Part 53: Sun Door 4: The Casino -Gambler Jack--Primal Grounds-
The key to this door is the Destiny Card, from just a little further in the dungeon.
-Dancing With The Wind-
The Calvard Republic.
There's a city in this country, a place where migrants from the East have recreated their homeland down to the bright lacquered tiles.
Nicknamed the Eastern Quarter, it was home to people of all kinds from all places.
On the northern outskirts of that town was a little, run-down bar. Doubtless it had been presentable once, but now the plaster was crumbling and what doors were left barely fit their pitted frames.
Of course, such a seedy place attracted the clientele to match.
Inside were two gamblers of exceptional skill. It was only mere months ago when they had turned the underworld on its head in the match of the century.
The first was Jack, a prolific, blue-eyed gambler known by the moniker 'Victory Jack,' who was finally able to put his past behind him...
and the second was Halle, a petite gambler who remained doggedly by his side despite his best attempts to shake her.
Today was yet another ordinary day at that bar; however, the shriek of the door opening announced the arrival of someone who was anything but.
-The Mood of the Goddess Depends on Luck-
Loud Voice: ...Huh? Who the hell're you?
Unpleasant Voice: Gotta be either really dumb or really brave, and that's sayin' something with this joint! I'm putting my money on the former! How 'bout you? Bwahaha!
Girl's Voice: H-Hey! Get away from him, guys!
*sigh* I'm so sorry about them. I'm sure that wasn't the welcome you were expecting when you stepped in here. They're not bad people. Really, I swear... Althooough, you could certainly be forgiven for thinking so looking at them. Are you a customer, by chance? Here. Let me show you to a table.
Heehee. Still, you're quite the unusual one, if you don't mind me saying so. Not many people would willingly come to a run-down bar like this, especially not in the middle of the day.
I'm not saying it was a bad idea to come here, of course! Sure, it's in desperate need of renovations, and the regulars are a rowdy bunch...
...but there's just something...I dunno, warm about this place. Like I'm home. The food's a lot better than you'd think, too.
Oh, watch your feet. I'm pretty sure that floor panel there's going to snap any day now.
Well, here's your seat. Anything you'd like to order? You don't look like you're here for booze, anyway. How about something to eat? Personally, I'd recommend the tom yum goong! It's the most popular thing on our menu, and for good reason! That mix of spicy with just the right amount of sourness is perfect. Aha! I can see your mouth watering already. That's a definite 'yes.' How about something to drink? Just water?
...Sorry, what was that? You're looking for Jack? Well, he's usually sleeping in the back at this time of day...
...Wait. Did you come here to challenge him to a game of something? Sorry... I didn't even think to ask if that was what you were here for. Hmm... Well, all right. I'll go and talk with him. If he's in a good mood, he MIGHT be willing. Don't get your hopes up, though. Wait here for a minute, okay?
Hushed Voices: ...Hey, you hear that! That guy over there wants to take Jack on!
Yeah. I heard. Haha. If he takes him up on it, this could get real interesting.
...Heh. Wouldn't be so sure about that. It ain't often Jack actually gets serious, and I dunno if that guy's got what it'd take to bring it out of him.
Eat it while it's still hot!
Oh, and as for Jack... Sorry, but he says he'll pass this time. Seems like he's still hungover from drinking yesterday. Doesn't even want to get up. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear after coming all this way to challenge him, but that's Jack for you.
...Wait. No. I've got a great idea! How about you and I have a game first? If you beat me, I'll go bug him again. I'm sure he'd be totally interested in someone who's better than me. ...Surprised? I'm actually quite the gambler, you know. The name's Halle. I'm the daughter of the legendary gambler 'King.' Not exactly a household name, but it's a pretty famous one in these kinds of circles.
Fair warning: I don't plan on holding back one bit. If we're doing this, we're going all out. Plus if I win, I'm going to have to ask you to leave. Are you good with that?
*silverware clinking determinedly*
Heehee. I'll take that as a yes. Well, let's move to a more suitable table, shall we? As for the game...how does blackjack sound?
Just in case anyone doesn't know 'jack: the goal is to get closer to 21 than your opponent, without going over (busting).
Then let's get started!
You have to win four rounds against Halle to proceed.
You can Hit to draw another card, or Stand if you're all done drawing.
Just hope you don't get 16 or 17, because then your odds are poor either way.
Aces can count as either 1 or 11.
Well, I'll find out soon enough.
Uh-oh. Did you go and bust?
Should've quit while you were ahead.
I'll quit while YOU'RE ahead rassum frassum
Face cards all count as 10.
Well, whatever. It's my turn now.
That's more like it.
Looks like you win this one. Congrats!
You're not totally screwed if you bust; you just have to hope Halle does too.
Crap. Did we BOTH bust? I never expected that!
Heehee. You got lucky.
Ouch. I totally lost that one.
*sigh* I must've gotten a little ahead of myself.
Now I really can't lose.
You won, stranger. Nice work.
Learned the recipe for Tom Yum Goong.
Received 5,000 mira.
Tom Yum Goong. Everybody knows one.
All right, a deal's a deal. I'll go and talk to Jack again.
Hushed Voices: Wow... He actually managed to beat her?
Looks that way. Maybe we'll get to see something interestin' after all.
Husky Voice: *yawn* Man, I'm tired...
Huh? There's a new face. So, what? That the guy who beat Halle?
Gah... My head's throbbing like a bitch... Wha...?!
*sigh* There goes the floor...
Unpleasant Voice: Hahaha! See? Told ya! I knew he'd be the one to break it.
Loud Voice: Haha! That you did! Poor guy. It's kinda crazy how he's amazingly lucky at gambling yet amazingly unlucky at everything else. ...Actually, it's probably less unlucky and more him always being out of it.
Hey! I heard that, you! I'll take you on any time you want!
...That's enough, you two. If you want to fight, you can take it outside. The last thing we need is this place ending up any more run down than it already is.
Oh, and on that note--you're fixing that broken floorboard yourself, Jack. That's on you.
Wh-Why do I have to do it?!
*sigh* Fine, fine... Ugh... This sucks...
Hushed Voices: Heh. Never thought I'd see Jack get so wrapped around somebody's finger.
You're telling me.
So... I was right, then? This is the guy who wants to take me on?
Really? He doesn't look like he's gonna put up much of a fight to me.
Never let your guard down, or you could find yourself stumbling into something unexpected. Like, you know, the floorboard again.
Anyway, I'm Jack. Think you already know that, though. ...And before we do any gambling, I need a drink. Get me a whiskey, Halle! On the rocks.
*sigh* What was that you said earlier about a hangover again?
Oh, I got rid of that just now. Come on! We haven't got all day!
*sigh* You are unbelievable...
Girl's about as sexy as a lamppost right now, but she's got potential. Couldn't tell you what made her want to work in a shithole like this, but here she is. ...Anyway, forget her for now.
Let's talk about you, yeah? You're one brave guy to come in here all on your own and out of the blue. I doubt many guys would have the guts to do that. Or girls, for that matter.
Thanks. ...Huh? You hanging around? I figured you'd get back to work.
As if I could work knowing there's an exciting match going on over here. The owner's given me the okay, too, so I'm gonna park my butt right here until you're done.
*sigh* With an owner like that, it's no wonder this place is the way it is... Well, whatever. Let's get this over with.
Here we go. You're the challenger, so I'm gonna be the one picking the game we play. And I'm going with the one I'm best at: poker!
May the best man win, I guess.
This variant of poker gives you three cards in your hand, and three on the river.
You have one chance to keep or change your hand cards.
After the change, you choose five cards from your hand & the river to try and make some kind of winning poker hand:
I can make 2 Pair(which is two groups of 1 Pair, remember that) so we're off to a decent start.
Would you look at that?
Don't expect that luck to hold out, stranger.
Whoever gets the best hand gets one of the stars on the right. You start with three, and Jack starts with four. You need all seven to win.
If there's any strategy to these card games, it's completely over my head. I just have to TRUST IN THE HEART OF THE CARDS
*sigh* We both came up short, huh?
That was a sorry round for both of us.
If your draw is complete crap, you can choose to fold and try again. You can't fold twice in a row, though.
Heh. Time to redraw. It's fine if that's how you wanna play it, but you can't do that every time.
Heh. A draw, huh?
Well, it's no fun winning every time.
If you luck into a strong hand right off the draw, you can raise. Whoever wins a raised hand will get two stars instead of one. In my experience, three of a kind is pretty safe to raise on.
Bring it on! I never turn down a challenge.
You can't raise if you have only one star left, and if Jack has only one then raising is pointless.
The cards are every bit as random as fishing and have just as much potential to drag on, but I enjoy them a lot more for some reason.
So much for 'Victory Jack,' yeah?
You beat me, fair and square. I ain't gonna make excuses.
Hushed Voices: Are you kidding me? He actually beat Jack.
Only because he was holding back. You know that as well as I do. ...The same could've been true for his opponent, to be fair.
Y-Yeah. You're right... It was still a damn good game, though.
Looks like we're the center of attention now.
I'd say we entertained the bar enough, at least. Can't say I'm thrilled with losing, but that's the first time in a while I felt the rush of a good gamble.
I'll say! That was a great game to watch. I'm itching to play some poker, myself.
Anyway... if you ever feel like it, come on back, I guess. I'll try and make time for you if you do. But just so we're clear: you haven't seen half of what I can really do yet.
You say that, Jack... but for all you know, it's gonna be you getting beaten next time, too.
Heh. We'll see about that.
Still, I feel the exact same way as he does. You're always welcome back here. I'd love to play you again, personally.
You better come back at least ONCE, though, got it? I need a chance to get my own victory against you in now that you've got one on me.
Oh, that's all for today? That's a shame... Well, come back again some time, all right?
Side Story [The Casino -Gambler Jack-] finished!
Received Mirage Ring+.
Received 10,000 mira.
The Tom Yum Goong is probably the real prize from this door.