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After admiring the scenery, Miss Jun stood under overhanging eaves of a four-story building.

Written on the building was 'Jinyun Hall'.

This was the origin of the name Jinyun Hall.

The small hall had a completely different style than the rest of the buildings in Yangcheng. Green roof tiles and white brims, it had the delicacy of Jiangnan style.

Miss Jun's face filled with surprise.

Not surprise at the Jiangnan style building; this kind of building was common in the courtyards of the north.

She was surprised by the scene she saw as she stood by the entrance.

It was clearly used as a restaurant. A broad, well-lit main hall, but without the tables and chairs and crowds of customers. It was decorated with flowers and plants, burning incense, screens, as well as an iron pot. Next to the wall were musicians playing old tunes.

A young gentleman—a jade tree in the wind—stood in the middle, holding a bamboo arrow.

It was an elegant scene.

"Pitch-pot?" Miss Jun asked.

Lin Jin'er turned her head to flash her a smile.

"Yes, this is the most popular game of the Jinyun Hall today," she said. "Didn't you always want to see it?"

Just as she finished speaking, the jade tree in the wind threw an arrow into the iron pot in front of him.

"Noble Son Lu, through the ear [1]," announced the pitch-pot director.

Everyone erupted into cheers and applause.

Miss Jun looked around her. The sounds were coming from private rooms all around.

As expected of the land-owning class' place of merriment; playing here was so elegant.

An idea flashed through her mind as she heard more voices from around her.

"... on the second section, seventh room, esteemed noble put fifty on Noble Son Lu for an inverted ear…"

"... on the fourth section, ninth room, esteemed guest has put seventy on Noble Son Lu for an inverted ear…"

Miss Jun was at first stunned, then couldn't help but break into laughter.

What elegance; this was obviously gambling, just dressed up, like different tunes played with the same skill, like her lantern festival Go arrangement.

No wonder Manager Gao had mentioned that many people thought it was set up by the Jinyun Hall. She hadn't known why then, since she thought Jinyun Hall was a restaurant, not a gambling den.

So the JInyun Hall was a gambling den all along.

She didn't know how it was played here, but seeing these people betting fifty, seventy taels, it was much higher than her lantern's ten. If she had known earlier, she would have hung up her lantern here.

When she thought this, she felt embarrassed.

This sort of sly trickery would probably be even more likely to fail here.

"If he does it successfully, he takes the betted silver. If he misses, then he has to return the silver twofold," Lin Jin'er explained to her.

As expected, the consequences for losing were much greater; it was a double-sided bet.

Miss Jun turned back to that young man on stage; he had already picked up another bamboo arrow.

It was a very interesting rule. For the people on stage, wouldn't they be either cursed or prayed for their arrow to go in?

The pressure was much higher this way, and in case you lost, you had to pay so much money. So would anyone play?

"There is, because whoever can win will seem amazing; if you win ten times in a row, you can be number one," Lin Jin'er said. "What is money? The most important is to be the best at pitch-pot for these noble sons."

When she said this, she hesitated.

"Do you know who is the number one pitch-pot noble son in Yangcheng?"

Miss Jun looked at her.

"It's Tenth Noble Son Ning," she said with a laugh. "As expected, he's the number one."

Lin Jin'er was embarrassed, naturally because she was thinking about the ridicule oft Tenth Noble Son Ning being compared with a prostitute.

"Zhenzhen, you are very knowledgeable about him as expected," she said awkwardly.

Miss Jun thought,{ It's these things that make it so obvious that you actually have bad intentions and are just pretending.}

Lin Jin'er looked around the hall, then grabbed onto Miss Jun.

"Let's go over there to see," she said.

They were here just to watch? Miss Jun thought and did not move.

This half a day was already quite troublesome.

"Miss Lin."

Someone walked over from the side to greet them.

Miss Jun saw a cute and pretty servant girl. Seeing Lin Jin'er's surprised smile, she made her own smile brighter.

"Little Yue," Lin Jin'er said somewhat uneasily. "So you were here. Is Miss Yanyan also here?"

The young servant girl rolled her eyes at the sight of Jun Zhenzhen.

"Of course, my family's Young Miss definitely would come here to pay. She's in the first section, seventeenth room." She looked at Lin Jin'er as she spoke, not covering her displeasure. "Miss Lin, Miss Wu, and them are all there. Would you like to come?"

Lin Jin'er was embarrassed, then looked at Miss Jun.

"I, I, I can't come. We were going for a walk," she said, her expression uneasy.

The servant girl's lips twitched.

"As you wish, Miss Lin," she said. She raised the purse in her hands. "I am going to buy some cold fruits for the young misses to eat."

She left without paying anymore attention to them.

Lin Jin'er squeezed Miss Jun's hand.

"The lotus pond over there has many carps. Let's go and look; we can also buy some fish to eat," she said nervously.

Miss Jun smiled.

"No." She shook off Lin Jin'er's hand and walked deeper in. She saw attendants standing respectfully and silently to the side. "Are there still rooms?"

After finished speaking, she lifted her chin slightly.

"An upper room," she added.

The attendant standing by the pillar smiled respectfully.

"First section, nineteenth room, please follow me, Young Miss," he said deferentially, then handed over a placard.

Lin Jin'er seemed to be frightened stiff, hurriedly grabbing her hand and vigorously shaking her head.

"Zhenzhen, Zhenzhen, let's not play, let's just go," she said anxiously.

"Why not? We came here to play," Miss Jun said.

{I waited half a day; I want to  see how you'll play this. Don't keep wasting time.}

Miss Jun squeezed Lin Jin'er's hand.


The first section room was just as comfortable and cheerful as the smile of the attendant who guided them there.

Miss Jun was very satisfied with this.

Lin Jin'er was somewhat cautious.

"Get us some snacks and tea," she told the attendant. She seemed like it was her first time coming here and she didn't want to seem ignorant but still did not know whether to be calm or nervous.

"Get the most expensive and the best," Miss Jun said simply, just as domineering as she had always been.

The attendant smiled in response, then backed out.

Lin Jin'er felt more at ease.

"I came here once with Yanyan last year; I am still not very familiar," she said apologetically to Miss Jun, admitting her unfamiliarity.

Miss Jun smiled.

"There is no such thing as familiar or unfamiliar in a place of merriment like this," she said. "Didn't we come here to spend money, or maybe even earn money?"

She is still the aggressive country bumpkin who doesn't know anything. She hasn't changed, thought Miss Lin, though outwardly she smiled and nodded.

"Zhenzhen that's right," she said, with some embarrassment. "I am still too cowardly."

Miss Jun smiled without saying anything, and looked out the window.

Their room was on the second floor. The large window was decorated with muslin curtains, and they had a clear view of the pitch-pot stage.

While they were getting seated, the young noble man outside had lost.

It was a very elegant affair. The people who won did not burst into pleased laughter, and the one playing, although he had won some money, first immediately paid back the winners. And he did not fly into a rage after losing, freely bowing to the crowds around him. He left the stage with dignity, followed by applause.

For a time the arena was quiet, save for the echoes of music.

Probably there weren't many people who played, since not everyone could afford to play.

They had to have talent in pitch-pot and also money, and had to be able to shoulder a loss.

"Yes, yes, there are not many people playing, Lin Jin'er."

Just as she finished speaking came the crisp sounds of a drum. Evidently, another person had come to accept the challenge.

"Noble Son Qingyang enters the arena."

The pitch-pot director's voice was to followed.

"Bets for against the ear!"

When she heard the gamble, Lin Jin'er smiled and spoke for supplement.

"But there are many gambling. Quite brave," she said.

[1] Pitch-pot is a game of throwing arrows into an iron pot. The mouth of the pot has two tubes attached next to it, called ears. 'Through the ear' is a particular configuration where the arrow goes through one of the tubes.

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