"Well…there's another, even easier way for us to get off this ship."

Funai looked around to make sure no one could overhear their conversation, then stepped in closer towards Kaiji and placed his hands on his shoulders, leaning in to whisper into his ear.

"We pretend we're a married couple."


Funai's hand clasped over hard his mouth, muffling him from making any more attention-drawing exclamations.

"Shh! Now just hear me out," Funai said, keeping his hand securely over Kaiji's mouth, "If we claim to be a couple, they'll count us as one participant. It means more cards, but it also doubles our chances of winning! Like one extra life in a video game, right?"

Kaiji couldn't believe what he was hearing. Wouldn't this have been brought up when the rules were being explained?

"Hey, I see that look in your eyes, you're wondering what kind of ass I pulled this rule out of, right?" Funai snickered, removing his hand from Kaiji's mouth, "There's all kinds of rules you don't figure out until you're in the right spot at the right time with the higher-ups. So what do you say, are you in?"

"Well, uh…" he didn't know what to answer, and then the question that had been eating at the back of his mind finally surfaced, "Wait a minute! How can we even prove we're married?"

"Ahhh, right!" Funai said, smacking himself lightly on the forehead, "I just remembered! Hold on a second…"

Funai dug his hand into his pants pocket and held his hand out to Kaiji. His jaw dropped. Two gold rings. How the hell could this guy have possibly wound up on this ship?!

Before Kaiji could say anything, one of his hands was grabbed and he felt the smooth, cool surface of a ring slide down his finger. He looked up into Funai's grinning face.

"Come on, let's get a move on," he said, sliding a ring down on his own finger, then patting Kaiji's ass, "Honey."