Both Hans and Li Du gave him the middle finger and tossed a barrage of swear words his way.
Li Du didn’t feel like cooking today. There was a fast food store next to the hostel, so he bought a sandwich there.
He gave it to Ah Meow after just one bite. Hans was right. The food here was terrible.
Ah Meow pushed it aside in disgust. It licked its paws and started to wash its face.
“How is it? Do you want to go to the supermarket to buy some ingredients now?” Hans asked gleefully.
Li Du nodded. At the supermarket, he chose some tenderized steak and some sausages, then pushed the grocery cart to the counter to pay the bill.
Hans was appalled. “That’s all? What about fish flavored pork slices? What about sweet and sour pork? What happened to having delicious Chinese food? What happened to having a decent quality of life?”
Li Du said lazily, “We’re here for work. Don’t ask for too much, Big Fox. Hurry! That counter is open. Go over there, quickly!”
They were about to pay when two middle-aged men came over to say hello. “Hey, Li. Hey, Big Fox. What a coincidence meeting you here.”
Li Du didn’t recognize them, but Hans did-he had a wide social circle. Hans waved at them. “Black Jack, Little Ross. You’re here too? Your sources have given you good info.”
Black Jack winked at Little Ross. “What did I tell you? We’d definitely find something in Humphreys this time. I wasn’t wrong, was I?”
Li Du said, “I hope you guys get something good. See you soon-we need to go make dinner.”
They went to the counter to pay the bill. The cashier was a beautiful black woman. Hans used all his tricks, leaning on the counter and refusing to leave.
Hans was a real flirt. He had her giggling non-stop. Li Du was in a rush to leave, but all his urging and tugging wasn’t able to pull Hans away.
Finally, he used a killer move. “Do you want to get your warts down there treated or not? I’ve already made an appointment with the doctor. He’s going to leave if we don’t get there soon.”
Hearing this, the coy smile that the beautiful woman had been wearing disappeared.
On the way back, Hans confronted Li Du angrily. “Why did you have to spoil my fun like that? That could have been a great fling.”
Li Du frowned. “Didn’t you notice Black Jack and Little Ross watching us? Did you want them to notice that I bought three sets of cutlery? You want them to find out about Clyne? After dinner, find another hotel for him to stay at.”
Getting down to business, Hans became serious. “D*mn it, I didn’t think of that. I’ll settle that tonight.”
On Friday morning, Hans and Li Du drove Clyne’s pickup to Folk Songs Co. Ltd.
Humphreys was a small town with a small population, and its economy was mainly supported by tourists and music lovers; these were both reasons why the storage company was quite small, and why there were few participants in the storage auction.
Li Du and Hans were famous. Once they appeared, at least half of the participants started to point fingers and gossip about them.
They saw quite a few familiar faces. Hans looked at a black-haired youth. “Hey, Little Cerci. What a coincidence! We meet again. How much did you earn from the chinaware storage?”
They had asked around about the outcome after leaving the storage auction with the chinaware early- the unit had ended up selling for 18,000 dollars, and the buyer was Little Cerci right here!
The black-haired youth glared at him viciously. “Don’t get cocky, Big Fox. Now that I’m here, you won’t get a single storage unit this time either. You should know that the Cerci Family has more than enough money to spare!”
Hans shrugged indifferently. “Then you should get ready to pay through your nose. We’ll bid for every storage unit.”
Beside them, Li Du laughed. Little Cerci looked at him. Full of resentment, he pointed at Li Du. “Chinaman, was that fun? I’ll show you that the storage units here belong to the Americans. You Asian monkeys shouldn’t even think about laying a finger on them. This isn’t the South China Sea!”
Hans shoved him. In his anger, he had used more force than he had intended, almost pushing Little Cerci over. “Crawl back into your mother’s womb to get remade from scratch, why don’t you? Your dad would have been better off bringing a piece of bacon into this world!”
Li Du stopped him, smiling. “No need to bother with brainless folk like him.”
Hans flipped his middle finger at Little Cerci. “Zombies would crack your skull open and be disappointed. The dung beetles living in your ears would be happy, though.”
Nobody had renewed their leases this time, so all five storage units were placed on auction. Li Du’s worries about the storage unit he had been eyeing becoming unavailable hadn’t come true.
The first storage unit up for auction was unit number 11. The curly haired, black auctioneer opened the storage door, displaying some dinosaur sculptures that looked just like inflatable toys.
Everyone saw the sculptures but didn’t pay much attention to them. Evidently, they hadn’t recognized them for what they were, taking them as the worthless inflatable toys they looked like.
After everyone had seen the storage unit, the auctioneer raised his hand and yelled, “Come over here! Everyone, let’s start bidding for storage number 11. How about starting with 50 dollars? 50 dollars, 50 dollars, 50 dollars!”
Hans shook his head. “Miles, you know that this storage unit is trash. Just let go of it for a dollar, why don’t you?”
Clyne pushed forward from the back of the crowd. “I’ll take it for 50 dollars.”
Hans acted as if he were taken aback. “Hey, kid. Where did you come from?”
Clyne ignored him and looked at the auctioneer nervously.
Hans looked at Li Du and whispered, “Should we bid?”
Everyone around them looked at Li Du.
Li Du shook his head. “We’re not trash collectors. Come on, let’s go on to the next one.”
Everyone lost interest in the storage unit when Hans and Li Du didn’t bid. Clyne got the storage unit just like that.
The second storage unit was full of trash. Old newspapers, rotten furniture, and rusted radiators were strewn all around it. It was obviously a household dumping unit.
Dumping storage units were very common in America. This was because getting rid of large pieces of trash like household appliances was usually an additional, pricey expense for people-this was why many households rented storage units. Any trash that was difficult to dispose of would often be thrown into them. They would just leave the trash there and let the lease lapse on its own.
The starting price for this storage unit was even lower-just 25 dollars. Hearing this, Li Du raised his hand, shouting, “100 dollars!”
He had placed a bid just to fool the treasure hunters targeting him. But not everyone was a fool. They could see the storage inside, and had enough experience under their belts; tricking them was no simple task.
Everyone shook their heads. Hans looked at Little Cerci mockingly. “Hey, we’re going to take this unit away.”
Little Cerci made a throat-slitting gesture at them. “You’re taking a pile of trash away. Don’t think that we’re all idiots!”
Li Du pinched the bridge of his nose. The auctioneer was just about to yell that the deal was sealed at 100 dollars when Clyne forced his way over. “Over here! 125 dollars!”
The auctioneer beamed. He pointed at Clyne and yelled, “To this man, 125, 125, 125! Can anyone give me 150? Anyone for 150, 150 dollars!?”
Li Du raised his hand. “Me.”
Since this was the second time he had placed a bid, the treasure hunters didn’t take it as lightly as earlier. Their expressions became earnest. Chapter 72: He’s Our Guy
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Hans glanced at Li Du and said quietly, “Sh*t, why are you still bidding?”
Li Du looked at the people around him collectedly. He then crossed his arms, and use his right finger to point at the corner of the storage unit. He secretly gave a nod.
Hans switched on his flashlight and went in to look. After returning, he stopped saying anything.
The auctioneer stretched his arms and said, “Great-the price is at 150, 150, 150. What about 175, 175, 175 dollars?”
Li Du rubbed his nose again. When Clyne was about to raise his hand to bid, Little Cerci shouted, “Two hundred! Me, representing the Cercis!”
The auctioneer pointed at Little Cerci and said, “Alright, we have 200 here, then what about 225? 225, 225, 225?”
Clyne shook his head and left. Hans whistled, and Li Du munched on a chicken thigh while the others were hesitant. Some were considering to make a move, but no one was bidding.
The auctioneer called “200 dollars” three times then waved and said, “Sold, for two hundred-this belongs to you now buddy.”
Little Cerci nodded his head happily, then looked at Li Du and mocked, “Hey, Chinaman, why aren’t you bidding?”
“It’s full of trash, why would I continue bidding?” Li Du asked. “Only fools would try to fight for this.”
Once he finished, Li Du went away and walked to the next storage unit.
Clyne, who had placed a bid, said to Little Cerci, “Hey man, this unit only has a TV that could sell for about two hundred dollars-everything else in it is trash. Getting it for a hundred would have been okay, but two hundred made it a waste of time.”
This was what Li Du had told him.
Little Cerci was infuriated. “Of course I know. I just didn’t want those two b*stards taking this unit from me. D*mn it, where did you come from? I can tell you know your way around.”
Clyne shrugged. “I’ve just started in this line. We’ll get to know each other in the future.”
Hearing that he had just started treasure hunting, Little Cerci said, “Since you’re just starting out, you should try to gain more experience with storage units. How about I sell you this unit for 200?”
Clyne shook his head. “Sorry-even if I’m new, it doesn’t mean that I’m a fool. Spending a day of effort, and two hundred dollars, for this trash unit? Forget it.”
The other treasure hunters around them started laughing.
“Cerci, you’ve been mocked by an amateur.”
“Don’t think everyone is an idiot.”
“That’s what the Cercis are-and they’re always trying to play tricks on people.”
“Am I the only one who thinks that this rookie and Big Fox are connected somehow?”
After hearing this last comment, Hans and Li Du did not make any moves for the next two storage units. Instead, Clyne participated in the bids. He would take the initial bid from the auctioneer. If anyone raised the price, he would give up.
With that, two storage units landed in the hands of the other treasure hunters.
The last storage unit had some new toys, but they did not have a lot of value. If it were not for his promise to the welfare center, he would have had no interest in this storage unit.
The unit was well organized. From the entrance, not many things were exposed. Treasure hunters were more hesitant toward these types of units because they were difficult to appraise.
The auctioneer did not give them much time to think. When the inspection time was over, he immediately raised his hands and reported the price. “This seems to be an interesting one; in-ter-rest-ting. Let me see-starting at 50 seems fair, 50, 50, 50 dollars…”
Clyne accepted the initial bid once again. “Me!”
“Great, someone went for the fifty, now what about 75, 75, 75 dollars?”
Li Du immediately nodded. “Me!”
Hearing his bid, the treasure hunters stopped relaxing. Little Cerci’s failure at the second storage unit was a public example. They put up their guards against Hans and Li Du.
However, Little Cerci refused to lose. He raised the bid immediately after Li Du. “One hundred dollars for the Cercis.”
The auctioneer said to Little Cerci with beaming smile, “One hundred dollars has been offered, so what about 125, 125-anyone up for it?”
Hans smirked and said to Cerci, “Kiddo, how many people have you brought today? You only have 24 hours of storage time, are you sure you can clear out two trash units in 24 hours all by yourself?”
A black lady accepted 125 dollars, and with that, the bid went up to 150.
A few treasure hunters glanced toward Li Du and Hans. The two of them ridiculed Little Cerci with a couple of sharp comments each and then left; they would not be participating in the bid anymore.
The one who was most disappointed was the auctioneer. He knew that the recognition from the duo would raise the value of the storage unit.
His voice when proclaiming the bids had softened: “How about 175, 175-anyone up for it?”
Clyne raised his hand and said, “Here.”
“Alright, 175 has been taken. What about 200, 200, 200 dollars?”
Cerci wanted to raise his hand as well when he saw Clyne bid, but seeing junky-looking items piled in the storage, his expression became depressed, he shook his head, and then gave up on the bid.
Hans was right: the trash unit that he had just gotten was too messy. It was going to be difficult to finish clearing it within a day.
The black lady once again raised the bid, and Clyne then raised it to 250 dollars.
The other treasure hunters gradually gave up. They could not see anything valuable in this storage unit. Though the price was low, they didn’t want to take it.
Also, seeing that Li Du left after just one call, they were afraid of falling into the same trap as Cerci.
The auctioneer pointed to Clyne and said, “250, 250, 250 dollars-it is now 275, 275, 275. Anyone for 275?”
Both Hans and Li Du gave him the middle finger and tossed a barrage of swear words his way.