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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Sarroux guffawed darkly. The grim expression on his face became even more apparent.
Madillan did not know what to do. The last thing he wanted was to see his comrades turning against each other. Just then, Russell looked up and shook his head at Lin Sheng. “I’m sorry, Master Lin…” He made his choice with a dilemmatic and helpless expression on the face.
Sarroux stood up abruptly and threw the others with a cold glance. “Master Lin, why are we still sitting there? Since they have refused to join us, they are not on our side. There is nothing to talk about anymore.”
“Sit down, Sarroux. Let us finish the meal first. They were once our comrades, even though they no longer support us now. There is no need to be at loggerheads with each other.” Lin Sheng was calm, his face devoid of any emotion.
“I apologize, Master Lin. I couldn’t control my temper.” Sarroux sat back down with an evil smile.
Lin Sheng sat straight up, his slightly muscular arms resting on the armrests. “You all may no longer support me, but I will still treat you all like my brothers.”
Upon hearing this, Russell felt a great sense of relief, but Shayeen and Madillan were unfazed. In their mind, Lin Sheng was only a sword instructor. They had helped him a couple of times before, but he was treating them like his subordinates. So, when self-esteem kicked in, they start to think about Lin Sheng’s as well as their backgrounds and categorically declined his offer.
However, Russell had a different mind; he did not want to lose a teacher and a friend like Lin Sheng. “Master Lin… I…”
“Don’t’ say it. You all may not agree with my way, but I won’t sit by if trouble befalls any of you,” Lin Sheng said calmly.
“Excuse me.” Shayeen got to her feet and headed for the door. Immediately, Madillan excused himself and followed Shayeen out. When the two reached the doorway, they turned to look back at Russell. “Goodbye,” Shayeen said.
Russell looked at the doorway, and Lin Sheng, face twisted in a dilemma. “Master Lin…”
“Go.” Lin Sheng smiled at him.
“Master Lin, find me if you need me!” said Russell, gritting his teeth. “I will be there for you at the drop of a hat!”
“Go now.” Lin Sheng shook his head.
Reluctantly, Russell got up and left with the two. With only Lin Sheng and Sarroux, the hotpot table appeared too large for the two of them.
“Heck, these kids know nothing.” Sarroux sneered.
“Sarroux.” Lin Sheng shifted his attention to him. “Why are you willing to follow me? One thing you should know; coming from an average family, I have nothing aside from a little sword-fighting know-how.”
“Because I trust you!” Sarroux spread out his hands. “You’re the only person who has been practicing Naxi swordsmanship to this level. Those kids have no clue what it means with this level of martial art attainment. It takes more than interest and merely a few years of practice.”
“So, do you mean that you’ve seen people like me before?” Lin Sheng asked.
“Yeah. My master is such a person. Also, devoted and passionate practitioners are willing to sacrifice everything for martial arts,” Sarroux said in veneration as he recalled the seniors and elders that he once met. “Perhaps they are old and frail and may not as strong as I am now. However, the sacrifice, perseverance, and blood and sweat that they put in are unimaginable.”
“I’ve never met such persons, “Lin Sheng appeared regrettable, “who would sacrifice everything for martial arts.”
“It’s a shame that human abilities are finite—both lifespan and strength-wise. Not many could go all the way to the top at the end.” Sarroux’s face turned doleful as if he had thought of something.
“Now, since you have parted way with Shayeen and the others, your junior fellow will lose his job. Do you regret it?” asked Lin Sheng after a while of silence.
Shaking his head, Sarroux replied, “It’s a give and take. Isn’t it so?”
“You seem to have a positive mindset.” Lin Sheng smiled and got to his feet. “Come one, let’s go.”
Lin Sheng went out of the hotpot restaurant with Sarroux following from behind. From that tonight onwards, Ironfist Club was officially divided in half. Before parting their way, Lin Sheng had asked Sarroux’s help to identify those who were willing to join him and to look for a new venue. After all, the rental in the Blackwater district was cheap. He gave Sarroux ¥100,000 as seed money, and as long as the place was below 300 square meters, the rent should not be a concern. Lin Sheng had to know how many people trust him, absolutely. But he did not expect it to be many. He could not care less, however. He was looking for quality, not quantity.
After the night at the hotpot restaurant, a tiny new club called Ironfist Aid Society was born. Sarroux would be responsible for growing its membership. But with most people joining clubs as a way to make a connection, there was no surprise that no one cared to take a look at the aid society that had no whatsoever connections.
Sarroux pounded the pavement for three days, except for his junior fellow, no one wanted to join his aid society. But Lin Sheng was not discouraged, as this was not unexpected. His priority was to find a way to make money.
Midnight at Golden Grand Casino, Huaisha.
Golden Grand Casino was the largest casino in the city, owned by the notorious Chen brothers. For this reason, no one had dared to make troubles in the area surrounding the casino. Since Chen Hang, the tycoon owner of the casino, passed down his business to his son, Golden Grand Casino had undergone significant transformation with its gambling business quickly growing even more profitable and popular than before.
At this time of the night, the street in front of the casino was jammed pack with traffic. Vehicles of all make ferrying patrons to the casino were dropping them off at the entrance. Groups of guests, some of them walking with an arm around each other’s shoulder, some in sanctimonious expression, were coming in and out from the casino. Those who were coming in were enthusiastic, and those who were leaving looked utterly wretched.
There were a few exceptions, though. The few lucky ones came out, beaming with women in their arms. Among them was Larsthu, who had won ¥170,000 on the table tonight—the single largest amount Larsthu had ever won since he started patronizing the casino long ago. Larsthu was overjoyed with the win. He came out wanting to wave down a taxi to bring the casino girl he had just hired to the hotel.
After leaving the casino area, the surroundings became deserted. There was not much traffic and pedestrians on the streets. Larsthu shook his head, realizing that he had one too many and needing the girl to hold him walking in a straight line.
“No taxi yet? How long do we have to wait?” the girl complained.
“I should have driven myself…” Larsthu replied tipsily.
“It’s too dangerous to carry so much cash.” The girl was worried.
“Don’t worry. No one knows.” Larsthu smiled wryly. Before he knew it, he felt a sharp pain on the back of his head. His eyes turned white, and he fell unconscious to the ground.
The casino girl, wearing a short skirt standing beside Larsthu, was shocked when she saw a man, face covered in a black scarf, rapidly approaching. Before she could scream it out, she was hit on her head, dropping unconscious to the ground.
All it took was ten minutes for the man to run away with all their money.
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