The Night Before Opening Night
Today was the Eve of a new chapter for Masters’ Hideaway.
With Gentleman Street opening, the original Masters’ Hideaway would now be called Healthy Paradise. Meanwhile, the new bathhouse, Dandy’s Shangri La, would be opening in another three days. This was to allow the women time to move over to Shangri La, get settled, and feel comfortable working there.
Besides, they were expecting an extremely large turn-out for the first couple days. By accepting reservations in advance, they were also aiming for a huge blowout for the opening day.
Today was the pre-event that also served as the final check. All the guild masters and several of their top executives gathered at the nightclub minted as the new ‘Masters’ Hideaway’.
Ellis’s group were all wearing matching dresses for the occasion. They had hired Ken to act as a coachman for them, and they road to Masters’ Hideaway in style.
Two of the fighting performers, Nobuhiko and Kazuo, were standing by at the entrance. They had both gotten gussied up for the night and were wearing a clean suit with a bowtie.
Ellis waved to them both as she walked by with the other four following her into the store.
Next was the coat-check.
Ellis and the others were each carrying small Adventurer bags that matched their dresses with them, so there wasn’t really anything for them to drop off.
The money exchange counter was right around the corner from there though. Two of Nicole’s band mates Ramon and Amon were standing there wearing the same suit and bowtie that the fighting performers were wearing.
“For the time being, give us 200,000 ril per person. Break it up a bit for tips too.”
Ellis had already explained the rules to the others beforehand, so they each had their chips split up in the same way. 19 10,000 ril chips, 5 1,000 ril chips, and 10 500 ril chips. Ellis had had Flint make five dedicated chip cases made to help carry their chips. It was an unnecessary expenditure. But Ellis was planning on running into some extra income in the near future, so it was fine.
Margherita came out to meet the girls when they finally got inside. She was wearing a black Camilla long dress that she had bought specifically for tonight. The dress itself stopped right above her chest and was lined white artificial flowers. The shoulder strap looked very sexy, and she wore a red ruby necklace around her neck.
When she goes outside, it seems that she has a small white jacket to wear overtop of it.
Each of the five sighed in spite of themselves at her beauty.
“Sister, you’re more beautiful than usual today.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Margherita led them over to the bar room. There were a number of other women there wearing dresses very similar to what Margherita was wearing.
This was actually something that Ferdinand had proposed. Those workers who will be dressing up in more adult attire should mingle around the first couple nights. The key to any successful business is good advertising after all.
Meanwhile the last two fighting performers, Masakatsu and Minoru, were standing guard in the corner. Just in case.
Traveling through the bar room, the ladies finally made it to the game room.
Four tables in total had been set up–two for Warren Dice and two for Warren Numbers. There was a 100 ril table and a 1000 ril table for each.
There was an extra room in the back for VIP players looking to play Warren Numbers. This was where the more expensive games would be played in the future.
Ellis was being welcomed by just about every man and woman she crossed paths with tonight. All of the workers came forward to give their greetings when she walked into the room. They were all wearing the uniforms that Machel had picked out consisting of a black vest over a white blouse and a tight black skirt. Even their shoes had been unified to be pairs of black low heel shoes. The atmosphere created was very orderly, and it was a good fit for the upscale uniforms.
Simon and Damon casually disappeared into a back corner after giving their greetings to Ellis as well. The full black uniforms they were wearing helped them to blend in to the shadows, and it was easy to lose track of them if you didn’t know they were there.
“Then let’s play a bit here until the event starts,” Ellis called out while taking one of the player seats for Warren Dice.
“Machel, if you don’t mind, could you roll the dice for us until the party starts?” Machel was already halfway to her spot behind the table before Ellis had even asked.
“Oh, it’s a table made just for Dice. I’ll play with you.”
“I should do fine if it’s just dice.”
“I suppose I should join in too.”
“I bet on 1 nya.”
Each of the girls pulled up a chair and took a seat. Assistants took a stand behind each of them just as Ellis had taught them. Close enough that they can be of help whenever they need to be, but not so close that they distract people from the game. Watching how smoothly they were all able to perform the way she taught them, a small smile spread on Ellis’s lips.
“Please change this to 1000 chips.”
Ellis handed over two of her 10,000 ril chips and got back 20 1000’s.
“Alright then. The players are the five members of the Jewelry Box. Game start.”
Machel made sure everyone was ready before gracefully rolling the dice and slamming the cup onto the table. Each of the girls then took their time placing their bets.
Well, besides Ellis. With the excuse of, “I’m feeling lucky,” she had already put down 1000 chips onto red one and white one before the dice had even been rolled. If she was right, that would be a 36 times payout.
“Closed.” Machel declared the end of betting and then lifted the cup to make sure it didn’t touch any of the dice. The final result,
“Red 3, White 5.”
Everyone was out. The assistants collected the chips, and then it was time for the next game.
“I was feeling generous and donated.”
This was Ellis’s response when she noticed that everyone was staring at her. She could afford to lose 1000 ril after all.
The next several games were played the same way. Then, right before the event was about to start, when each guild master and most of the guild executives accompanying them had gathered,
“Red 1, White 1.”
“Nice job Ellis.”
The people who had gathered around the table after seeing the girls play got excited at Ellis’s large payout and started to talk about their own plans when they started.
Meanwhile, Machel prepared Ellis’s dividends with a smile, and one of the assistants carried it over.
The assistant made sure there was a total of 32,400 ril sitting in front of Ellis, but Ellis quickly undid her careful counting by immediately pulling out two 1000 ril chips. With a flick of her fingers she tipped one of the assistants and Machel.
“I had fun.”
Machel and the assistant both responded with an elegant smile and bowed their heads as Ellis rose from her seat.
“Alright, now then, should we go find some old men to beat?”
Ellis and the others picked up their chips and headed towards the bar room, but before they left, Ellis made sure to tip Machel and all five of the assistants who had been helping them an additional 10,000 ril.
“Today, we thank you for gathering here with us.”
Baltis, as the guild master of the Thieves’ Guild which was in charge of the two newly opening shops, stood before those who had gathered and greeted them. Standing behind him was the leader of the entertainment unit Margherita along with the sub-leaders Marilyn and Machel.
Ellis was up there as well since she served as an advisor for the projects, and Katie was standing beside her as the Thieves’ Guild’s most highly earning thief adventurer. They were both considered to be hosts, not guest.
Baltis continued his speech.
“Everyone, this is meant to be our final check before tomorrow’s grand opening. If you ever have any problems, don’t hesitate to let me know, but don’t let that stop you from having fun.”
Margherita took a step forward here and took Baltis’s place.
“Everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, I am Margherita, the one in charge of running this nightclub. Please, enjoy tonight with all your heart.”
A formal greeting from the beautiful woman running the shop. Ellis had hoped allowing guests to see that a beautiful was in charge rather than a stuffy old man like Baltis would make people drop their guards and feel more relaxed inside the club.
The alcohol that was currently being distributed to every guest from an endless stream of girls wearing black one piece dresses should help with that as well.
When all the alcohol had been passed out, Baltis turned around and looked at Ellis.
“Hey advisor, please give us a toast.”
What is this bastard saying? Why are you trying to get an eight-year-old girl to do a toast? Why was an eight-year-old girl served alcohol in the first place? These were all valid questions that Ellis held herself back from asking as she took center stage and forced herself to smile.
“Everyone, for the continued development of our city. Cheers!”
The more proper atmosphere that had pervaded the club until now vanished once the speech was done, giving way to a hustle and bustle of differing conversations, laughter, and people moving to take their favorite seats. Meanwhile, five people gathered in one corner of the room to discuss what they would be doing from now on.
“I want to study golems, so I’m going home.”
“I will also return. I’ll make sure dinner is finished by the time you come back.”
“I’m going to go play with Mati and the others nya.”
That’s right, none of the girls had thought that there was any reason for them to stay past this point. Ellis and Reeve also saw no real reason for them to stay any longer either, but right when they were about to leave, they were ambushed by Flint.
“Hey you bastards, you think you can runaway while you’re ahead.”
“Frau and the other two aside, Ellis and Reeve have built up quite a bit of resentment you know?”
“Now, just give us a minute of your time.”
Buzz and Doug had joined in with the resolve to become kidnappers if necessary.
“Because it’s like this, go ahead and have dinner without us,” Ellis said with a sigh.
“Please look forward to some souvenirs,” Reeve smirked having entered serious mode.
And so, the remaining three waved their hands farewell as Ellis and Reeve were almost dragged to the 1000 ril table for Warren Numbers.
Baltis was already in the dealer’s seat when they arrived, and Machel was serving as his banker.
The players included Ellis, Reeve, Flint, two executive members of the Workshop Guild, Theseus, Buzz, Doug, Maria, and Nicole. 11 players in total. Nicole and Ichiro were both sitting awkwardly together, clearly wondering what they were doing in this place. Conversely, Maria was high tensioned and was looking almost as excited as when Reeve was about to have a concert.
“I’m lucky today. I’m walking away with that 1 million ril jackpot!”
This guild master was in a good mood.
And so, the game began.
In the end, all three members of the Merchant Guild were robbed of all their money. One after another: Maria, Nicole, and Ichiro each flung themselves onto the table, their souls escaping through their mouths.
Of all of them, Maria had received the most damage.
Noticing the dealer’s advantage rather quickly, she had immediately volunteered to become the dealer herself. However, she was targeted by the more veteran players of the game. Especially in the second set of the second game, everyone besides Nicole and Ichiro had correctly guessed the card she put down. After having put out max bets. The payout was obviously the highest of the night, and the 1 million ril jackpot was quickly eaten through.
“Nicole, call up all the available people from the guild!”
All of the blood was rushing to Maria’s head.
“That, please spare me.”
Honestly though, Flint and the other men hadn’t done much better. As the games progressed, they regretted more and more at having forced Ellis and Reeve to play. A lesson they would remember for the future.
“Augh, say hello to Claire for me when you get home.”
Flint was always a big man, but on this particular night, he was looking puny.
With that, Ellis and Reeve were both released without ever even having to act as the dealer.
“Alright then. Margherita, Marilyn, do your best.”
Ellis bid her farewells after tipping the three leaders, all of the black dress group, the assistants, and the bouncers 10,000 ril each before heading to the front counter and exchanging the rest of her chips in.
On their way home, Ellis and Reeve used some of their winnings to buy up some specialty fruit like they had promised. They kept all the fruit in a basket that Reeve carried in her right arm.
“Alright then Mistress. Shall we walk home?”
“Hmm. It’s still early. Let’s take a walk down Gentleman Street a bit before heading back.”
Ellis reached up and took Reeve’s empty left hand into her right. While wearing matching dresses, the two then took a leisurely walk as they slowly made their way home–Reeve’s song lightly filling the cool night air.
And then the next afternoon. The newly christened Masters’ Hideaway had a spectacular opening day.