Li Du thought it was a good deal to sell the book for $14 million and donate $4 million to charity organizations, making a net profit of $10 million.
The two parties signed a draft agreement, and Bravo took the men back to raise money. The Audubon Society was rich, but they didn't have $10 million in cash.
Li Du invited them to have dinner together, booked them a hotel, and let them rest in Phoenix for a day. The next time they met, the deal would be officially sealed.
With some regret, Hans said, "Li, I could have sold this book for fifteen million, or at least thirteen!"
Li Du said, "What about the tax? How much tax would I pay? That's a better solution."
Hans shrugged and said, "You are right. This is the best way."
Taxes were high in the United States, and if they made a transaction of 10 million dollars and up, each side would have to pay at least a million in income tax.
However, if they made a donation, which was tax deductible, they would end up with not much less than if they sold the book for $14 million.
In addition, Li Du was doing this for himself too. Audubon Society was an old organization with a history of over a hundred years and a wealth of connections.
Li Du hoped to develop a relationship with the Society, thinking that both sides may have other deals in the future, and when they got in touch again, everything would be more convenient.
In a flash, it was New Year's Day. Treasure hunters had the tradition of holding a New Year's party, just like many companies would hold an annual event. They celebrated the end of the old year and the arrival of a new one, hoping to make a good start.
Phoenix, the capital of Arizona and home to the state's richest people, did not host the annual Arizona treasure hunter party, which would take place in a small town on the state's northwestern border.
The Arizona state association of warehouse auctions hosted the event, so the treasure hunters gave it credit and would try to attend when invited.
Li Du and Hans were invited as a matter of course. They rode in the Iron Knight and headed for town.
This was Sophie's first time to attend such a gathering, and she said excitedly, "I've heard of the river valley party. Isn't it going to be fun? And will there be a truck race?"
"I hadn't attended before. We went back home last year," said Li Du.
Hans said, "Yes, Sophie is right. The truck race is always a big part of the event. This year, we will win."
Driver skillfully shifted gears and said, "I don't want to join a race like this."
Hans patted him affectionately on the shoulder and said, "Why, man? Do you think it's a little low grade? Of course, of course, you're the real king of cars, but don't you want to show your stuff to the town…"
"I don't want to," Driver cut him off and shook his head decisively.
Hans winked at him and said, "Well, looks like I can't convince you."
Driver said, "Don't take it wrong, I have sworn I would no longer participate in any racing activity. Even if is Schumacher was here, I would not change my mind."
He seemed to be worried that Li Du might try to persuade him. It would not be easy to refuse. After all, Li Du was very kind to him, and they got along well since he joined the team.
Therefore, Driver added, "I swore on my son's grave that I will never touch a racing car again! Never!"
"How about watching the race?" said Li Du.
Driver hesitated a little and said, "Oh, I can do that."
Li Du said, "Good, then. We will be in the audience when the race starts. Whirlwind wants to try this time."
Whirlwind Charles Bradley had been in the G9 frontier force. Brother Wolf said that when he was a soldier, he was best at street assault with a submachine gun, and earned the nickname because he was so cool at close combat.
In addition, he was a good driver. Whirlwind used to drive when their team went on duty.
His quick temper and penchant for fast driving made his nickname stick.
Riverdale was a common location name in the United States, with several small towns having such a name. One of them was the setting of a comic that had been made into a TV series.
Produced by the CW, this TV series was first broadcasted 20 years ago. It was a crime and suspense drama, and had caused quite a stir at the time.
Because there was something weird about Riverdale as shown on TV, it attracted so many people to explore the real place that the station had to explain that their TV show was based on a comic book and had no basis in reality.
Riverdale, Arizona, was famous before the show. It was an old town that has been around for over 150 years, and it was one of the best locations in the state.
Phoenix was surrounded by desert with dry and hot climate and serious water shortage problems and was not suitable for mass habitation before modern times.
Riverdale, on the other hand, was located in a large oasis and named after the key to its formation: the valley of a large ancient river.
The town was on the northwest border of Arizona. Li Du and the others rented a mansion near a small river flowing into Riverdale.
Riverdale Town did not look like Phoenix. It was located next to a river that had several tributaries and eventually joined the mighty Colorado River.
The truck spent a good five and a half hours on the road, then turned onto a rough dirt road. There was no convenient road into Riverdale.
Since Riverdale had a lot of groundwater, it was not easy to build roads, and no established roads led to the town.
This was relatively rare in the United States, where the road network was so well-developed that even in rural areas, there were flat and straight roads leading directly to every destination.
Residents of Riverdale protested to the government, and actually took the radical step of tearing down government buildings with guns.
At that time, there was a big uproar. The state and city governments were angry and even more unwilling to pay for road construction.
Because there were no roads, fewer people visited Riverdale in the early days, and the damage to the environment was minimal. As a result, Riverdale was relatively undeveloped and remained the same as it was more than half a century ago.
This, however, was the beauty of Riverdale, which later attracted a large number of nostalgic tourists and contributed to the town's economic prosperity.
When the government and residents of the river valley realized this, they stopped building roads. They kept repairing the dirt roads and adding cinders to make the roads into special attractions as they had been during the great western development.
As the truck bumped along the cinder road, the landscape began to change.
As they drove through the desert, they saw no green plants except cacti.
However, down the cinder road, everything changed.