Chapter 96.2 – Thousand Asteraceae
In the next few rounds, the lao wang ye did not get to shout peng anymore. Furthermore, what was strange was that it was actually quite common for players to shout peng while playing mahjong. But from the start of the game until now, asides from the lao wang ye, no one else has called peng, which was evident of how terrible everybody’s hand were.
This situation continued until nearly all the tiles had been drawn.
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Head Steward Fu touched a tile that was in front of the lao wang ye. At a glance, it matched up with some of the tiles in his hand, but it was not enough to complete a winning hand.
In order to prevent the lao wang ye from winning, the tiles were played very messily, so from the start there was no possibility of completing a winning hand. He did not intend to play the tile currently in his hand, so he carelessly picked a tile that the lao wang ye had played before and flung it onto the middle of the table.
The lao wang ye’s gaze abruptly deepened, looking like it did before he had amnesia, and his expression seemed to exude a cold aura.
After another round, it was An Zi Ran’s turn again. There were only three mahjong tiles left to draw on the table. That meant that after him, it would be Head Steward Fu and then the lao wang ye. Monopolizing the last tile, huh?
An Zi Ran couldn’t help but blink his eyes.
The atmosphere in the main hall suddenly became oppressive.
Not to mention the players already involved, but the two people watching, Chun Lan and Qiu Lan, had a layer of sweat on their foreheads. They never thought that playing mahjong could be like the battlefield.
The little bun, who was lying in Qiu Lan’s arms, looked over at his big brother’s tiles with his big round eyes. Out of the blue, he giggled and broke the tight atmosphere in the main hall, like a burst of energy popping a balloon.
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The lao wang ye, Fu Wu Tian, and Head Steward Fu’s eyes were all concentrated on him.
An Zi Ran paused. He placed the mahjong tile in his hand down into his lineup of tiles, hesitated for a moment, and as if making up his mind, he picked up a tile and threw it out onto the middle of the table. “Liu tong*.”
[*T/N: Name of a mahjong tile. Direct translation is “six cylinders”]
A sonorous voice rang out, shaking the ceiling of the palace and puncturing people’s eardrums. Then, the lao wang ye laughed smugly. He could finally raise his eyebrows and blow off steam.
What followed was a loud silence that blanketed the main hall.
The lao wang ye was finally done laughing. He looked at the three silent people and said proudly, “Want to compete with me? You guys are still far behind!”
Fu Wu Tian and Head Steward Fu looked at An Zi Ran with strange expressions on their faces.
An Zi Ran calmly said, “I spoke wrong. It is wu tong*.”
[*T/N: Name of a mahjong tile. Direct translation is “five cylinders”]
The lao wang ye’s laughter came to an abrupt end.
[*T/N: 哧 chi – (onom.) giggling / breathing / tearing of paper, ripping of fabric etc]
Head Steward Fu couldn’t contain himself and laughed out loud.
Fu Wu Tian added oil to the fire: “Grandfather, you bombed*.”
[*T/N: The Chinese used here is 诈胡 zha hu, with zha meaning “to cheat or to pretend” and hu meaning “to complete a winning hand at mahjong.”]
The lao wang ye looked sluggishly at the wu tong in front of An Zi Ran. No matter how he groaned, the wu tong would not become liu tong. A thousand calculations, but he did not calculate that his granddaughter-in-law would be the one to successfully dig a pit for him.
The fact that An Zi Ran was able to dupe him was actually due to his carelessness.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
It was very easy to become anxious or nervous while playing mahjong. When a person’s nerves were tight, they would lean towards subjective assumptions. For example, when An Zi Ran played the wu tong, he deliberately covered the face of the tile with his thumb, and then used a louder voice to alert the lao wang ye to the tile he wanted to play. Because the lao wang ye wanted to win so badly, he would always be thinking of the tile that he needed to complete his winning hand, which was liu tong. Thus, when he heard the words ‘liu tong’ his brain formed a conditioned response, causing his mouth to be faster than his eyes, and his hands quickly revealed his tiles. Only after showing his hand did his eyes finally land on the tile that An Zi Ran played.
But the premise of all this was that the lao wang ye did not cheat.
In his last life, An Zi Ran actually did not come into contact with mahjong much, but there were many people around him who liked to play mahjong. Those people were all masters at the games with plenty of crafty tricks up their sleeves. Even without playing, An Zi Ran was able to learn just by watching.
“Granddaughter-in-law, how can you dig a pit for your grandfather like this?”
The lao wang ye pulled a long face. He specially prepared for ten days for this game. In the end, he lost to the hand of his granddaughter-in-law at the final moment. Nothing changed. He returned back to the origin point.
Having heard what he said, An Zi Ran lifted his head and looked straight at him.
“If grandfather had played nicely, then granddaughter-in-law naturally would not dupe grandfather.”
The lao wang ye immediately turned his gaze away. “Grandfather suddenly remembered that there was something to do. I will take my leave first.” After that, he ran off without waiting for anyone to react.
Just then, he was acting bold and confident as if justice was on his side, but now his heart knew guilt. At the beginning, no one pursued his cheating. That was already giving him face. Now that he was duped, he could only blame himself for the outcome.
Although he conned him, An Zi Ran actually admired the lao wang ye.
In just ten days, he had developed such a brilliant technique. He had to say, the lao wang ye was very qualified to be called a gambling god. If the players sitting in front of him were not the three of them, then they would not have detected his cheating.
Head Steward Fu stood up and praised An Zi Ran without hesitation. “Well done. For the short term, he should not be making a fuss anymore. I still have something to do, so I will be going out. I will not be coming back for dinner.”
As he predicted, in order to have them forget about this incident, the lao wang ye did not kick up a fuss for a while, and calm days returned to the prince’s palace.
A few days passed like the blink of an eye, and Tian Long Gambling House was finally officially opened.