Hearing Lynch agree to Li Du's conditions, Andrew's face twisted in anger. "Are you crazy?" he cried. "Thirty thousand dollars for a pile of rubbish key cards? These key cards are so common that you can buy one for just ten dollars!"
Because it was a video call, Lynch heard Andrew's words quite clearly.
He said coldly, "My man, you do not know whether I'm crazy or not. They may not be valuable to you, but to me, finding these cards again is a blessing from God!"
Lynch was one of the richest men in Flagstaff. He had an investment company that did work on par with The Big Four, but of course, on a much smaller scale.
Thirty thousand dollars was a huge sum to the average person, but for him, who often spent tens of thousands of dollars on valuable stamps, it was peanuts.
Hearing him agree to the deal, Hans hollered in joy. He thanked Lynch over the phone over and over again. "Thank you very much, thank you very much, man. We'll send the key cards to you as soon as possible."
Hanging up, he looked at Andrew and snickered, saying, "Hey, Mr. Hundred Thousand Club, give us a piece of information on a valuable storage unit."
"We're not in a rush," added Li Du. "Go back and keep an ear out for something. Remember, information on a good auction. Don't even think of bluffing us, or the one who will be made an *ss out of is you."
Stunned, the surrounding treasure hunters stared at them. These people still hadn't realized what hit them. Most of them found it hard to believe the sudden turn of events.
Someone said, faintly, "Andrew, could this be a trap by the Chinaman? Maybe he found someone to give him a fake, marked up price?"
The others glared at him like he was an idiot.
"Don't you have any brains? If the Chinaman could ask Lynch to do things like that, why would he still be a f*cking treasure hunter?!"
"He has to pay taxes as long as there is income. Wouldn't it be clear if we just look at his tax return?"
"Sh*t, the noob and that fool, Big Fox, really won? They beat Andrew?"
Everyone finally came to their senses and started to heatedly discuss what they just witnessed.
A black man tugged at Li Du's sleeve and cried out, asking, "Hey, mate, how did you do it? That was unbelievable!"
"Big Fox, you guys are way too good now. Do you remember what I said when we were in Big Beard's Bar two years ago? I said that you were a brilliant b*stard!"
"The Hundred Thousand Club lost to the Ten Thousand Club. F*ck, Chinaman, you're the hero of the Ten Thousand Club!"
The tides had turned. Li Du had won.
His face livid, Andrew glared at Li Du. Shoving the electric guitar into the arms of his lackey, he growled, "Damn it, let's go!"
At that moment, a police car drove into the storage company. Two police got down from the car and scanned the crowd closely, then walked over to block Andrew's way.
"Hello, Mr. Andrew?" asked one of the policemen politely.
Andrew snapped, "That's me. Is there an issue?"
The other policeman took out an iPad, played a video for him, and asked, "Is this you here?"
In the video recording, Andrew held a cigar in his mouth, lit an American banknote, and casually used it to light his cigar.
The video recording was very clear. It would have been useless if Andrew had tried to deny it. He stammered. "Oh, sorry. At the time I—at the time I—" he coughed a couple of times. "I was just—"
"No need to apologize to us. Get in the car. You need to make a call to your lawyer. Now, the Williams Police Station is charging you with intentionally defacing American money and requests that you to cooperate with our investigation."
A pickup truck drove over. Li Du was in the passenger's seat, and Hans stuck his head out from the driver's side window and laughed heartily, "Mr. Andrew, the American constitution dictates that no one is allowed to damage American currency intentionally. Don't you know that? You obviously need to brush up on your general knowledge of the law."
Andrew was furious. "You son of a b*tch!" he screamed. "You dared call the cops on me!?"
Hans glared at him. "Don't blame me. I didn't do it. If I had, I wouldn't have come over to laugh at you! Think hard—do you know how many people you've offended? The one who wants to see you fall the most is certainly not me!"
The pickup sped off in the direction of the setting sun.
Enjoying the evening breeze, Hans asked, "Who on earth called the cops? Sh*t, what a smart fellow."
Li Du took out a phone for him to look at. Playing on it was a video; the same one of Andrew lighting the cigar with money.
"Sh*t, I thought your phone didn't have a camera?"
"I have two phones. How would one phone be enough? Anyway, if I hadn't emphasized that my phone didn't have a camera and couldn't record videos, wouldn't Andrew have gotten suspicious of me?"
Hans exclaimed, "You're terrible! But I like that! Ha!"
Li Du said, "How is that terrible? That was being a good citizen, one who bravely stood up for what is right."
Some cars drove up alongside them. A Dodge Ram pickup came up close, and a burly man in sunglasses hollered, "Let's party tonight? To celebrate your victory!"
"Alright, we'll deliver the key cards first," Hans hollered back, "and then all of you can treat me!"
The burly man in sunglasses stuck up his middle finger. The Dodge Ram sped forwards.
The meeting point was, again, the Golden Aquitaine.
Unlike before, Lynch was no longer the picture of a cool, calm CEO. He was pacing. Once he caught sight of them, he raced up to them right away. "Where are the key cards?"
Hans passed the large box he carried over to him. More than 300 key cards, even with how tidily arranged they were, took up a lot of space.
Lynch was like a virgin touching a beautiful person for the first time. His hands trembled, his eyes fixated on the cards while his lips quivered uncontrollably. Li Du found it hard to understand his agitation.
When he first found the key cards, like Andrew, at first glance, he thought that they were of no value. But then, after he saw the two names on them, he knew that they were likely of some value after checking on the internet.
Many of these key cards were complete sets. Collecting them could not have been easy. Just as he had wished for, the key cards sold for a great price. But he hadn't suspected that Lynch cared so much about them.
The CEO then explained the reason for his emotional state: "You have been a great help. When we lost these key cards two years back, Agatha and I nearly broke up.
"To you, these are just little cards, but to Agatha and I, these are keepsakes of our love and life together. From the very first time we went on a date, we started collecting key cards. No matter where we went, we collected the key card of the hotel we lodged at."
Hans was taken aback. "Wait, you went to a hotel on your first date?"
Lynch blinked and said, "My dear man, you pay attention to the strangest things. But do you believe that was hard for me with my charisma?"
Hans gave him a thumbs up. "Amazing!"
Li Du said, "Collecting key cards is a good hobby. I feel that their value can go far beyond that of simply accessing the building, opening the room and getting electricity.
Lynch smiled and said, "You are right, Agatha and I think so too. We can see a hotel's aesthetics and history through their key cards. Further, we can collect key cards as a way of collecting precious memories of our holidays. Isn't it simply amazing?"