Li Du was not optimistic about his current situation.
Although Hannah seemed to be upset with Hans, she would not actually just kick her brother out. This house belonged to both of them after all. Now that Hans had returned, Li Du felt that he should move out from the bedroom, especially because his rent was almost due.
That evening, Li Du was about to go out for a walk. Just as he got close to the door, he heard an argument from the yard.
"… Isn't that Chinese boy's lease almost up? Just ask him to move out then!" That was Hans's voice.
"Move out, move out, move out! How can you say such a terrible thing in such a comfortable tone?" asked Hannah in a frustrated tone. "Do you know what kind of hardships he's had to endure in the recent weeks?"
"What does that have to do with us? Hannah, my sister, you are too innocent. You don't know the harshness of today's world…"
"I say, Hans, now you finally remember that you have a sister? And I do know about the harshness of the outside world, which is exactly why we need to be kind to each other. God said…"
"Oh, please spare me," Hans interrupted Hannah, cradling his head. "You know that I don't believe in God. You really can't just ask that Chinese boy to leave?"
"I know what you are thinking about, Hans. Listen, I need to go work my night shift right now. If I come back and find out that for some reason Li has left, or that he's feeling down, then I swear that I'll drive you out right away. You know I'm good for my word!" Hannah said.
Hans finally gave in, but could not help asking, "Why are you treating him so well? Don't tell me that you've fallen in love with that sissy."
Hannah smirked. "You know it's not like that. Alright, to tell you the truth, Li's facing a very difficult time right now and has been stressed about a lot of things recently. I don't want to be the last straw to break the camel's back. That is not how the Foxes treat others."
After hearing their conversation, Li Du quietly returned to his room to avoid an awkward encounter. It would be best for him not to show up right at that moment.
Hannah's protective care for him really touched Li Du, and a poor man such as himself had very few options. However, Li Du was a very proud, young Chinese man, and he did not want to take advantage of someone else's kindness.
"Dammit, little bug, tonight I'm taking you to retrieve coins from the sewage!" Li Du said, his eyes turning to the little bug whose head was poking out of his palm.
In these circumstances where he had no money and no job, what was the fastest way to earn an income? It had to be finding lost money!
With the bug avatar, there were actually many things that he could do. Coin collecting was probably one of the most tiring methods, but it was also the one that would have the biggest payout in the least amount of time for him to save enough living expenses.
After Hannah drove away in her old Ford, Li Du grabbed his bag and prepared to go out.
On his way out, he saw Hans, who was sitting on the floor crookedly like a homeless person, playing with his phone and having a lot of fun.
Hearing the footsteps, Hans said without raising his head, "Hi Chinese boy! After sleeping for so long, you are probably pretty hungry right now, right?"
Li Du didn't have a good or bad impression of Hans. Although Hans acted like a hippie, he had never actually done anything wrong as far as Li Du knew. At least, Hans had never done anything to hurt Li Du personally.
Li Du shrugged and he replied, "Somewhat. What's up?"
Hans got up and said with a smile, "I'm also hungry. How about we share a pizza?"
"S*it! Weren't all of you Chinese people supposed to be rich? When I was in Los Angeles, I often heard news of Chinese people buying up all of the mansions in the city."
Li Du took out his wallet without any hesitation and showed the five one-dollar coins in front of Hans's shining eyes.
"I only have these. You decide, how should I treat you?"
Hans rolled his eyes, defeated. Then he patted himself down and finally pulled out a green Alexander Hamilton.
The 100 dollar bills had the portrait of Franklin printed on them. However, this Alexander Hamilton, who was America's first Secretary of the Treasury, had his portrait printed on the 10 dollar bills.
"Oh, look, we've got 15 dollars, enough for one black pepper and beef strips pizza from Pizza Hut," Hans proudly announced. "And according to our contributions, I will get three-quarters of the pizza while you will get one quarter."
Li Du shook his head while looking at Hans, "No wonder your business went bankrupt. Your math is truly pitiful. I will get a third while you will get two thirds, ok?"
Hans let out an angry expression at Li Du's comment, "Who said I went bankrupt? I'm just facing a few financial difficulties! To be honest, I came back to Flagstaff this time to attend an auction. I'll make a ton of money!"
"Attending an auction?" Li Du replied, surprised. "You actually have money to buy collectibles?"
In his opinion, auctions were only for the wealthy people, who had way too much money to spend on artsy but useless stuff. So when Li Du saw Hans padding down his entire body only to find 10 dollars, he didn't think that the man was rich enough to afford that type of artistic hobby.
Hans rolled his eyes again—it seemed that this was one of his habits. "What collectibles? The auction I am attending is a public storage auction!"
"Auction for public storage?"
"Yep." Hans nodded his head. "This weekend, Flagstaff has eight storage units that are being auctioned off. I've got insider news that this time there is a Kasrrow massage chair. If I can get my hands on it…" When he reached this topic, he almost began to drool.
Li Du hadn't been in America for long, so he was not that familiar with the daily life and culture here. He had heard of public auctions for storage units, but that was all he knew about the subject.
Compared to the rest of the world, America had a somewhat unique culture revolving around the market for public storage.
As the country did not have any restrictions on residency and people were free to move and stay anywhere within the nation, young Americans did not like to buy their own houses in their youth and instead preferred to rent. However, every time they moved, dealing with their possessions was a hassle. As a result, the business of public storage was born and developed quickly. The storage companies would buy up pieces of land to build warehouses on and rent units in them out to customers, while the customers would use those storages to deposit their belongings.
However, if the renter of the storage did not make the payment within a certain period of time, then according to the law, the stuff in the storage unit would be considered res nullius. As a result, the warehouse company would be able to dispose everything inside the storage at its own discretion.
The most common way of dealing with such storage units was selling them to people in auctions. People who purchased such storage units in these kinds of auctions were called "Treasure Hunters." Li Du knew that Hans had his own business, but he had never thought that it would be this kind of business.
Li Du did not have much knowledge of storage auctions, so he asked out of curiosity, "What is your plan? Do you only know of the massage chair being auctioned by the storage firm?"
Hans shook his head. "No, there are many people who get this kind of news. This time, there are eight storage units being auctioned, and the chair is in one of them. However, no one knows for sure which unit the chair is in. So I've got a chance of one in eight to make the right choice."
"One eighth?! How different is that from playing the lottery?"
"The difference is huge, the chance of winning the lottery is one in eight million, okay?"
Li Du was really unable to understand that kind of risky investment, and that was one of the differences between Hans and himself. While he was someone who liked to walk the stable path, Hans was a risk-loving adventurer.
Li Du simply shrugged and turned to leave. However, at that moment, he glanced at his palm and saw the tattoo of the little bug. Suddenly, an idea popped up into his mind.
"Hey, buddy, is it true that no one knows which warehouse the chair is in?"
"If I can find out which warehouse the massage chair is in, are you completely certain that you are able to win that storage?"
"In that case, how about we cooperate? I'll help you to locate the right unit while you try to win the auction for it. We'll split the money afterward."