.
“You don’t need to emphasize it…”
Waldo pointed at Zhang Heng’s mask again, “Uhh, won’t you remove that thing?” “Given the trouble you have just caused, I don’t want my face to be captured by surveillance cameras.” A bright smile swiftly appeared on Waldo’s face.
“Don’t worry, the cameras here can’t capture your face,” he grinned.
“Oh, I forgot to tell you that we managed to hack the hotel’s surveillance system and installed a small program in it. All the videos that have our faces will be automatically deleted when we leave,” Philip added.
“Who are you guys anyway?” Zhang Heng raised his eyebrows and finally took off his mask.
“Philip is a security consultant for two listed internet companies. As for me, I am an expert on social networking activities.”
“Social network activity expert?”
“Waldo has no job. He lives in the attic of his mother’s house, and all he does every day is scroll through pictures of beautiful women on Instagram and Facebook. He also finds ways to hack their computers and browse through their photo albums.”
“Heh…” Zhang Heng looked at Waldo.
“In short, you can also call us geeks,” Waldo concluded at last.
“Well, you two geeks, I think we should leave the hotel now.”
“Uhh… OK. Then, I’ll go see how Justina is doing,” said Philip as he was about to open the door. When the three of them came to Monaco, they checked into the hotel in two separate instances. Waldo first got a single room for himself. After that, Philip and his “wife” got a double room. When they finally got the rooms to themselves, Philip and Waldo were the ones who took the double room, and Justina had the single room for herself.
“She will not leave with us,” Zhang Heng said. “Oh? Is that so?”
Philip retracted his hand when he heard what Zhang Heng said. After a while, he couldn’t help but ask, “Why?” “I heard your little quarrel…”
“Quarrel, what quarrel?” Waldo asked curiously.
Philip scratched the back of his head. “Justina has some disagreements with us. Well, she wants us to increase her salary…” he muttered.
“I think the word threaten would be more accurate,” Zhang Heng said.
Waldo looked regretful. “Damn, I really shouldn’t have told her how we cheated.”
“Actually, I don’t think she can master your methods. Otherwise, she would have gone to the casino and spilled everything to them in exchange for rewards. She would definitely not wait here and do nothing,” Zhang Heng said.
“Then, are we supposed to leave just like this? Don’t we need to say goodbye to her?” Philip asked.
“I’m afraid you won’t get to do it. I went to her room before I came to see you,” Zhang Heng replied. “Did you kill her?” Philip’s eyes widened, and his face was horrified.
“Of course not, I just knocked her out.”
Zhang Heng threw down forty 500 Euro banknotes to Waldo. “According to your previous agreement, I left the rest of the money to her. Any other questions?”
Philip and Waldo looked at each other.
“Let’s leave if you have no questions,” Zhang Heng said.
Five minutes later, the three of them were already seated in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class rented by
Waldo. Philip fastened his seat belts, taking a glance at Waldo and Zhang Heng beside him to make sure that they too had also fastened their seat belts. He then started the engine.
However, just as he was about to drive off, he quickly pulled the handbrake again, and his face changed. “It’s bad,” he said nervously. “What happened?”
Waldo thought that Philip must have discovered something new, but Phillip simply replied, “I didn’t check the tires and our surroundings.” He then crouched down and went around the car to see if the tire treads were fine and that no kids were skulking at the car’s blind spots. After the quick inspection, he came back in.
“Uhh… Philip is this kind of person. Due to the nature of his work, he is usually more cautious. You’ll get used to it once you spend more time with him,” Waldo explained.
Philip re-fastened his seat belt, adjusted the position of the rearview mirror, before finally stepping on the pedal.
The Mercedes slowly and inconspicuously crept out of the hotel parking lot at a humble 20 miles per hour.
Waldo set his navigation system to Nice, the closest French city to Monaco. A well-known tourist town, they would only need 40 minutes to get there from here. The journey would also take them along a beautiful coastal highway. Unfortunately, it was night, and they wouldn’t be able to see anything around them.
Philip peeked at Zhang Heng in the rear seat from the rearview mirror. “Uhh… you didn’t tell us where you wanted to go? Where should we drop you?”
“I’d better start with you. Tell me why you wanted to scam so much money from the casino, and how did you do it?” Zhang Heng inquired.
Waldo did not say anything. As a ‘social network activity expert,’ he had made it clear that he was a useless vagrant. However, when Zhang Heng took a second look at him, he deduced that Waldo must have come from a good financial background, noticed how his expression hadn’t changed much even when 20,000 euros was tossed to him.
Philip, on the other hand, was the security consultant of two listed Internet companies. He, too, should not be short of money as well. He was obviously the kind of person who would take no risks, and it was hard to imagine that he would risk getting targeted by swindling off such an insignificant amount of money.
Phillip and Waldo didn’t answer Zhang Heng’s questions. The two knew that they were no match to him, and besides, Zhang Heng did not seem to be a talkative person as well. They were anxious that Zhang Heng might kill them if they gave the wrong answers.
After a while, Waldo said, “Well, let me answer your second question first. You know all casinos tell you that they do not control the machines, right? Whether you hit the jackpot or not all depends on your luck…”
“So?” Zhang Heng frowned. He had never been to a casino before, and his knowledge of slot machines only came from movies and novels.
“But this is actually impossible. Look, if the money that comes out of the machine exceeds the money that the player put in it, the casino will make a loss. However, if the slot machine pays out too little, they would probably not return to the casino. This means the casinos have to set a payout ratio. Larger casinos generally control their profit at about 5%, which means that when the sample is large enough, they will earn 5 dollars out of 100 dollars from one slot machine. By doing that, players will feel the thrill, and they will keep coming back to the casino. The casino, in turn, gets to keep some of the profit. Now, here comes the problem. If the results of each game are really purely random, then whatever payout ratio they set would be meaningless.”
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