Chapter 52: Playboy
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Rose was on break and stayed in the house the entire day.
Hans drank the whole night and laid on his bed like a dog playing dead. Li Du had nowhere to go, and was at home reading and playing with Ah Meow.
In the evening, Hans awoke and was fit as a fiddle. He then called Li Du over.
Li Du rolled his eyes and said, "If you want to go "hunting" then just go yourself, I’m going to sleep after I’m done reading."
"Why are you like an old man? Come on buddy, you’re still an early sun that has just risen, bring out your energy! When I was your age, I would masturbate three times a day and then go hunting overnight!"
"I’m human, I’m different from you."
"What are you talking about? I’m human t-"
"No, you’re just a stallion in heat."
Despite his reluctance, Li Du eventually went out, because when Hans called him, it was at least something to do. The First Generation iPhone that they put up on eBay had sold.
The auction ended at 28,500 dollars. Hans asked Li Du to get the phone, and then send it to the buyer.
Looking at the useless phone, Li Du sighed in marvel. "This thing could actually sell for twenty-eight grand? My God, these city folks sure can play with money."
"This isn’t even much. How about those who spend twenty-eight million on a painting?"
This March had been a bountiful month. The two had already amassed about seventy thousand dollars; this was an early estimate.
Hans said that he would deal with the belt. He had already contacted a buyer. They were a collector of World War II military equipment, living in Flagstaff. The belt was sold for ten thousand dollars, which was a well desired price.
There were auctions everyday throughout America and thousands of old, abandoned units were constantly up for sale. But if the scale was confined to just Flagstaff and its surroundings, then there were not many up for auction.
Li Du enjoyed this life. He would earn a profit from a round of auctions, then stayed at home, reading and playing with his cat, when there was nothing to do. Utter perfection.
However, on the third day after the party, he was summoned by Hans again; this time Hans gave him the call in advance. "Come over here before 9 pm, I’ll take you to see someone important."
The two met again, and Hans drove his old ford on the road. Li Du was shocked to see him wearing a suit today, with his leather shoes shining bright. This was an extremely rare sight.
When they reached the entrance of The Sheraton Hotel, which was one of the two five-star hotels in Flagstaff, a surprised doorman helped open their door.
"First time seeing someone drive a pickup here, kid?" Hans sneered.
The doorman shook his head. "I’ve seen lots of pickups, but it’s my first time seeing such a battered pickup."
Beside him, a blond, handsome man in his thirties started laughing. "Big Fox, you are actually drove such a crappy car over. My God, you’re currently one of the most popular treasure hunters in Arizona. It’s time to get a good car!"
Hans said seriously, "No can do, this car has been with me for too long. It’s my partner. I can’t just abandon him because I got richer."
"I think it’s more like you’re broke. All your money went to fooling around, isn’t it?" the blond man mocked.
Hans said shamefully, "Ah, life is short. We have to enjoy it."
Hearing this, the blond man applauded. "Good words, my friend. Life is short, and we should enjoy it while we can. I like your attitude toward life, it fits the ‘Akkalou style.’"
"That’s why everyone calls you the Playboy."
Li Du now knew who he was; the Playboy Akkalou Benidito, one of Flagstaff’s famous treasure hunters. At the party a few nights earlier, he had heard stories about him.
Hans gave the two a brief introduction. Akkalou Benidito gave him a passionate embrace.
"You’re Li? Quite a handsome one. My, just from your hair, I already think that you’re cuter than Andrew."
The Playboy and the cocky man had a bad relationship. This was well-known amongst the treasure hunters of Flagstaff.
The two had frequent skirmishes because of auctions. According to Akkalou Benidito, he was once given an underhanded blow by Andrew that sent him to the police, and he had to pay a large bail to get out.
After getting acquainted, Akkalou Benidito brought them into the hotel and went directly to the sixth floor. A few well-endowed ladies with thick and detailed makeup stood near the elevator entrance. Upon seeing the three men they started giving flirtatious looks.
Akkalou Benidito comfortably put his arm around a redhead with a huge chest. He then waved his hand welcomingly, and said, "Feel free to pick. Later when we enter the auction, it will be boring with no girls around."
Li Du pulled Hans over and said softly, "What are we here for today? I do hope it’s not for you two to fool around?"
"What ‘fooling around?’" Hans asked with a roll of his eyes. "We just took care of Andrew. Akkalou Benidito was pleased with this news, so he ‘specially called us to get to know us better. There is an antiques auction today, and he invited us to join him."
This was a good opportunity to improve their appraisal skills. If a treasure hunter wanted to make money, first they needed luck, and the second thing they needed were appraisal skills.
Luck is according to the will of God. Appraisal skills, however, were a personal strength. The two of them had to be constantly learning, and auctions were the best classrooms.
To attend an antiques auction like the kind that Akkalou Benidito frequented was not as simple as it seemed. Either they needed to have enough wealth and power to receive an invite or they had to rely on someone like Akkalou to bring them in. For nobodies like Hans and Li Du to enter on their own would be near impossible.
The auction was going to start in the late afternoon. In the early afternoon there would be an exhibition located in a hall on the sixth floor.
All the entrances of the hall had a security camera. A group of burly guards patrolled around the area, with some elite security personnel in shades and earphones appearing from time to time. It was almost as if they were in a movie.
Li Du followed the other two into the hall. He saw a sea of display cases, with many people fluttering around, looking for items that interested them.
It was the first time he entered an antiques auction, so he felt somewhat reserved. Akkalou Benidito came over and said, "You look too tense. Trust me, you need to find yourself a lady."
"Are my sisters not up to your taste?" the redhead chuckled.
Li Du had already thought of an excuse. He waved his hand, and said, "Ah, no, no, no—I’m allergic to perfume, so I’m very sorry."
Hearing this, Akkalou Benidito shook his head. "You’re allergic to perfume? My God, that’s frightening. A lady who doesn’t use perfume is no good. Don’t tell me you’ll never touch a good lady your entire life?"
Li Du smiled. "We’ll see what God wills. I hope he’s kind enough."
As they talked, they walked over to a painting. This painting was extremely messy, with outrageous lines and colors.
Li Du was unable to understand what it conveyed, but when he looked at the description, he was shocked. "‘Life in the Backstage, by Pablo Ruiz Picasso.’ This is a painting by Picasso?"
Akkalou Benidito laughed. "Looks like you can’t appreciate it."
Li Du shrugged. This type of painting was definitely not his cup of tea.
Although nothing in these collections were his cup of tea, he hastily walked around before standing at a corner. He wanted to let the bug out to practice his control.
However, when the bug flew out, it did not appear on his palm like always, but instead went flying over to one of the display cabinets.
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