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Chapter 12 - The Second Half

Ten minutes before the start of the fifth race, Jack had yet to return.

'I hope he hasn't gone and run off,' said Leonard, his voice heavy with scorn.

'He wouldn't dream of it!' Halle retorted.

Nike laughed. 'Apparently not. Here he comes now.'

Jack ambled over. 'Sorry,' he said. 'Had to take a leak.'

Jack's carefree manner seemed to annoy Leonard, but it filled Halle with relief. He had been so subdued in the first half that to see him back to his old self gave her confidence...until she remembered that they hadn't even bought their betting ticket. Exasperated, she hustled him to the counter to get one.

The fifth race began.

Continuing his pattern from the first half, Jack went for a trifecta. Unlike the first half, however, he only bet 5,000 mira on it.

'Heh. Here I was thinking you'd get all cocky, then you go and lower your bet.'

Leonard radiated confidence, but deep down, he knew exactly what Jack was doing. Jack was going to conserve as much money as he could until the final race and then bet it all on that.

Knowing that, he realized he couldn't afford to let up his offensive and decided to bet a massive 100,000 mira on a win bet. The team he staked his wager on was an outside chance as well.

In the end, the team Leonard bet on was victorious, while Jack lost his 5,000 mira. As a result, Jack was down to a mere 55,000 mira, while Leonard's total exceeded 500,000. The gap between them continued to grow larger and larger.

The sixth race began.

Once again, Jack placed 5,000 mira on a trifecta. Leonard, meanwhile, didn't seem to be feeling especially confident about the race and put a mere 10,000 mira on a safe exacta box bet.

The race that took place was easily the most intense of the day thus far and had the spectators on the edge of their seats. Successful winners on trifecta tickets earned over a hundred times what they bet, but both Jack and Leonard had backed the wrong cars.

'If only we'd picked the right cars on that one!' cried a frustrated Halle. If Jack shared her dismay, though, he didn't show it. His thoughts were all for the final race.

The seventh race of the day was about to begin.

Having lost every bet he had made so far, Jack was down to a mere 50,000 mira. Leonard's winnings now totaled roughly 500,000 mira even though he, too, had lost the sixth race. In order to catch up, Jack would need to make a bet that paid out over ten times his wager amount, even more if Leonard was to win his own bet.

Incidentally, the two had agreed not to show each other which betting tickets they had gone for until after the race had ended. This was in order to make things more interesting. According to Leonard, anyway.

The starting light shifted from red to green, and the race that would determine everything began.