Chapter 2 - Scam
“Uh…” The crewcut guy patted his pockets subconsciously before looking back at the freckled man. “I don’t have that much on me. Why don’t you give me thirty thousand? It’s the same if you cash it in.”
“There’s no way I have that much!” The freckled man said, frowning. “I mean, look at me. You think I’m someone who can just pull out thirty thousand?”
“Professor, please, give us some ideas, we don’t have enough money with us!” The freckled man turned to the professor once more.
He sighed. “Hm… Why don’t I give both of you thirty thousand each, and I’ll cash the ticket in?”
The two men looked at each other for a bit- they would still be getting thirty thousand each. “That’s good. Let’s do that, then.”
Seemingly pleased, the professor reached for his briefcase and started looking inside. The glee on his face didn’t last long, however, and the faster he rummaged through his case, the uglier his face grew. He was drenched in sweat by the time he looked up. “Shit, turns out I didn’t bring that much with me today- I only have thirty thousand here! You guys probably don’t know how to cash that winning ticket in, too… Ahh… This sure sucks.”
“Hah?” The two men blinked. None of them had the money, so how was the money meant to be split then, at this rate? The freckled man started standing up to ease his anxiety. “Professor, you’re knowledgeable, cultured… Can’t you think of anything else…?”
“Ugh... I guess we could ask someone else, couldn’t we.” With that, the professor turned to the person next to him- Lin Yi. “My friend, here’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! Do you happen to have sixty thousand kuai to give to these two? All you need to do is cash the ticket in, and you’ll have twenty thousand for profit! It doesn’t get any easier, don’t you say? I’d do it myself, but as you can see… I don’t have the money with me.”
Lin Yi was eyeing the performance the whole time, and found it to be poorly presented. The three were obviously a team of amateur scammers.
He grew up in the mountains, but he was no idiot. Under the farmer looking clothes was a man very well read, and very knowledgeable. There weren’t many that could match Lin Yi in that regard, let alone third-rate con artists like these three.
“Me?” Lin Yi said, putting on his best startled face. “Is that okay?”
“Sure it is! It’s a rare fortune dropping on your head, young man!” The professor was overjoyed when Lin Yi replied with a ‘is that okay’ instead of just straight up saying he had no money. After all, people who respond that way usually qualified.
Lin Yi was about to continue his act when he felt someone kick him. He glanced to the right and saw a pretty girl around his age sitting right beside him.
Her hair flowed like a river, her skin white and supple. Lin Yi hadn’t seen her standing up yet, but he could tell that she was at least 1.65 meters in height. Her figure was nice, as well.
She was an ideal target, and Lin Yi had wanted to talk to her the moment he got on the train. A simple set of earphones destroyed any opening for conversation, however.
Yet the very same girl was anxiously looking at Lin Yi, her pretty face full of worry. She was trying to say something to him, something she’d get in trouble for soon after.
Naturally, Lin Yi understood her- She didn’t want him to fall for the scam. The event may be irrelevant to her, but the fact that she had heart to warn him was enough for a sensation of warmth for Lin Yi. Weren’t people in the city said to be cold?
With that, Lin Yi gave the girl bonus likeability points. A pretty face had its significance, but a vile heart rendered anything else meaningless. That was Lin Yi’s standard.
The man with the crewcut squeezed out a loud cough when he noticed what the girl was doing. He gave her a glare, and she lowered her paling face immediately.
It went without saying that Lin Yi didn’t miss the little exchange. He was all but bored the whole trip, and pissed off at Old Man Lin. He wasn’t about to let something like this slip by before he entertained himself.
The girl, on the other hand, hadn’t given up yet. Her face was lowered, but her legs went on kicking. Lin Yi simply pretended not to feel anything.
“But I only have forty-nine thousand here…” Lin Yi pumped his face full of gullibility and dumb honesty, but that really was what he had in his bag.
The scammers managed to pull their frowning faces out, but Lin Yi’s words had their eyes lit of excitement already. “Forty-nine thousand? That seems a bit low… How do we split that?”
“Let’s see… Forty-nine thousand divided by two is twenty-four thousand five hundred…” The crewcut guy started calculating.
“Twenty-four thousand five hundred, huh? That’s not bad, I suppose. I’ll take those numbers, you?” The freckled man said to his accomplice after some thought.
“Fine, if that works for you.” The other man nodded in response. “Kid, the money?”
Lin Yi opened his pack, pulling out a small package wrapped in newspapers. He proceeded to slowly peel apart the packaging before handing five bundles of cash over to the two men.
“There, forty-nine thousand…” Lin Yi continued as he maintained his gullible face. “Can I have the tab now?”
The money was his allowance for the years he’ll be spending on the mission. Lin Yi always assumed that the Old Man had earned for himself quite an amount the past few years, if he really was pocketing the mission earnings. Take the assassination mission in Africa for example- there should at least be a couple hundred thousand for that kind of thing as a standard, shouldn’t there?
Yet the old man claimed that this was his entire savings! He had it well hidden, even, before handing it to Lin Yi on his departure day!
Lin Yi didn’t know what to think. Was the old man actually poor, or was it all an act? It honestly didn’t seem fake, and his life was no different from Lin Yi’s. Perhaps he really did overestimate the mission rewards.
“Sure, sure!” The freckled man and the crewcut guy split the cash like starving wolves before handing over the tab.
Lin Yi made an effort to hold the tab with care, as if it was some treasure he didn’t want to lose.
The girl beside him could only sigh at that point- It had been done, after all. She took a final look at Lin Yi’s excited face, not sure what to say.
The scam was completed, and the scammers sat back in their seats, tranquil and quiet. Almost as if they didn’t know each other.