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When Bai Jing emerged from the bathroom, Gu Yuanzhao’s breath caught in his throat and for the first time, he doubted his own determination.
The teenager was wearing the white jumper he had prepared. It was soft in texture and bright in colour, which revealed the fresh and light temperament of the teenager completely, exuding a sunny scent.
The neckline of the jumper was a little loose, revealing a delicate, small collarbone and a small patch of porcelain-white skin, permeated with a pale pink tinted by the heat, which was particularly alluring in the light.
The teenager’s soft, fluffy hair still bore beads of undried water, and the moment he flicked his hair, a few drops rolled down his neck, sinking deeper into his collar, making Gu Yuanzhao ‘s mouth go dry.
Not to mention the way those foggy teal eyes looked when the teenager looked over–
That clear, innocent and defenseless look really made him want to pin him down, kiss him and leave his own mark on that delicate skin!
“Qiao An, I have things to do, you send Bai Jing back.”
The knot in Gu Yuanzhao’s throat rolled involuntarily and he shifted his gaze slightly, his voice much lower than usual.
“Yes!” Qiao An led the way, escorting the teenager out of the Gu Conglomerate.
Before leaving, Bai Jing gave Gu Yuanzhao a quizzical look.
The active reactions in the other man’s body, which were already very active and pushing the limits of his physical abilities, had now reached an unprecedented peak and were in an extremely excited state.
Could 3S’s physique still evolve?
Ah, he really was envious.
Bai Jing asked Qiao An to send him to [The Imperial Rose Restaurant] and according to the message sent by Jin Mao, arrived at the private room on the first floor.
[The Imperial Rose Restaurant] was one of the top three noble restaurants in the entire empire and not only did it charge a high price, the people who came here were all business tycoons or noblemen of a certain level of wealth who had to spend a lot of money to get a gold card for the restaurant.
This card was issued when the Jin family was in its heyday, but now that the family was in decline, there weren’t many left.
This time Father Jin had taken one out to celebrate his son’s success.
Each private room in the restaurant had a different style or was set in an intergalactic battlefield, a noble manor or a gorgeous starry sky. Even a scene from ancient Earth could be simulated.
Upon entering, clusters of holographic virtual roses bloomed in turn at Bai Jing’s feet, reaching all the way to all corners of the room. It was as if one had mistakenly entered a sea of roses; there were enough to pass for the real deal.
Fatty Jin Mao and An Ge had been waiting in the room for a long time. When they saw Bai Jing, Jin Mao immediately shouted excitedly, “Come over here, Jing Ge, it’s your turn to order!”
Bai Jing looked at the menu displayed on the light screen. Every dish on it cost three to five thousand starcoins, with some costing tens of thousands of starcoins. The prices were simply outrageous.
The two of them had already ordered five or six dishes, so he placed a token order of shredded dry-fried bamboo shoots, and put the menu back down.
By the time the exquisite food plated on beautiful dishes were served, Bai Jing’s sense of things being expensive became more prominent.
The plates for each dish were magnificent, surrounded by layers of gold inlay and carved with a beautiful painting on the inside, beautifully carved with evocative figures.
But the food only took up about a third of the size of the centre of the plate, and the portions were extremely small.
Bai Jing and An Ge were both first-timers, but this was Jin Mao’s second visit. He hadn’t forgotten this place since he came here once as a child; the amazing taste was still fresh in his mind.
Seeing that neither of them had touched their chopsticks, Jin Mao urged, “Disregard the small portions, it tastes great taste, try it.”
With that, he took the lead and put a piece of beef curry in his mouth.
The beef had a distinctive curry flavour and the soup was rich and chewy, but for some reason he felt that the curry was a little too heavy, lacking the flavour of the beef itself, and not at all like the bowl Bai Jing had given him during his training.
“Jing Ge, tell me honestly, are you the heir to one of the great chefs of ancient Earth?”
Jin Mao looked at Bai Jing with a devastated expression, “You’re too strong. You can tie in first place with Du Xingyu in exams and even your cooking can surpass the top three restaurants in the Empire!”
Bai Jing: “…… Eat.”
Jin Mao took a few bites and continued, “Jing Ge, if we can’t become prestigious Stone Gamblers, you can open a restaurant with me.”
Bai Jing: “…… I’m done eating.”
The two men stared dumbfounded at the two bare plates to Bai Jing’s right, stunned by his speed.
After swiping his card, an excited look appeared in Jin Mao’s eyes: “Do you guys have anything planned for this afternoon? Want to go to the gambling street?
The rough stones there are much cheaper than those of the ones in big rough stone areas like the Gu Conglomerate’s and very suitable for newbies like us.”
Bai Jing and An Ge had no objections, so they took Jin Mao’s white hover car and arrived at a somewhat isolated street.
The street was located far from downtown, and even with the speedy hover car, it took the three of them more than half an hour to get there.
Unlike the glittering halls of the Gu Conglomerate’s rough stones area, this was a very wide street, about 70 to 80 metres wide, of which the end of the street couldn’t be seen.
On both sides of the road, in addition to some formal shops, there were many stalls of various sizes.
The stall owners had set up tents directly from fabrics of excellent toughness and a few half-new blankets were spread on the open space, with dozens of rough stones scattered on top, somewhat reminiscent of ancient Earth’s ground stalls. They were very casual.
Despite the humble surroundings, on the whole, the entire street was filled with stalls and shops selling rough stones, numbering in the hundreds. The name ‘the gambling street’ really lived up to its name.
As far as Bai Jing could see, the crowds here were no worse than the crowds in the Gu Conglomerate’s rough stones area, with many people selecting rough stones at each stall and the majority of them dressed as civilians.
Jin Mao said to the two men, “This is the place.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that there are only a few tools and shops here; there are actually some good jadeites in there, we just need to choose well.
Unlike Giants such as the Gu Conglomerate which have high-class Stone Gamblers to divide the rough stones, most here have a few experienced masters take a look and roughly divide them up, so if you’re lucky, you’ll probably be able to pick up a few good ones.”
Bai Jing walked up to the first stall.
This stall covered an area of about four or five hundred square feet, a relatively large stall in the gambling street and at a good location.
All the rough stones were placed randomly on the floor, and were simply divided into three piles.
The two piles on the left were full blocks of rough stones with several hundred pieces, while the table on the right had seven or eight half-blocks of rough stones.
Full-blocked rough stones referred to raw rough stones without openings. This was because they were raw rough stones that had a thick weathered crust on their surface, with the material inside unable to be seen and that needed to identified by the gambler or buyer personally.
All bets on rough stones were extremely risky, with a relatively small chance of finding jadeite, so it was often said that nine out of ten bets were lost.
Half-bet rough stones, also known as semi-bright stones, were cut or rubbed into the surface of a raw rough stone, known as a ‘skylights’.
It was possible to determine the seed, colour and quality of the jadeite inside by the ‘skylights’ that were made, which made the probability of the bet going up relatively high. [Note 1]
A few middle-aged men in front of the stall were studying the half-bet rough stones with ‘skylights’.
One of them was wearing a new light brain and was well-dressed. He was holding a strong light over the cut of a half-high rough stone and his brows would furrow and then relax, as he seemed uncertain.
The owner of stall one was young, probably in his twenties, with a dark, thin face, and a shrewd look.
As soon as he saw Bai Jing and the others, he greeted them eagerly, “Guys, is this your first time on the gambling street?”
Ai, the rough stones here are specially brought in from the old field openings at Sotho Star Planet and the chances of getting a jadeite are very high.”
‘Pfft–‘ Jin Mao couldn’t help but laugh out loud and the expressions on Bai Jing’s and An Ge’s faces were a little embarrassed too.
Just these? And there were from Sotho Star Planet’s old field openings?
Looking at the dusty, mud-rolled rough stones in the stall, Jin Mao started laughing his ass off.
Rough stones from Sotho Star Planet’s old field openings had fine white sand skins. It looked like this stall owner had improved his skills at telling lies after a while.
Bai Jing took a brief look at the rough stones on the floor.
These rough stones had a rough surface, many of them had mud on them, and they looked dirty, unlike the rough stones in the Gu Conglomerate’s rough stones section which were carefully cleaned and displayed on white tables.
However, this also suggested that these were untreated rough stones from other planets, not carefully partitioned, but rather potential finds.
Bai Jing scanned around but saw no price tag, so he asked, “Please what are the prices of these piles of rough stones?”
The stall owner looked at the good quality clothing on both Jin Mao and Bai Jing, and lingered for a few seconds on the space button hanging around Jin Mao’s neck in particular, before he smiled and said,
“Little brother, you have a good eye. This batch of rough stones is good material from old field openings. There are no shortage of pine flowers and python ribbons under the mud and sand, so I’ll give you a bargain. 600 starcoins per kilo, to get repeat business. “
Bai Jing frowned. Wouldn’t that be more expensive than the offcuts from the Gu Conglomerate’s E Zone?
He couldn’t help but look at Jin Mao. How was this cheaper?
Jin Mao laughed when he heard this. He had wanted to save face for this man, but now he didn’t have to: “Wang Ping, open your dog eyes and see who I am!”
Wang Ping examined Jin Mao’s features carefully, and then he smiled, “Ai-ya, isn’t this Young Master Jin? You haven’t been here for a long time. Forgive my clumsy eyesight, I’ll apologize to you–“
The little fatty’s eyes rolled up in disbelief, “Cut the crap. I brought my friends here so give me a real price otherwise I’ll leave.”
The stall owner’s face was thicker than a wall as he said without a trace of embarrassment on his face, “Okay, okay, I’ll make it 300 starcoins per kilo for the first pile of rough stones and 500 starcoins per kilo for the second pile of rough stones for you.
Seeing that you two young masters are new here, I’ll give you another 20% discount. What do you think?”
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