Chapter 416: An Unexpected Visitor
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
York was worried and asked, "Those Native Americans, they won’t be bashing us up, right?"
Li Du waved his hands. "They won’t. I told them specifically that we only deal with the traitor. You both are friends from California, why would they beat you up?"
His goal was achieved: he had successfully changed the topic to Rick getting bashed by the casino thugs. He had vaguely mentioned it to mislead them into thinking he had ordered the Native Americans to beat up Rick. Of course, he was the one responsible for Rick being beaten up, but his relationship with the Native Americans was different from what they were imagining.
These did not know the truth and were frightened.
This was a carrot and stick tactic. When Li Du invited them over for the party, both of them gave it a thought before agreeing to attend; even the hot-tempered Frank did not refuse the invitation.
When the party day arrived, it was crowded over at the cabin. Since morning, people had been strolling in. Besides the treasure hunters from storage auctions, the treasure hunters from the old goods industry also came to the party.
Li Du’s old goods site had become a place for the exchange of information. Regardless of whether Li Du was there or not, there would be people visiting and chilling there.
Around 10 o’clock, a burly white man arrived. When Li Du saw him, he waved and said, "Hey Big Caen, come hang for a while."
The man raised a carton of beers and said, "Are you checking to see if I brought any present?"
Li Du nodded at Hans, and the latter pulled out a stack of crisp American dollars, waved at Caen and threw it towards him.
Big Caen released the beer and hurriedly caught the stack of bills. He was perplexed by their actions. "What’s that for?"
The other treasure hunters also noticed that and turned over their heads to check what was going on.
Hans explained, "Remember the last time you gave us some information on Holbrook and that Mahogany Gallery?" asked Hans. "You provided us reliable information. According to the rules, this is your share."
Big Caen was dumbfounded for a moment. "This is for real? You’re not joking?"
"Pal, this is September," said Hans. "April Fools’ Day happened five months ago."
"Oh my God! Big Caen, you lucky fella, you’ve earned it!" someone instantly shouted enviously. "If you think this is a joke, you can give me the money!"
"How much is that? 10,000 dollars? D*mmit, this fella’s lucky!"
"I knew about Holbrook too. Why didn’t I say anything? I’m really an idiot, too stupid."
Big Caen scanned through the stack of bills with his hands and exclaimed in surprise, "Sh*t, it’s really 10,000 dollars! I feel like I’m rich!"
Ten thousand dollars could not make anyone rich, but it was not a small sum either. The treasure hunters who were there knew that very few of them could earn that kind of amount in an entire month.
Li Du banged the table a few times. "Listen to me, everyone. Big Fox and I adhere to the rules and we’re reasonable. In the future, if anyone supplies us with real, reliable, and accurate information, we’ll give them a ten percent commission from our earnings."
It was true that the storage auction industry had this rule. Nevertheless, not many people practiced or adhered to it unless it was specially requested.
For example, if someone had some insider information, but did not have the money to bid for the unit, he or she could sell the information or tell someone about it.
Generally, one would sell the information to make money, and both parties would negotiate the price. But if one told another person some accurate information, and that person managed to get the unit, the information provider was entitled to ten percent of the proceeds.
Nonetheless, hardly anyone adhered to the rule. It was a rule that existed in name only.
It was thus rare to see someone vowing to strictly follow it. Hans whispered his thoughts, "Is there a need to do this? That’s 10,000 dollars. It was just some news that Big Caen said casually. He himself could not even determine the authenticity of news."
Li Du smiled. "In our Chinese history, during the Warring States Period, there was a country called ‘Qin—’"
"Yeah, I know this," a voice interrupted Li Du. "First Emperor of Qin, Qin Shi Huang, right? This Emperor is in the movie ‘Hero’ that I saw."
The young man was a thin white guy. He had a big golden retriever beside him, who was busy wagging its tail at everyone. The tattoo in Chinese characters on his chest, which was the Chinese goose poem that Li Du had seen before, could be seen.
Max Conrad, whose Chinese name was "Lu Guan." Many old goods treasure hunters had given a nickname to this fellow: "The Lucky Bad Boy."
Li Du knew that Lu Guan did not owe it to good luck but to his impressive hearing abilities. He could listen in to other people whispering about their secret information and the conversations, the actual thoughts of the sellers, when they discussed business with someone.
Li Du excitedly greeted him. "Hey Max, welcome to my old goods site."
"Call me ‘Lu Guan,’" the thin young man sounded displeased. "Call me by my Chinese name, okay?"
Li Du rolled his eyes slightly and waved his hands again. "Hi Lu Guan, welcome to my old goods site."
"It’s my pleasure!" the young man replied cheerfully.
"Hey, don’t drift away, Li," complained Hans. "Continue the topic, I want to hear more."
Lu Guan joined in as well. He appeared to be very interested in the story that Li Du was about to tell.
Li Du continued, "The story has nothing to do with Qin Shi Huang. I want to talk about something that happened during the Duke Xiao of Qin’s era …"
"Oh yeah," Lu Guan interrupted again. "I know this Duke Xiao of Qin. After I watched ‘Hero,’ I looked up a friend who knows a lot about Asian history to understand more about the history of Qin. Duke Xiao of Qin was really a great man—Shang Yang Bian Fa!" He spoke loudly, saying the last four words in Mandarin.
Hans was about to blow his top; he facepalmed then shouted, "Shut up, pal! Can’t you just stay quiet and listen?"
"He’s actually right, that’s exactly what I wanna talk about—the reforms of Shang Yang. When the Qin Dynasty wanted to adopt this reform, it was during a period of frequent war and people were living in constant fear and worry. The people did not trust their government.
"In order to establish their prestige and obtain trust with the people so they could push through their reform, Shang Yang ordered for a three-foot-long block of wood to be erected in the south gate of the city and promised publicly that whoever moved that block of wood to the north gate would be rewarded with a pound of gold!"
Lu Guan added more information: "Actually, it was half a kilogram, but one pound is fine. The difference is very small."
Li Du nodded. This young man was really very knowledgeable about Chinese history. However he had to hurry up and finish the story as Hans was about to suffocate from anticipation.
"The onlookers did not believe that something so easy could earn them such a high reward, so nobody was willing to give it a try.
"And so, Shang Yang increased the reward to 50 pounds of gold. Finally, a man moved the block of wood to the north gate. Shang Yang immediately gave him the promised reward.
"This move helped him gained prestige and trust amongst the people. Everyone believed him when he said what he would do and were willing to help and support him—"
"Okay," said Hans, "so what’s the purpose of telling this story?"
Li Du was dumbstruck. "Yeah, why did I tell this story?" The interruptions from Lu Guan had confused him.
Li Du rubbed his arms a few times before he remembered. "Okay, I wanted to tell you that I give Big Caen 10,000 dollars for the purpose of gaining prestige and trust. In this way, everyone will be willing to supply us auction information." 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far