Li Du used the bug to investigate all five storage units. Although his control of the bug had improved, he still felt tired—he was, however, no longer as exhausted as he would have been before.
Hans was familiar with Li Du’s habits and left him alone in his room.
After a good, long slumber, Li Du woke up with a yawn. Glancing out, he found that it was already sunset.
He opened the door. Hans, who had been playing with his phone on the sofa, rolled to his feet. "Hey, bro. Let’s go check out the supermarket."
"To buy some greens, some meat, and then make dinner." Hans took off his shirt and pointed at his stomach exaggeratedly. "Look, it’s shrunken."
Clyne, who had come out because he heard noise in the hall, awkwardly excused himself. "Uh, did I disturb you guys? Just go on—don’t mind me."
Both Hans and Li Du gave him the middle finger and tossed a barrage of swear words his way.
Li Du didn’t feel like cooking today. There was a fast food store next to the hostel, so he bought a sandwich there.
He gave it to Ah Meow after just one bite. Hans was right. The food here was terrible.
Ah Meow pushed it aside in disgust. It licked its paws and started to wash its face.
"How is it? Do you want to go to the supermarket to buy some ingredients now?" Hans asked gleefully.
Li Du nodded. At the supermarket, he chose some tenderized steak and some sausages, then pushed the grocery cart to the counter to pay the bill.
Hans was appalled. "That’s all? What about fish flavored pork slices? What about sweet and sour pork? What happened to having delicious Chinese food? What happened to having a decent quality of life?"
Li Du said lazily, "We’re here for work. Don’t ask for too much, Big Fox. Hurry! That counter is open. Go over there, quickly!"
They were about to pay when two middle-aged men came over to say hello. "Hey, Li. Hey, Big Fox. What a coincidence meeting you here."
Li Du didn’t recognize them, but Hans did—he had a wide social circle. Hans waved at them. "Black Jack, Little Ross. You’re here too? Your sources have given you good info."
Black Jack winked at Little Ross. "What did I tell you? We’d definitely find something in Humphreys this time. I wasn’t wrong, was I?"
Li Du said, "I hope you guys get something good. See you soon—we need to go make dinner."
They went to the counter to pay the bill. The cashier was a beautiful black woman. Hans used all his tricks, leaning on the counter and refusing to leave.
Hans was a real flirt. He had her giggling non-stop. Li Du was in a rush to leave, but all his urging and tugging wasn’t able to pull Hans away.
Finally, he used a killer move. "Do you want to get your warts down there treated or not? I’ve already made an appointment with the doctor. He’s going to leave if we don’t get there soon."
Hearing this, the coy smile that the beautiful woman had been wearing disappeared.
On the way back, Hans confronted Li Du angrily. "Why did you have to spoil my fun like that? That could have been a great fling."
Li Du frowned. "Didn’t you notice Black Jack and Little Ross watching us? Did you want them to notice that I bought three sets of cutlery? You want them to find out about Clyne? After dinner, find another hotel for him to stay at."
Getting down to business, Hans became serious. "D*mn it, I didn’t think of that. I’ll settle that tonight."
On Friday morning, Hans and Li Du drove Clyne’s pickup to Folk Songs Co. Ltd.
Humphreys was a small town with a small population, and its economy was mainly supported by tourists and music lovers; these were both reasons why the storage company was quite small, and why there were few participants in the storage auction.
Li Du and Hans were famous. Once they appeared, at least half of the participants started to point fingers and gossip about them.
They saw quite a few familiar faces. Hans looked at a black-haired youth. "Hey, Little Cerci. What a coincidence! We meet again. How much did you earn from the chinaware storage?"
They had asked around about the outcome after leaving the storage auction with the chinaware early— the unit had ended up selling for 18,000 dollars, and the buyer was Little Cerci right here!
The black-haired youth glared at him viciously. "Don’t get cocky, Big Fox. Now that I’m here, you won’t get a single storage unit this time either. You should know that the Cerci Family has more than enough money to spare!"
Hans shrugged indifferently. "Then you should get ready to pay through your nose. We’ll bid for every storage unit."
Beside them, Li Du laughed. Little Cerci looked at him. Full of resentment, he pointed at Li Du. "Chinaman, was that fun? I’ll show you that the storage units here belong to the Americans. You Asian monkeys shouldn’t even think about laying a finger on them. This isn’t the South China Sea!"
Hans shoved him. In his anger, he had used more force than he had intended, almost pushing Little Cerci over. "Crawl back into your mother’s womb to get remade from scratch, why don’t you? Your dad would have been better off bringing a piece of bacon into this world!"
Li Du stopped him, smiling. "No need to bother with brainless folk like him."
Hans flipped his middle finger at Little Cerci. "Zombies would crack your skull open and be disappointed. The dung beetles living in your ears would be happy, though."
Nobody had renewed their leases this time, so all five storage units were placed on auction. Li Du’s worries about the storage unit he had been eyeing becoming unavailable hadn’t come true.
The first storage unit up for auction was unit number 11. The curly haired, black auctioneer opened the storage door, displaying some dinosaur sculptures that looked just like inflatable toys.
Everyone saw the sculptures but didn’t pay much attention to them. Evidently, they hadn’t recognized them for what they were, taking them as the worthless inflatable toys they looked like.
After everyone had seen the storage unit, the auctioneer raised his hand and yelled, "Come over here! Everyone, let’s start bidding for storage number 11. How about starting with 50 dollars? 50 dollars, 50 dollars, 50 dollars!"
Hans shook his head. "Miles, you know that this storage unit is trash. Just let go of it for a dollar, why don’t you?"
Clyne pushed forward from the back of the crowd. "I’ll take it for 50 dollars."
Hans acted as if he were taken aback. "Hey, kid. Where did you come from?"
Clyne ignored him and looked at the auctioneer nervously.
Hans looked at Li Du and whispered, "Should we bid?"
Everyone around them looked at Li Du.
Li Du shook his head. "We’re not trash collectors. Come on, let’s go on to the next one."
Everyone lost interest in the storage unit when Hans and Li Du didn’t bid. Clyne got the storage unit just like that.
The second storage unit was full of trash. Old newspapers, rotten furniture, and rusted radiators were strewn all around it. It was obviously a household dumping unit.
Dumping storage units were very common in America. This was because getting rid of large pieces of trash like household appliances was usually an additional, pricey expense for people—this was why many households rented storage units. Any trash that was difficult to dispose of would often be thrown into them. They would just leave the trash there and let the lease lapse on its own.
The starting price for this storage unit was even lower—just 25 dollars. Hearing this, Li Du raised his hand, shouting, "100 dollars!"
He had placed a bid just to fool the treasure hunters targeting him. But not everyone was a fool. They could see the storage inside, and had enough experience under their belts; tricking them was no simple task.
Everyone shook their heads. Hans looked at Little Cerci mockingly. "Hey, we’re going to take this unit away."
Little Cerci made a throat-slitting gesture at them. "You’re taking a pile of trash away. Don’t think that we’re all idiots!"
Li Du pinched the bridge of his nose. The auctioneer was just about to yell that the deal was sealed at 100 dollars when Clyne forced his way over. "Over here! 125 dollars!"
The auctioneer beamed. He pointed at Clyne and yelled, "To this man, 125, 125, 125! Can anyone give me 150? Anyone for 150, 150 dollars!?"
Li Du raised his hand. "Me."
Since this was the second time he had placed a bid, the treasure hunters didn’t take it as lightly as earlier. Their expressions became earnest.