Chapter 406: Stupidity
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Derta was 60 miles away from Flagstaff. The American highways were all connected and ran in every direction, so such distance was not considered far. The Iron Knight sped on full power, and they reached Derta in just 40 minutes.
With the guidance of the navigation system, they saw the small town appearing before them. The sun was still blazing and the town was quiet and peaceful.
Staring at the peaceful town, Hans seemed full of regret. "It’s most unfortunate that the peace here will be broken, for a bloody battle is about to unfold!"
Li Du said, "General Fox, what battle plans do you have in mind?"
"No plan is needed," said Hans. "Take our men, find the Californians, and give them a good bashing!"
He was really furious with Frank because his good mood and birthday celebration were both spoiled.
Olly was waiting for them by the roadside. When they saw him, they picked him up and he showed them the way to the storage company. There were close to 30 people gathered at the parking lot of the shabby company.
The moment Li Du alighted, the crowd immediately surrounded them as if they had found a life buoy. They started to make a commotion:
"Big Li, Big Fox, you’ve arrived! We’ve been fooled! D*mmit!"
"It’s the Californians! They’re inside the office now!"
"Those *ssholes, they’re too much. And Rick too! That f*cking Dog Ears!"
"Exactly! Dog Ears was bidding and increasing the prices maliciously. He didn’t win any units!"
"Let’s go teach those b*st*rds a lesson—thrash them!"
Looking at the enraged treasure hunters, Li Du waved for everyone to calm down. "Don't worry, bring me to the units first."
All the treasure hunters surrounded him and led him to the storage units. Big Beard Carl and Dickens opened the entrance of their unit and spoke in frustration, "Take a look."
The first thing that Li Du saw was the pile of cowhide, and the cattle skulls near the corner of the unit. Unconsciously, he nearly blurted out that the unit had some value.
He would have if the group hadn’t already told him that they’d been scammed. There had to be some type of problem with the cowhide and cattle skulls.
The cattle skulls were from bulls, with large horns on them. They were a popular decoration among the middle class. A complete bull skull in good condition could be sold for a few hundred bucks.
Originally, he wanted to ask what the problem with the items was. But if he were to ask that, that would mean he couldn’t tell what was the problem with the storage unit was, and that would affect his image in the minds of the treasure hunters.
He had an image to maintain as he was now the Treasure Hunting Tycoon of Flagstaff!
And so, he changed his tune and asked, "How much did you pay for this unit?" As he spoke, he released the little bug.
The little bug was now stronger after its encounter with Ah Ow; it could fly much faster. It could reach a distance of nearly ten feet away in the blink of an eye.
The little bug dived into the pile of cowhide and then it flew out and zoomed to the cattle skulls. With that, Li Du knew what the problem was.
Dickens replied despondently, "1,600 dollars."
Hans furrowed his eyebrows and said, "Actually, getting this batch of items for this price—"
"Well, this unit is only worth 160 dollars," Li Du interrupted Hans. If he hadn’t cut him off, it would have meant Hans had also been tricked like the other treasure hunters.
Everyone looked at Li Du, who pointed to the cowhide and explained, "Only this outside layer is cowhide, and that cowhide is the cheapest cowhide. Inside all of them is tattered felt."
Then he pointed to the cattle skull. "If these three cattle skulls were genuine, they could be sold together for around 1,000 dollars. But they are fake. You can tell by looking at the color, bone texture, and quality."
The treasure hunters were impressed.
Dickens ripped away the layer of cowhide, revealing the dirty felt underneath. Maybe it had been collected from some dump.
Big Beard Carl took out a cattle skull. These were all imitations made using plastic, costing around a few dozen dollars each. This type of thing was considered a kid’s toy in the States.
A treasure hunter remarked, "If we had Big Li’s sharp powers of observation, we wouldn’t have gotten tricked. But we don’t have that—we’re in a fix!"
"One thousand six hundred dollars plus fuel and manpower costs," said Dickens in desperation. "My loss is 2,000 dollars!"
Li Du patted his shoulders and said, "Let’s look at the situation first. Don’t worry, we’re here."
The second unit was opened up; this unit contained a tractor that looked well-maintained.
The little bug flew around the unit. Li Du gave a bitter laugh. "How much money did you pay?"
A dejected-looking Olly replied slowly, "D*mmit, 3,600 dollars."
"Okay pal," Li Du sighed, "that’s some bad luck."
"What’s up with the tractor?" Hans was unable to detect any problem when he stared at it from the entrance.
Li Du couldn’t either. He only could with the help of the little bug.
"Do you remember the auction we attended in February where there was one unit that contained motorcycles without their engines? This tractor has no engine either. The tires are scrap items—this is just an empty shell."
The treasure hunters were shocked. "How did you know?"
Li Du turned on his flashlight and shined it on the tractor. "Look here carefully. See the reflective light on the front metal cover of the tractor?"
"Yes, but what about it?"
Li said, "Well, you see, that means there’s nothing in there."
"Huh?" The treasure hunters were puzzled.
"Precisely, there’s a problem when you can’t see anything," explained Li Du patiently. "If there was an engine inside, you would not see this kind of reflective light. This only appears when there’s nothing in there. As for the tires, you can tell they’ve already been scrapped from the appearance."
Li had used his usual, natural tone to say all these. Because of that, everyone believed him and was once again in-awe of his awesome powers of observation!
Hans had gotten used to Li’s amazing abilities. Li Du used to tell him that he had his ancestral art of prospecting that enabled him to find out the worth of a storage unit. When Hans had first heard about that, his inner voice was already telling him that these were just lies.
Now he had gradually determined for himself that Li Du possessed extraordinary powers of observation and reasoning—practically nothing in a storage unit could escape his eyes.
One by one, the units were opened up for Li Du. He shook his head at each and every unit. And he was able to give an accurate judgment of ever problem with each one.
"D*mn," Ferris commented regrettably, "if only Li had come to the auction, we wouldn’t have ended up in this mess."
All these units had been won by those who had managed to make some money at Smith’s Storage with the help of Li Du.
As they had managed to make some profits, they were more generous and daring during this auction and had placed higher bids.
All their earnings had basically gone down the toilet due to their losses this time.
Turis and all the other treasure hunters had been fooled, and they could not take it lying down. So all of them, including Li Du and Hans, marched angrily into the office.
Li Du asked, "How do all of you know that this was a trap set up by Frank and York?"
"That b*st*rd Dog Ears is in it too," cussed Olly. "He shouldn’t be called ‘Dog Ears,’ he should be called ‘b*st*rd!’"
Li Du motioned for everyone to remain calm. "When the auction ended," explained Turis, "we went to make our payments and saw the three of them in the office, laughing at our stupidity. They’re too much!"
"We should have known," lamented Dickens. "Yesterday a local told us that there were some Californians delivering goods to the town. In the end we didn’t take those words to heart. D*mmit, I’m so stupid!"
Big Beard Carl added, "We should have been wary when Frank and York didn't show up at the auction. We're really stupid!" 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far