Li Du gave Hans a look—the kind that seemed to be in secret, but in reality, was obvious to everyone.
Hans said to Bedes, "Hey bud, I remember that you said you were interested in the two sets of old rail tracks. If you're willing to give me the clock, I'll trade the tracks for it.
"That sounds good," Bedes said.
"Three thousand, give me 3,000," The large white man said. "Ironman, you know it; for 1,000, you can get yourself a vintage rail track."
Bedes turned to Li Du and Hans and shook his head, saying, "Apparently, there are people who have more to offer than you guys."
Finishing, he brought the old clock to the large white man.
The large white man wired the money to Bedes with his phone, and then carried the clock away.
The treasure hunters who had been quietly watching started surrounding him.
"Dubarru, let me help you take a look, this guy seems to be from the nineteenth century."
"This was something that China Li had his eye on. What's valuable about it?"
"To think he wanted to hunt for treasures here in our Phoenix—he must be dreaming."
Hans looked at Bedes unhappily. "You're gonna do this to us?'
"Highest offer wins. What? You're sore?" The large white man Dubarru raised his chin and said haughtily.
A youth at the side mocked. "A sore loser. They are really bumpkins."
Hans stared at the two, and then looked toward Bedes. "Are you going to just sell our gift away?"
Bedes smiled slightly. "This year in Phoenix, I don't have to spend any extra money for my accommodations. By this year, I mean the entire year."
From their conversation, the treasure hunters who had been enjoying the commotion from the sides started to feel that something was off.
Li Du looked at the youth that was making cocktails. "See that? Big Fox was not short-changing you. He did give you something fake, but it was not a piece of worthless trash."
The refined-looking youth looked at the group of treasure hunters, and with a lecturing tone, he said to them, "A brainless bunch that still dreams of striking it rich! The Cunning China Li, never heard of his nickname?"
A treasure hunter asked in shock, "What, what do you mean?"
Dubarru's face turned pale. He pushed the precious vintage clock away. "This is a fake?"
At the side, a middle-aged man muttered, "If this were a fake vintage clock, then it's pretty much worthless. With a few hundred dollars you can get one anywhere."
Bedes shook his head and said, "I didn't know Dubarru, I swear to God. I had no prior knowledge of this clock. It was a present from Big Fox."
A man swiftly opened up the outer casing of the clock, then awkwardly said, "Sh*t, this is a fake. Dubarru, you've been fooled."
Dubarru turned to the two furiously. Hans innocently raised his hands and said, "I never said this was authentic."
Li Du added, "Seems that the people here are really generous. In my hometown, bumpkins wouldn't be able to spare 3,000 on this cheap fake. Today, I've really learned something."
The group fell into an awkward silence. Dubarru pointed to the two and opened his mouth, but was unable to think of anything to say.
An old treasure hunter with a head of white hair said, "Let it go, Dubarru. That Chinese man is right. To be in this trade, means one is always gaining wisdom. Treat it as a lesson fee."
Dubarru was unwilling to take the short end of the stick. He looked furiously at Bedes. "Ironman, this is how you treat a friend?"
Bedes gently smiled, but the refined-looking youth jumped the gun and said, "If you treated my brother as a friend, would you have tried to pick this treasure away from him?"
With the logic in those words, Dubarru cussed and went off with the old clock.
Li Du and Hans walked out too. "Buddy, you're really sly," Hans chuckled. "But then again, Dubarru, that idiot, was pretty brainless."
"Him being brainless was one thing, but it also proved that Bedes was right. We are being marked by everyone. The units that we have an eye on will be much harder to get now," Li Du lamented.
He fooled Dubarru to test the reactions of the other treasure hunters.
In the end, Dubarru was too stupid. Seeing that he was interested in the fake clock, he competed for it without hesitation, and the others seemed to be in on it. This meant that everyone was, to some extent, blindly following his eye for things.
In this trade, this was not always a good thing. This meant that whenever they wanted to bid for a unit, they would have to compete with everyone in a bidding war.
Tuesday afternoon, the two woke up early and prepared to depart for the Big Red Sparrow Storage.
When their car hit the road, there were four pickups following them almost immediately.
"F*ck!" Hans slapped his steering wheel in fury. "A bunch of brainless copycats!"
A dull sound from the truck cut him off, and the steering wheel suddenly went crooked.
Li Du was so terrified that he shouted in panic, "Step on the gas! The gas, ah no! I mean the brakes! Brakes!"
Hans was an experienced driver, and reflexively stepped on the brakes. The car then skidded and stopped in the center of the road diagonally, and the two stared dumbfoundedly at the crooked steering wheel.
"What the h*ll is going on?"
Hans said in distraught, "I didn't hit the gas that hard! Seems that this car is too old—time to get a new one."
"What the h*ll?" Li Du cursed. "We're going to war and now you're telling me the gun trigger is spoilt? Don't you know how to do some d*mn maintenance?"
Ah Meow: "Meow! Meow!"
The trucks behind them started blaring their horns.
A treasure hunter walked over, leaned on their window and said, "Hey you two, don't be so petty. We're just going over to take a look—just this, and you're not letting us pass?"
"Do we look like the kind of people to be so petty? Look at the damn steering wheel!" Hans said.
The treasure hunter stared for a moment, then laughed loudly. He ran back and shouted, "Everyone going to the Big Red Sparrow—there's something wrong with their steering wheel, they're not going today!"
It was not that they weren't going. After waiting for their car to be towed, they called a cab to the Big Red Sparrow Storage Co.
With the delay, when they arrived, it was almost time for the auction to start. However, there was no valuable storage unit to fight for, so Li Du was not flustered.
Seeing the two arrive, the crowd started making a ruckus. Some people greeted them, while others gave them the finger.
In the first unit, there were some random, useless household items. With not much value, the starting bid was low; only 100 dollars.
Li Du nodded his head to Hans to try to test the waters, and the moment they raised their tag to bid, someone followed.
The items in this worthless unit could sell for 300 to 400 dollars. Because they would have to spend a whole day sorting through the unit, just the labor cost of the two would exceed the value of the stuff inside.
However, the price quickly shot up to 500 dollars. Hans shouted for 550 dollars; then someone else offered 600.
Seeing Li Du shake his head, Hans stepped back.
Someone jeered, "Don't let these two b*stards take anything away from Phoenix!"
Li Du sighed, "A*sholes. Aren't they afraid that we'll make false bids?"
They thought that after making a fool of Dubarru the day before, the treasure hunters would be wary of making moves against them.
But, clearly, money fans the greed in people's hearts; everyone was willing to risk it and compete.
When the second unit went up for auction, they bid again. There were still many people who wanted to compete against them, despite the price almost doubling the actual value of the units.
The two naturally wouldn't want this unit. After letting the second unit go, unit 102 was up for auction, which was the unit with chinaware.