Author's Note: With the end of the Chapter One, we will be going into Chapter Two. With the end of the preparations, Mr. Li is going to change his attitude and go on the aggressive!
Andrew, Dog Tail Reginald, Lambis, Black Jack and Li Du; the five of them stood in a line to prepare for a group interview.
A reporter said while facing the camera, "…In this town, on this day, a charity storage auction was held, meant to help relieve the financial issues of a welfare home.
"A total of five auctions were held, with beautiful pottery and furniture as the main attraction. Lastly, these five treasure hunters here individually bought a unit each, totaling up the amount to 229,000 dollars for charity."
Reginald had lost all of his spirit, Lambis stared with a face full of despair, Jack wore an ugly expression, Andrew wore a faint smile, while Li Du looked excited: This was the snapshot of the different emotions of the five men.
A beautiful black-haired reporter gave her speech to the camera, and then looked toward the five and said, "Next, I will be interviewing the kind treasure hunters. Let's hear their heartfelt thoughts."
The camera turned toward them, and the five treasure hunters hastily showed their smiles. However, only one wore an honest smile, while another hunter's smile was somewhat strained, and the remaining three had smiles that were worse than faces they made when crying.
The female reporter was about to ask her questions, when the auctioneer Humphries came over. He said, "Me too, reporter. In this charity, we have six people."
"I am the auctioneer. According to the terms, I will be able to take 10 percent of the proceeds. The amount that I will be getting I will also be willing to donate to the welfare home, to my old friend Mother Mesa." Humphries pointed to the black lady standing on the side.
Mother Mesa had a face with a smile so full that one could almost see a flower blooming there. A donation of over 200 thousand dollars; this was extremely helpful to her welfare home.
The interview went from the lowest to the highest donator, so the first one was Li Du.
Li Du tidied up his clothes and waved to the camera. "I'm glad to be able to participate in this charity event. Since I've joined the business of treasure hunting, I've always been thinking about how we can help the people who need us. Thank God for giving me the chance today.
"In addition, from what I know, there are some support groups for AIDS that are preparing similar charity events. I'm sure that our treasure hunters will be happy to participate in those as well.
"As a healthy person, I'm unable to understand the pain that people with AIDS go through—and so, to help them, regardless of how much effort is needed, I will do whatever I can!"
The reporter smiled. "You really are a kind gentleman."
Next was Andrew. Li Du had nothing else to do, so he slipped away.
Akkalou Benidito walked to him and said with a smile, "Hi, Li. You owe me one."
Li Du understood what he meant. Anyone who was not a fool would be able to guess that Li Du was pulling the strings here.
Li Du said, "Yeah, my friend. You really helped a lot— if not for you, we wouldn't have been able to raise such a large amount."
Akkalou Benidito said, "The treasure hunters went too far. They hurt your reputation. The methods they used were too underhanded. But by doing this, you'll be offending a lot of people."
"This was not just for revenge. What was more important was that I wanted to help the welfare home. That's why, regardless of what criticism I get, I'll deal with it."
Hans patted his shoulder and said, "As a brother, I am always here for you."
Akkalou Benidito gave them both a meaningful glance. "You have a very clever brother, but the clever ones tend to be scary."
Hans pulled his hand back and said, "I don't really think so."
"I'm kidding," Akkalou Benidito said. "I didn't expect that you two could organize something like this without anyone noticing. A pity that I didn't find out, or else I would have been happy to play a role." As he spoke, he shook his head in frustration. "Andrew, that guy—this was a blessing in disguise for him. Twenty-five thousand dollars for a chance on television. D*mn it! It was too good for him!"
This auction was, of course, set up by Hans and Li Du. Hans prepared the fake units, while Li Du looked for the Chinese lady to help with the act. But the appearance of the media was a surprise blessing. The one who informed the media was Mother Mesa. The welfare home had connections with the media.
Li Du remembered that when Sophie's team was performing check-ups for the people in the welfare home, Mother Mesa told them that they lacked money; so, he told her that he would be organizing a charity.
Mother Mesa then told the media about this activity. The ABC channel of Flagstaff was interested, which was inevitable because there was never any big news in such a small town. Li Du was satisfied with the appearance of the news network as a conclusion to the auction.
First, he had accomplished his revenge against the treasure hunters who had tried to tarnish his reputation. He revealed his fangs so that whoever wanted to mess with him in the future would think twice.
Second, in the interview, he washed away his false reputation as a sick man. What he said during the interview would clear up the misunderstanding, and he felt that this was good enough.
Last, he had accomplished his promise to the welfare home by raising over 200 thousand dollars in charity. This was the most important accomplishment.
With the end of the interview, everyone paid up and cleared up their storage units. Or, perhaps more appropriately, started cleaning up the trash.
Li Du had the pottery and furniture. Although none of it was very valuable, selling it to a second-hand store would give him around 800 to 1,000 dollars.
The other treasure hunters were in bad shape; especially Lambis, who was crying in agony amongst some shattered china.
When Li Du and Hans were about to drive off and leave, some of the treasure hunters still stood around the units. The gazes toward them had turned respectful. No one dared make fun of them anymore.
When Li Du returned home, he opened the door and saw that Rose was watching TV.
"Finished work early today?"
"Yeah. I asked my dad's friend to get you something. Here, for you— I hope you like it." Rose passed him a box.
Li Du opened the box, and saw that it was a whole ginseng! "I'm still young, I don't need…"
Rose pouted and said, "Don't try to act tough. Have you forgotten what happened? This is authentic Changbai ginseng. It's good for you."
Li Du was unable to explain himself properly, so he accepted the ginseng. He then asked, "Has your situation at the station improved?"
Hearing his question, Rose's face wore a rare smile. "It's not bad. I have a new partner. Some annoying people stopped butting heads with me also. Thank you, Li."
Rose hesitated for a moment, and then said, "I have something I wanted to ask, but never had the chance to."
Li Du shrugged and said, "No need to ask. I've loved."
"It's just a joke, ask away," Li Du said with a bitter laugh.
"How did you confirm that the thieves were in that house?" Rose said with her eyebrows creased. "Oh, don't misunderstand—I'm not suspecting anything. I just want to know. When I returned to the scene, I couldn't find anything."
"You need to be more observant to details," Li Du said. "The house was full of cheap furniture and clothes, but the food containers were from famous hotels. Clearly, the owner had a sudden inflow of money.
"There were also too many meal boxes. It wasn't an amount of food one person could finish. The ashtray on the table was also full of cigarette butts, but some had evidence of being chewed, and some didn't, meaning that the people who left those butts behind had different smoking habits.
"The windows on the second floor, too—who would open all the windows in the middle of the day in such weather?
"There was also a new razor and some black hairs on the coffee table. This showed that the person had trimmed his hair recently. From the length of the hair, one can tell that this guy liked to be bald, so whenever his hair grew, he would trim it.
"Most importantly, if you were observant enough, you would have realized that there were three different, recent footprints on the floor. But you initially told me that the results of the check showed that there was only one resident!"
Rose stared with her mouth open.