1 Dustin

It's another day in life and everything is moving smoothly, like normal.

The streets are bustling with different people, and the market prices aren't falling at all, they just keep soaring through the roof!

Heh, if only one could just get away from it all.

As the day is progressing finely and smoothly for many, it isn't the same story for others.

In an ally that hardly no one passes, a boy is being beaten by thugs like a sack of punching bag.

"Where's the money!? Huh? Where's the money you bastard!?" Some big bellied man who looks like all he does is eat roadside fried food and drink beer kept asking the boy, but never got a response.

This boy was Dustin.

Dustin was quite the guy, doing everything it took to survive and live past the next day. After all, that was life in the streets. Whatever it took to survive. Even with that, he still set his boundaries on what he would and would not do. This was probably the reason Dustin was still in the slums, while almost all his friends had progressed.

Today, he was getting beat because he hadn't paid the money he borrowed from the boss, Old Cub, that ran that part of the neighbourhood where he lived, tut tut, not even the main boss, and yet he had the guts to beat Dusting that much. Being powerless is really a sin.

All that was two days ago.

Two days passed and Dustin still couldn't find a way to gather enough money to pay his debt, so he resulted to the only sure way he knew how to make money, gambling, good old gambling.

Dustin owed Old Cub exactly $500, but all he had now was just a hundred and fifty, $150. So, just like he planned, he dropped hundred and took fifty with him.

He had to walk all the way across town to some hidden underground gambling spots, because he was already too well known in the ones close to his neighbourhood.

The thing is, Dustin always won all his bets. Nobody knew how he did it, but he almost never lost. Seeing him in your gambling house meant that day was a loss, you shouldn't even have opened on that day, your bed needs more company.

Dustin's secrete to winning was a total mystery, and nobody could guess his secret. What they didn't know was that Dustin had a rather strange gift, one that you would see in movies or cartoons. He could somehow communicate to animals.

Counter to what you might think, he couldn't communicate in such a way that he would be able to hold conversations with them, and it wasn't with all animals.

He himself found out about this abnormal quirk of his when he was ten years old, and since then he had run countless experiments on different animals. If the animal was too big, there would be a problem. If it was too small, there would also be a problem. As for insects, aquatic animals and birds, he never even got anywhere with them, talk less of a poor result.

In the end, the animals he could talk to were mice and wall geckos. Anything beyond this, and there would be countless difficulties and problems that would arise.

As he got to the underground gambling house he was looking for, they searched him at the entrance, then allowed him inside.

As he got in, he wasted no time in locating the table that had the stack of cards on it. This was his winner.

He knew this game all too well and the trick behind it. The card dealer would make a small and unnoticeable fold on one of the cards, and then place a number of the cards on the table and then ask the people betting to pick two cards out of the ten that are placed on the table that are black. Since the game always had only two black cards, the gamblers are left to luck.

Dustin placed he's money on the table, $5. After shuffling the cards, the man sitting behind the table asked him to pick his cards, and that was when Dustin got to work.

Before he entered the place, he took out one of his mice and allowed it to enter the building through whatever routes mice used. So right now, the mouse was under the table and was in position, ready to begin the cheating.

Now, there was another power Dustin had, which was the main game changer, and the reason behind his success. This was the power to alter reality.

This power of his also wasn't all that grand like what is shown in the movies, and has its own bucket load of limitations. After testing this power throughout his life from the age of ten, Dusting was able to realize what his limitations were.

First, his power worked on only one person at a time. This meant that, if he was using it on the bet maker, he couldn't use it on anyone else. This was also the reason why Dustin always chose these small underground gambling houses that had fewer people, meaning fewer eyes and ears.

Second, it didn't last for long, and he could only keep it up for nothing over seven seconds. This meant he always had to be fast and precise. The third one was that he couldn't use it too often; if not, he would fall sick or lose consciousness.

After looking around and making sure that nobody was looking, he activated his second power and swiftly checked the cards to find the right ones, and after the seven seconds was up he already had the correct answer.

"This, and this. I choose these." Dustin said as he pointed at the cards.

The man smiled lightly and gave Dusting the money he won, $100. It was a multipliers game. For each bet he got correctly, his money would be doubled, or he loses everything if his guess is wrong.

After the first game, Dustin had seen through the dealer. The black cards had a little dent on the sides, while the others didn't. It seemed like today, the rat won't be needed. This dealer was a novice after all.

Dustin played a few more games and won all. Surely, his luck was massive.

'This kid has won too much. Time to end your streak.' The dealer thought to himself as a small smile escaped the corner of his mouth. Dustin didn't see this smile.

As the dealer dealt a new hand, ten cards were placed on the table, and Dusting had placed $300 as a chip.

Dustin's eyes immediately went looking for the cards with the dent. He found one, but the other one seemed to have disappeared. He went through the cards again, but still the same, the card wasn't there.

'Clever bastard.' Dustin said in his head as he clicked his tongue mentally.

H knew the trick the dealer had used, but what he didn't know was where the dealer had his the card. The rat under the table was useless at this point, and seven seconds were too small for him to check for where it was. Besides, doing that would just drag attention.

Dustin became frustrated, not because he didn't see through the trick, but because he couldn't defeat the trick, and this time he actually placed all his money.

It was at this moment that Dustin saw a gecko filtered into a crack on the wall next to where they sat. The heavens must be on his side, he thought as he quickly inquired information from the reptile.

Just as he thought, the card was just under the dealer's sleeve.

With his second ability and perfect timing, he exchanged the card in the dealer's sleeve with a random one on the table that wasn't the black one. It was already nearing the time limit he had to answer, and the dealer was about to sound a warning that his time was almost up, when he got the shock of his lifetime.

"This and this." Dustin said with a confident tone and expression.

The dealer was quick to turn the cards over as he knew for a fact that Dustin was wrong. He could still feel the appropriate card in his sleeves.

"I'm sorry mister bu..." The dealer looked in disbelieve as he saw that the card he had thought he exchanged was still in the one placed on the table. 'What is going on here?'

"It seems you've won mister, would you like another round?" The dealer asked. He was desperate to make Dustin throw his money. After all, that was what gambling houses were for, not to talk about the punishment he would get for losing money.

"Sure." Dustin said with a serious expression.

He played again a few more times before deciding it was enough.

"That would be it. I'm not playing anymore."

.

Sitting at the corner of the room, another person, a girl had been watching Dustin for some time now, and was sure he was cheating. She knew this for a fact, but why didn't the dealer do anything? She wondered. "This boy..."

........

(A/N: Please note that the initial build up to the story is a little bit slow paced, but do bare with it as it gets better after the first 10 chapters.

Also, the first ten or eleven chapters serve as a bit of introduction. If you would like to skip these part, then feel free to skim through the first ten chapters.)

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