George Anthony smiled widely. "Thank you, buddy."
Some of the treasure hunters from New York had chosen George Anthony to be the leader. Hearing that Li Du was backing out, someone said, "Is this that Chinese dude rumored to be some sort of auction god? It doesn't seem like he is any good."
"He is very capable. He managed to join the Million Dollar Club after two years. How long did it take you to get into the Million Dollar Club?" Someone else asked.
A few others spluttered indignantly and were just about to retort when the man who spoke earlier said, "Of course he is good. But he cannot be compared to our big brother George."
The New York treasure hunters kept quiet but inwardly scoffed at the bootlicker.
George Anthony grinned. "This is nothing. You have seen nothing of my tactics yet. You guys keep watching. This dude is indeed capable, but he has much more to learn."
In the afternoon, the fourteenth batch of five warehouses was put up for auction. Number 77 was among the five.
When that warehouse was opened, the people from Eagle Beak Gang instantly squeezed in for a look.
There were numerous boxes in the warehouse, big and small ones, and they looked brand new. The boxes were still sealed.
They carried the logos of top brands like Vicente, Zenith Badge, Marlena, Versace, and others. Judging from the size of the warehouse, there had to be more than two hundred boxes piled up one on top of the other.
The treasure hunters held their breath. Such warehouses full of boxes were tricky. From the outside, nobody could tell what was in them. It was like buying a cat in the sack.
Li Du rubbed his hands and exchanged a look with Hans. Then, he walked up to the front of the crowd.
Eagle Beak Blade watched him without moving. When he noticed Hans and Li Du exchange a look, he, too, squeezed to the front.
George Anthony frowned and watched hungrily and greedily. He, too, wanted to squeeze forward. However, he retreated after taking two steps. He looked towards Eagle Beak Blade and saw his menacing look.
The starting bid remained at five hundred dollars and the crowd was eager to bid.
"Number 76, six hundred dollars!"
"Number 78, fifteen hundred dollars!"
"Number 80, eleven hundred dollars!"
"Number 77, one thousand dollars!"
The bids rose rapidly and Li Du kept his eyes on the auctioneer for number 77. When the bid neared five thousand, he called out, "77, ten thousand dollars!"
That bid was not dramatically high. Earlier that day, some warehouses were already auctioned off for more than that price – indeed, several times as much.
As a large company, Macy's chose not to keep the unsold products but to auction them off. That strategy was not without its perks. Such auctions could help the company gain a large amount of funds at once.
Once Li Du's voice rang out, someone else shouted, "Eleven thousand dollars!"
"Twelve thousand dollars!"
"Thirteen thousand dollars!"
"Fifteen thousand dollars!"
The bids were increasing in leaps of thousands. Most people could only watch in envy, but many were still able to participate in the bidding.
There were thousands of treasure hunters in the entire country. There was no shortage of wealthy men among them, and Li Du was not the only one who made his fortune from warehouses. Many others also managed to make lots of money from auctions.
When the bid crept up to fifty thousand dollars, Li Du nodded. Then, Hans yelled, "One hundred thousand!"
That was the second warehouse of the day that was bid at one hundred thousand. The chorus of clamoring voices died down at once. Some of the treasure hunters, who could not juggle such sums, had no choice but to shake their heads and retreat.
As their bid was much higher than the previous one, Li Du and Hans were full of confidence.
However, shortly, someone else called out, "One hundred and ten thousand dollars!"
Li Du turned his head and spotted the silhouette of Eagle Beak Blade. The latter was watching the auctioneer. His tall, broad form was straight, his nose was in the air, and he emitted full confidence in going to take down that warehouse.
Hans said, "One hundred and twenty thousand dollars!"
Eagle Beak Blade bid again, "One hundred and fifty thousand!"
Hans added another ten thousand, but Eagle Beak Blade shouted without missing a beat, "Two hundred thousand!"
It was the highest bid of the day. The treasure hunters gasped collectively.
Hans looked at Li Du, who nodded solemnly. Hans added another ten thousand dollars to their bid.
The bid soon rose from two hundred to three hundred thousand dollars. The treasure hunters who were watching the battle raised their eyebrows. Such high bids for a warehouse were rare. Being able to witness it with their own eyes, they would have something to talk about for the next few days.
At that point, The Great Chris Bell squeezed in next to Li Du and said, "Risking three hundred thousand bucks? Forget it, Li, this is too risky."
Li Du replied, "Isn't our trade a risky one? Buddy, I'm very interested in this warehouse. I must take it down!"
Having gotten his signal, Hans shouted, "Four hundred thousand dollars!"
Someone whistled. Many people laughed as they clapped and shouted, "Wow, so cool!""Four hundred thousand dollars, my god!"
"Four hundred and ten thousand dollars," Eagle Beak Blade said slowly, taking a deep breath.
Hans looked to Li Du, and Li Du's face fell. Then he slowly shook his head before saying, "Forget it."
The auctioneer pointed towards the winner and announced the successful bid. Eagle Beak Blade smiled and said, "Welcome to Henderson, buddies, the Eagle Beak Gang greet you!"
The loss of number 77 dampened Li Du and Hans's mood. After that, there was a slew of warehouses up for auction, but the two of them did not bid at all. They stood among the crowd silently.
Finally, warehouse number 103 was opened.
Hans walked in front of Li Du and said something in a low voice. Eagle Beak Blade was looking at the two of them sinisterly.
Li Du glanced at him and nodded, expressionless.
Then, Hans walked to the front.
Another bidding war was started, and there were many who joined in. Many capable treasure hunters from different states took part in the auction. They did not get their status by sheer luck. To be able to stand out in the trade, they had to have some skills and capability.
Many had discovered the jewelry that was photographed on the publicity stunt. It was hard to miss, as a simple flashlight beam would make it gleam.
"Ten thousand dollars!"
"Twenty thousand dollars!"
"I will fork our fifty thousand dollars!"
"F*ck, one hundred thousand dollars!"
"One hundred and ten thousand dollars," George Anthony also joined in.
Eagle Beak Blade's expression darkened. He glared at George Anthony fiercely, but the latter pretended not to notice.
Once the bids reached one hundred thousand, there were less active bidders. Grabbing the chance, Li Du shouted out, "Two hundred thousand!"
Eagle Beak Blade yelled, "F*ck, three hundred thousand, get out of my way, everyone!"
George Anthony persisted. "Four hundred thousand!"
The treasure hunters were stunned and said in surprise:
"What's inside? Could it be Macy's entire safety deposit box?"
"Hundreds of thousands, god, I must be going mad!"
"Let's retreat, guys, this is a battle for the rich!"
With a cool face, Li Du said, "Five hundred thousand!"
The squeals of shock got louder.
"Five hundred and ten thousand!" George Anthony continued to bid.
The look on Eagle Beak Blade's face became more terrifying. Just as he was about to make another bid, Li Du smiled and then gestured with his hands. "Five hundred and ten thousand? Okay, it's yours."