Stephen's reserved nature had him at a loss. Hannah looked at him lovingly. "Is there anything you want to say?"
Hans gasped. "Sh*t—that fool sister of mine can't be trying to make him propose now, can she? That won't do!"
He strode over and dragged Hannah away. "Come! It's Li's turn now. Li has a present for you too."
Hannah smiled at him. "Li, what did you get me?"
Li Du pointed at the dishes. "That table of dishes. How is it?"
Reeves nodded. "It's not bad. Even though I haven't tasted anything yet, the food looks good enough for me to be sure that it's much better than Hans's grilled meat."
Hans asked drily, "My dear uncle, can you not do that?"
Hearing that Li's present to Hannah was just the food, Stephen, who had been standing by one side anxiously, heaved a sigh of relief.
Then Li Du said, "But, Hannah, Ah Meow also has a gift for you."
"Oh, yes. Where is Ah Meow?" asked Hannah.
Li Du whistled. Ah Meow bounded out of the house with a small box and a piece of fish in its mouth.
Ah Meow obediently placed the box into Hannah's outstretched hand. Its well-trained behaviour caused murmurs from the crowd. It gobbled up the fish after delivering the box to Hannah.
Seeing Ah Meow, cries of surprise erupted from the crowd.
"Wow. What kind of cat is this? It looks really fit and lean!"
"This…this is an ocelot, isn't it? A long-tailed ocelot? What a beast!"
"There are people who keep ocelots? He must be loaded—this thing is worth more than 10,000 dollars!"
Hannah opened the box. A small key was inside.
"This… is a BMW key?" she asked, stunned.
"Press it and see," said Li Du.
She pressed the "unlock" button. Instantly, a beep-beep came from from the roadside. Everyone noticed the car that was covered up.
Reeves gasped. "It can't be!"
Hannah was over the moon. The freckles on her pretty face turned bright red. Hans pulled her over, saying, "Come on, little sis. Open it and see what's underneath."
Everyone crowded around, leaving Stephen standing wretched and alone in the garden.
Hannah pulled the car cover off. A Z4 sports car, as red as a rose, showed its magnificent shape. The car lights were still flashing, evidently due to her unlocking it earlier.
Seeing the brand-new sports car, Hannah shrieked in joy. "Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! I must be dreaming!"
Although she had appeared joyful and appreciative at receiving the gifts earlier, her reactions hadn't been as realistic as this. This was true, overspilling happiness.
Stephen shook his head sadly and walked away quietly. But someone stood in his way. He lifted his head. Seeing that it was Li Du, he said angrily, "Get lost. What do you want? To laugh at me?"
Li Du smiled. "Hannah is a good girl. The kind and pure type, isn't she?"
Stephen glared at him. "Of course—she's the angel of Flagstaff!"
"Then you should know that good girls like her don't simply accept expensive gifts from suitors," Li Du continued, "unless she's planning to accept that suitor…"
"D*mn you!" Stephen cried out in despair. "She won't love you!"
"Yes, she won't love me," Li Du said coolly, "and she knows very well that I'm not a suitor. That's why she's willing to accept my present. Otherwise, she wouldn't spare the car a second glance."
Stephen was stunned. "What do you mean? You're not here to make a fool of me?"
Li Du smiled. "Of course not. I'm here to tell you that if you had proposed after giving her that crystal necklace earlier, Hannah would have agreed. She was hoping that you would propose earlier."
Stephen was even more shocked. "Do you know what you just said?"
Li Du pushed him back toward the crowd. "Of course. Go show your beloved that you have some class. Congratulate her on receiving a nice gift. And, next time, be nicer to me. If you want to marry Hannah, then you'll have to settle things with Big Fox, and I'm the only one who can help you with that."
Stephen was taken aback. He took a while to come to terms with what was happening. "Yes. Yes! I understand, Mr. Li. You really are a good man. I respect you very much."
Li Du patted him on the shoulder. "I'm glad that you understand. No matter what, you shouldn't think that I'm your enemy,"
Stephen nodded his head vigorously. "Yes, yes. No wonder Hannah always tells me that I'm daft. I really can be one sometimes."
Li Du rather liked Stephen. He wasn't rebellious and flippant like the stereotypical American youth, but instead honest and reliable. That was probably why Hannah liked him too.
Having gotten a BMW Z4, Hannah was impatient to try it out.
Li Du said, "Hannah, let Stephen drive. You sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride. This is your day. Your emotions may not be very stable right now. Driving a new car like this would be too dangerous."
Because of the feast he had prepared and his magnificent present, his words held much more weight than they had earlier.
Hannah pouted, but seeing Stephen step into the driver's seat, she became happy again. She climbed into the passenger's seat. Waving a hand, she yelled, "Go, Stephen!"
The BMW Z4's engine roared. Stephen changed gear and hit the gas with practiced ease. The car shot out like a red arrow.
Hans was confused. "Why is it Stephen, the mechanic, who's driving? Shouldn't it be me?"
Li Du ignored him and looked Dreadlocks Guy in the eye. "Clyne, you lost the bet. You owe me a favor."
Dreadlocks Guy struck his chest. "No problem, Li. I'm happy to do it."
Money could make even ghosts do work. Li Du had become a generous, loaded fellow in the eyes of everyone at the party. Helping out a person like that was something to brag about.
Li Du wanted him to go with them to the storage auction. He and Hans had been marked by the treasure hunters of Flagstaff and Phoenix. They needed to use roundabout tactics to avoid being targeted.
On the third day after Hannah's birthday, Hans got some information on a storage auction. Humphreys, one of the townships under the jurisdiction of Flagstaff, would soon hold a storage auction.
Their broken-down pickup hadn't been repaired yet. Coincidentally, Clyne had the same pickup. They paid him 200 dollars to rent his truck.
Within the last three days, Clyne had asked around about Hans and Li Du. He had heard all about their achievements in the treasure hunting trade, and was quite excited about going along with them.
He started chattering once he got in the car. Even Hans, who had always been talkative, couldn't stand him.
Li Du tried to lead him on to a particular topic. "What is Humphreys like? I've never been there."
He succeeded. Clyne took the bait instantly. "Oh, you don't know about Humphreys? Then do you know of Humphreys Peak? It's the tallest mountain in this state, about 12,600 feet tall.
"Humphreys Peak is named after the town of Humphreys. From this, one can tell that Humphreys is a very old town. It's probably older than Flagstaff itself."