Chapter 447 - Underground
Chapter 447: Underground
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
Of course, even if they had the same nature, Luo Bei Village would not be as ‘colorful’ as Reeperbahn. After all, China was a country of Confucianism, and after thousands of years of influence, even if many people did not think much of the four ideals of humanity nowadays, the officials would not allow people to stray too far from the established moral code, much less give it government support. Therefore, hoping for the government to openly support and manage such places like other countries was impossible. The current way was already the most they would do; many people knew about it, but they just did not mention anything.
If Han Chu did not bring it up this time, even Ye Shuang, the local, would have had no idea that San Lin City had such a deeply hidden entertainment district within its midst.
“Luo Bei Village is still different from Reeperbahn. Other than the difference in governmental treatment, the type of business in Luo Bei Village is more varied.”
Since they were still not there and at the same time, to shift Ye Shuang’s attention away from their previous topic of conversation, Han Chu decided to be a tour guide. “The place has a night market, private clubs, bars, casinos… In any case, there are no activities that you can’t find there.”
Anthony’s eyes had a sudden glow to them. “The place is so interesting?’
“I really didn’t expect a place like that,” Ye Shuang mumbled in disbelief. And then she asked in confusion, “How come this place hasn’t been banned?”
“The government don’t have the time to do so.” Han Chu scanned Ye Shuang and calmly said, “Other than the spiritual slogan, if we’re just looking at this from a realistic perspective, it is undeniable that this way of business has brought about a large boon to the locals. For the general public, that is more important than idealism. Furthermore, the local police station doesn’t have enough manpower, and the people that they have are locals themselves. It’s preposterous to expect them to ruin the business of their friends and families.
“As for a higher official, nothing much needs to be said. They are too far away to mind the local business here. Even though Luo Bei Village is somewhat illegal, everything that happens here is consensual. Finding evidence is not something simple, and it’s impossible to just go around arresting people. They manage themselves quite wisely, and there haven’t been any big problems coming from this place…”
Because of these factors, Luo Bei Village had turned into such a location. The villagers did not report the business and the official didn’t care. Everyone closed one of their eyes and things went by like that. The common people did something illicit to earn their salary and didn’t make a big issue out of it and since no one was being harmed, why bother that much?
According to their promise, Han Chu let Ye Shuang out when they were quite a distance from Luo Bei Village. Feeling like she was in a good condition and after setting a contact time with Anthony and Han Chu, Ye Shuang headed to Luo Bei Village alone.
There was quite a number of cars parked at the edge of town, some high-class ones and some low-class ones. They were rental cars. After all, not everyone that went to play was rich. The people there had to cater to customers from all walks of life. There were games that cost more and others that were more lowbrow. Of course, the gender of the service people was varied as well.
“Hey, beauty, your first time here?” After getting a middle of the range car to get to the center of the town, while they were on the way there, the taxi driver had already started to introduce Ye Shuang to their offerings there. “Here to have fun or to get high?”
“Just to take a look around.” Ye Shuang brushed the man off.
The man burst out laughing. His eyes wandered to the backseat from the rearview mirror. “This place is not a shopping mall. What else do you need to look at? If you don’t know your way around, I can introduce to you some of my friends.”
Introducing people would get him a commission. For this kind of customer who had come on their own and had no clear target in mind, the taxi driver naturally would not waste time before doing the sales pitch.
Ye Shuang was tickled. “You guys sure go about things quite openly. Aren’t you afraid I’m a cop?”
“Girl, you sure know how to kid.” The man laughed as well. “There’s nothing I’ve done that’s against the law, so what if you’re a cop? This place has good local security; there is not even a bag snatcher that you can find around here.”
That was the honest to god truth. Luo Bei Village dealt with high income business and would not do things that might offend their customers for a quick cash grab. So, menial crimes were a big taboo around there because it ruined the place’s reputation. The local force would be quick to put a stop to it.
Once, there had been an outside group that heard about Luo Bei Village and wanted to settle down with their business there, but they had been reported by angry people who had their stuff stolen on their first day. Then, according to local rumors, the local police started the investigation almost immediately. They were serious to take down the bunch of people who showed disrespect to the customers and ruin the village’s reputation. The whole village went on the move, and they very efficiently wrangled up the whole gang in less than an hour. The clues about them even came from the people who rented them the place to stay.
Just like that, with the whole village pitching in, the village’s security was unscientifically good. If one disregarded the side businesses, this place would be called a model village.
After reaching a more vibrant area, the taxi driver found a handsome looking young man to be Ye Shuang’s guide. Ye Shuang did not reject after asking for the price. A local showing her around the place was better than her wandering about aimlessly. The young man looked like he had just graduated from university. White shirt and pants meant that he was dressed casually. Ye Shuang asked, and he was indeed a university graduate.
“I got a job offer in Beijing, but the housing price there is too high, and the rental for a place not even close to the office is several thousand RMB.” The young man flashed a shy smile, but he had an open way about things. “My salary was only five thousand. After calculating a bit, if I wanted to buy a house within the inner city, I would have to not eat, not drink, and work for thirty years, so I came back instead.”
Ye Shuang nodded understandingly. It was hard to afford a house in the big city. That was why foreigners had a harder time than locals. The cost of living was not the problem; assimilation of culture was not the problem; having no place to stay was the real problem.
“How does it feel to be back in Luo Bei Village?” Ye Shuang subtly led the topic of conversation. As she strolled down the busy street, she asked, “I see that this place is quite lively. It shouldn’t be too hard to earn a living.”
Even if there was already a good-looking man accompanying her, when she walked down the street, there were those single men who stood by the corner who came over to introduce themselves, muscular ones, sunny ones, brooding ones… There were different types, and they were each from one type of mainstream flavor. This did not seem at all like the variety that could be provided by a small town.
According to rumors, it was because quite a number of outsiders valued the regulation of business and ease of life around this place, so they purposely moved over here or came here to take up some part-time work during their down time. Some were in uniforms like those from nightclubs and themed cafes, pulling business. There were also some casually-dressed ones asking Ye Shuang if she wanted to have fun. They had price tags and could provide receipts.
“Receipts?” After Ye Shuang rejected another person, she could not help turning around. “This place is quite official, isn’t it?”
The young man smiled politely. “The receipts are normally for hotel stays, or if you prefer, for gas stations, so that certain customers can go back and claim them.”
Gas stations… Ye Shuang was silent for three seconds and gave a thumbs up wordlessly.
“What kind of fun are you looking for, Miss Han?” The young man led Ye Shuang around town for a long time. Even though his payment was counted by the hour, he was feeling tired already. Seeing as Ye Shuang still had not shown any interest in resting, he could not help but ask that. Ye Shuang felt calm borrowing Han Chu’s name. After ensuring that she had memorizing the locations of all the important places, she finally said, “I hear that there is an interesting casino here…”
Once she said that, the young man could not help but show a shocked expression. “Miss Han sure… knows how to play.”
There were not many female customers who would visit the casino, and those who set the casino as their main destination were even fewer. Normally, gender decided their hobby. For female customers, they were there for the softer services. Even if they wanted to try something more exciting, it was because they were bored of the old stuff already. Of course, there was another more important factor. Normally, women were not as willing to spend at casinos as men were. Or to put it another way, they were not as easily manipulated by their surroundings as men.
Those with a calm mind would remain calm, and those without a calm mind… After a man lost a lot of money, at most, they would feel annoyed, and they would push themselves further, wishing to win all their money back. In contrast, Women would feel heartache. The longer they played, the worse they felt. Of course, this was a blanket statement; it was just a common stereotype.
As shocked as the young man was, after knowing Ye Shuang’s need, he obediently led the way to the casino. Along the way, they stopped at a small mahjong center. He probably thought that the place was more suitable for his customer, but Ye Shuang did not even glance at the place and continued walking. In the end, the two reached the entrance of a private club about two streets away. The building was three floors tall, and it had three more floors underground.
The three surface floors were for arcades. There was quite a number of young people and middle-aged men with a youngster in their heart playing inside. Of course, this was a just a cover. Those who were in for the real deal had to get a friend to lead them underground. The young man did not know Ye Shuang that well, but seeing how soft and beautiful and how non-threatening she looked, and with the important one thousand RMB tip, he quickly decided to become the girl’s friend.
“There is going to be a physical inspection first.” The young man led Ye Shuang to a woman and said with a polite smile, “This is an old rule to check that you’re not carrying any electronic devices. I hope you don’t mind.”
Then, as the girl used the scanner to scan Ye Shuang’s body, she reached into the counter next to her to take out a metallic box and an old phone.
“Please change your sim card to this phone. Turn off your phone and place it inside this box.” The young man handed these things to Ye Shuang. “Don’t worry. This is just to prevent people from taking videos and pictures. When we leave, they’ll unlock the box, and you can carry it with you when we’re inside if you want.”
“The rules sure are strict.” Ye Shuang smiled evenly. After she followed all the introductions, she was finally led through the door.