"Who was it that bought a pile of trash again?" Hans laughed aloud. "You idiots! You want to treasure hunt with your intelligence? You should go hunt for sh*t instead!"
After facing monetary losses, Rambis was already barely able to contain his temper. Hans's mocking was like a spark in a warehouse filled with gunpowder, completely pushing him over the edge.
"Go to hell!" cursed Rambis as he kicked a toolbox in Li Du's direction.
Rambis's assault was unexpected; Li Du was only a few meters away and did not have time to react. As the toolbox whistled towards him, Li Du realized that there was not enough time for him to move. He subconsciously wished for time to slow down so he could dodge the projectile.
For anyone facing a sudden attack, this thought would be quite normal. However, what was unbelievable in this case was that after Li Du's wish, time and the speed of the toolbox slowed down.
Like watching a clip captured by a slow-motion camera, the speed of the toolbox reduced by a half. Taking advantage of this, Li Du was able to dodge to the side; it missed Li Du by a hair. Then, suddenly, the speed of time returned to normal, and the toolbox crashed into the wall with a loud bang!
What happened astonished everyone who stood around.
"Sh*t, that Chinese boy's reaction was fast!" exclaimed a black man from the crowd.
Unlike the spectators, Li Du understood that it wasn't his fast reflexes that saved him, but the fact that the speed of the object, or more accurately, of time, slowed down. To be honest, not even he fully understood what had happened; the most plausible guess was that this was some sort of new ability from the little bug.
Li Du became abnormally weary, and this supported his speculation—it was the same wave of fatigue that he would usually experience after controlling the bug avatar for an extended period.
Hans, who had been watching, became enraged.
The sound of the toolbox hitting the wall set off the explosion. When he recovered from his initial shock, he furiously ran towards Rambis and kicked him with all his might.
Rambis had been preparing for Hans's counterattack, but Li Du's inhuman reaction threw him off. When Hans charged towards him, he was unable to dodge his kick entirely; he only avoided a blow to his most important body part.
By this time, Li Du was caught up in his tiredness. The little bug's new ability parallelled the idiom, 'Killing the hen for the eggs'; the short term reward came at a high cost. Even though Li Du could typically use the avatar ability for close to five minutes, he had already become exhausted after half a second of slowing down time.
But this was not a reason to let the bullies go!
After taking two deep breaths, he was able to recover some of his energy, so he immediately joined in the brawl. He grabbed a metal stick leaning against the wall and swung it towards the man who was attacking Hans.
His opponent was an experienced veteran at street brawls. From his peripherals, he saw that there was no way to escape, so he used his arms to protect his head and allowed his back to take the brunt of Li Du's attack.
"Go to Hell, trash!" Li Du shouted.
Then the man turned his attention to Li Du.
As the punch was about to land on his face, he once again activated his ability to slow down time. The familiar feeling of fatigue filled his body, but the attacker's motions slowed down. Knowing that he didn't have much time, Li Du quickly twisted his head to avoid the strike and then swung his right leg towards the attacker's crotch.
"F*ck your mother!" came the man's shriek. In the next moment, he collapsed onto the ground. Covering his crotch with his hands, he curled like a massive prawn.
There was no way to take a hit on that spot well. It didn't matter how good he was at boxing or street fighting, as long as he was not a Shaolin martial artist, all he could do was kneel and wait for the pain to subside!
On the other half of the unit, Hans was raining punches down onto Rambis, pinning him onto a motorcycle frame. When the other thug rushed to the scene, the swing of Li Du's metal stick soared towards him.
This one, however, was even more experienced at fighting.
Twisting his body to avoid the stick, he swung his fist in a counterattack.
'Slow down!' Li Du wished. The little bug seemed to read his thoughts, and immediately all time slowed to a crawl.
Li Du quickly moved out of the way and used all his strength, swinging his stick at the neck of his opponent without any mercy. While Li Du did put all his strength behind this attack, in reality, after using all his energy slowing down time, he didn't have much stamina left. Compared to the energy used for the avatar ability, however, the energy he used to slow down time could quickly be regained.
Further explanation: it took around ten hours to recover after using the avatar ability, while it only took a quick rest to recover from slowing down time.
The neck was still one of the weakest areas of the human body. Although Li Du didn't hit hard, the man's vision went black, and he quickly collapsed onto the ground.
Hans gave Rambis another two punches and turned his head to check on Li Du. He was stunned at the sight of the two men on the ground.
"Let's go, Big Fox," Li Du said, feeling uncomfortable having involved himself in a brawl.
Hans, on the other hand, appeared to be completely unconcerned. "No worries. The auction was over. Unless those bast*rds call the police, nobody is going to come. If they do, then they will become the laughingstock of this circle."
With that, he spat on the ground and swaggered away. As for the crowd, their murmuring reflected their enjoyment at watching this show. Finally, someone asked, "Hey Fox, where did you get this bodyguard? Is he a Chinese Kung Fu master?"
"He's not a bodyguard. He is treasure tycoon Big Fox's new partner!" Hans proclaimed, proudly giving Li Du a pat on the back.
Although Hans claimed that no one was going to call the police, they still quickly cleaned up the storage unit and drove away.
It mostly contained garbage. In America, it would take extra expenditure to process trash of that amount legally.
So when Hans threw the trash away at a nearby dump, they drove away at an even faster speed than when they had left the storage. If the police caught him, he would be thrown in jail.
Clearing the warehouse took a long time. It was dark out before they knew it.
When they drove past "The Golden Aquitaine," Hans went in to get some food. Aquitaine was the name of a French territory full of history; many said that even now, their beef was one of the best in the world. Because this restaurant used Aquitaine meat for their dishes, the prices there were very high. This was one of the few high-end restaurants in Flagstaff.
Although Hans only bought four steaks, a beef salad with lemon vinaigrette, some kebabs, two 12-inch beef pizzas, and a serving of their special baked potato with beef and chess sauce, the whole meal came to over 800 dollars.
The price shocked Li Du. "Oh boy, are you planning to invite the president to dinner? Isn't spending this much money on a simple meal a bit crazy?"
Hans chuckled, "My treat for you and Hannah. Since we've made quite a bit of cash, we should celebrate. Do you know how much that Harley could sell for?"
"Enough to spend an entire week coming here for all our meals," answered Hans.
Li Du would never allow himself to spend that much money on a single meal. However, Hans, or perhaps Americans in general, had a completely different view on how money should be spent.
This was something he discovered when he first came to America. Most Americans barely had any savings, instead having a decent amount of debt. It was their habit to spend all that they earned.
For treasure hunters, this spending habit was even more apparent. To them, money came quick and therefore was spent even more quickly, just like Hans with the meal. It wouldn't be much of a surprise to Li Du if they went bankrupt after one bad decision. This sounded an exaggeration, but it was sadly the reality.