"Look! There's an apartment," Poul pointed at the signage of the three storey building on the pavement they were walking on.
The two didn't hesitate and entered the apartment building.
"Welcome," the receptionist behind the reception desk greeted the two but just like the lady from the bakeshop, his expression changed when he saw Poul.
"Oh just two homeless brat huh? And what's more, an Albian. This won't look good to my business so leave before I kick you two in the ass…"
Despite showing some bigoted attitude, the two didn't wavered. Instead they walked up to the reception desk and asked.
"Is there a room available?" Jonathan asked.
"Depends, do you have money?" the clerk asked back, his expression changing a little as the brat in front of him might be a potential customer who wouldn't fool around.
Jonathan showed him the dollar bills that Felix gave to him.
The receptionist's eyes widened at the sight of the money. They really have money, and what's more, in paper bills.
"There's a room on the second floor, on the right far corner. It has one bed and a toilet. It'll be three dollars."
"One bed for three dollars?" Jonathan repeated incredulously, then his gaze flickered at the chalkboard atop the counter that reads two dollars for one bedroom.
"But on the chalkboard it said two dollars?"
"Huh? What do you mean? It's three dollars, it's written clearly on the board," the receptionist said, even moving his finger on the board as if to emphasize every word written on it.
But that's certainly two dollars. Jonathan clicked his tongue, he noticed what's happening now. The receptionist must have assumed that he can't read due and thus taking advantage of it. Well, too bad they were not just some random kids, they are a unique type.
"Sir, with all due respect, it's written two dollars for one room. I can read it clearly, don't take me as a fool."
The receptionist scoffed contemptuously, what a bad luck, a literate child. It would have been an easy dollar for him. Well, if that didn't work, then he can still use option number two.
"You know we have this thing called bet. And in that bet, if I win, I get to keep your two dollars but if you win, you get to keep your two dollars and a room for one day. What do you think?"
"No we aren't looking for—"
"What are we playing?" Poul interrupted his words as he stepped forward.
"It's simple really, a coin flip," the receptionist replied. "Are you in or not…Albian?" he smirked.
"Okay, I'll take you on."
"Oi…break for a second…what are you thinking Poul? If we lose this bet we will be sleeping outside."
"Jonathan," Poul gently removed Jonathan's hand off his shoulder. "Trust me on this one."
Poul's expression was serious, enough to make Jonathan agree with the idea.
"You're a courageous lad, I'll give you that. Well, let's find out if you are going to sleep in a warm room or in a cold street, shall we?" the receptionist said intimidatingly.
"Before we start, can I ask something?" Poul asked.
"When do I get to choose the sides?"
"Hmm…let's make this more fun. How about while it's in the air? While it is spinning in the air I'll let you choose what side you think the coin is going to land. For example if you choose head I'll go for tails," the receptionist explained.
"Then how can we make sure that you'll hold the end of your bargain? With all due respect, you're a receptionist, a worker of this establishment. Does the owner even permit you to do this?"
"I'll guarantee it as I'm the owner of this apartment," the receptionist declared.
"You're the owner? That's good then. Let's begin."
"Yeah, let's begin this game of luck," the owner smiled.
"Luck…there's no such thing as luck," Poul muttered under his breath and continued. "As long as you know all the variables acting on an object, you would be able to calculate how it behaves."
"Huh? You're saying something Albian?" the owner asked.
"Sorry about that and my name is not Albian, it's Poul."
"Well whatever. Here's the coin, I'll let you be the one to flick it so that you won't have any hard feelings towards me when you lose," the owner tossed the coin to Poul.
"I could say the same thing to you," Poul said, weighing the coin in his hand.
His mind started running wild as he began making calculations in his head. The mass of the coin and the impulse he'll apply to the coin will allow him to find the initial vertical velocity of the coin. The time it takes for the coin to land as well as the air resistance would be the tricky part, as he'll have to calculate the maximum height the coin will reach and the time it takes to land. But everything is taken to account. Lastly, the angular momentum velocity of the coins would give him the number of revolutions, which is what will give him the answer.
So all in all, after 144 ? revolutions, it would hit the floor, and it would rebound two times and then spin for about 2.34 seconds…and come up as heads.
"Oi! You've been looking for 20 seconds, are you going to play or not?" The owner asked impatiently.
"Oh sorry for the wait. I'm ready now," Poul returned a smile. It took him 20 seconds to calculate all the variables and it played out perfectly in his brain like a simulation.
He'll find out if it's going to be the same in reality…and so he started. With a ting, the coin floated in the air. The three watched as the coin reached its maximum height.
"Heads," Poul announced his side and the coin started falling to the stone flooring due to the force of gravity and rebound two times. It spun in the ground for about two seconds and—came up as heads.
"What the…" the owner stared at the coin in disbelief.
Jonathan lowered his head and smiled beneath, as expected of one of the best mathematicians in the world.
"Looks like it's my win," Poul said humbly. "No hard feelings, sir owner."
"Yeah it is indeed your win. Okay I'll honor my words. You can keep your money…this is the key to your room."
"That easy?" Jonathan cocked his head to the side.
"Not that I'm bragging but I have a twenty win streak in coin flips," the owner said.
"Then we'll be going to our room now," Poul announced and started walking down the hallway.
"Enjoy your stay…" the owner said, his body shaking from the utter humiliation.
Arriving at their room, the two walked around to have a look. It was small, about 7,5 meters. The room has a bed, a fireplace, and a toilet room, though the toilet is not the one often found in homes. There's no faucet and flush toilet. It was just a box that stores waste that'll be scooped up every day by a worker of the apartment. Despite all that, the room is tidy and clean, which makes them appreciate it.
"I'll go fire the fireplace," Poul ambled towards the fireplace and grabbed the flint and steel.
"I'll go buy us some food. Thanks to you, we still have three more bucks in our pocket."
"Didn't I tell you to trust me on that one?" Poul struck the flint and the fireplace ignited, the warm glow of the fire started settling around him. "Ah I love this."
"I never doubted you for a second," Jonathan said with a straight face. "I'll take my leave now. We'll get some food to eat and then discuss how we are going to survive this new world."
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