Hans headed into the Steampunk Hotel, and there was a yell of surprise. "Hey there, rare guest, are my eyes playing tricks on me? Am I hallucinating? Big Fox? Is that you?"
"Of course it's me, d*mmit. I'm not dead. Why do you look like you've just seen a ghost?" Hans said gruffly.
The Steampunk Hotel's boss, Bedes Rothschild, laughed out loud. "Although you aren't dead, you disappeared from here. It's been a year. I heard that you left the country?"
"I've been to China and Australia. You know, we men have to go out there and see more of the world during this lifetime," Hans said proudly.
Bedes gave him a thumbs up and said, "Nicole, give our old pal a glass of beer, a salute to him for believing in bravely going out into the world."
Li Du had brought Godzilla, Big Quinn, and Brother Wolf along, so Bedes ordered a round for them as well. "Get a few more glasses. Today we have many old friends coming here."
Nicole, who still dressed up like a gentleman, was watching the gang curiously. She took out a few big glasses and poured beer in them in one smooth action.
Lu Guan grabbed a glass and grunted, "D*mmit, I haven't had ice cold beer in so long. I hated the weather in Australia. The heat in Phoenix is still much better!"
Li Du was also prepared to take a glass of beer when Nicole asked, "Hey, I have sour sweet wine. Do you want to try it?"
"Sour sweet wine?" Li Du was wondering and asked, "What is that?"
Nicole said, "I will give you a glass. I bet that you will prefer it. For you, this is even better than beer." She kept explaining as she opened the fridge and took out a crystal jug. The color of the wine inside was a cloudy white.
Li Du recognized it at first sight. The sour sweet wine that she was talking about was the sweet rice wine that he had taught Nicole to make last year.
"Would you like this?" Nicole swirled the wine jug, and the rice wine swirled inside it, just like the waves lapping on the sides of Seagull Island in the wind. This connection made Li Du happy, so he nodded and said, "You are right, it does appeal more to me. Give me a glass."
Nicole poured the wine into his glass, and at the same time she smiled slyly. "The sour sweet wine is not free. It is ten bucks a glass. You have to pay for it yourself. Are you sure you still want it?"
Li Du smiled bitterly. How could he say no now? This cunning girl had already poured the wine into the glass.
The gang was having their drinks around the bar when someone else walked in. Seeing Li Du and the gang, these people immediately exclaimed, "Hey, Big Fox, Boss Li, are you guys back? Didn't you guys leave the country?"
"It's not that big of a surprise, pal. This is indeed the auction of government storage. We would be back even if we had gone to Mars."
"Long time no see, Boss Li. What good news do you have this time?"
"Do you guys want to have a drink tonight? I will book the restaurant for your welcoming party. You're welcome."
Li Du turned around and greeted each and every one of them. They were all treasure hunters from Arizona. They were all acquaintances whom they could chat with. Even though not everyone had played together in the past, they had at least met before.
The news that they had come back had spread quickly through the hotel. All their close acquaintances such as Reeves, Big Beard Carl, Dickens, and even Olly had appeared.
Upon seeing Li Du, Olly gave him an enthusiastic hug as he said, "Boss Li, you are really unloyal. You went to make money alone in Australia? Why didn't you bring us along?"
Li Du said, "We went there for a vacation and caught some abalones while we were there. You need an abalone harvesting permit for that. Don't tell me that you guys also have harvesting permits in Australia."
"Oh, sh*t, that I really don't have," Olly said regretfully.
Dickens said excitedly, "I figured it out earlier. Boss Li would never let this great opportunity slip by, so he would be back for sure. See? I was right!"
"Boss Li, bring the pals and work together. This half year that you weren't here, our hauls were really bad. We almost went bankrupt!" Reeves shouted.
Li Du said happily, "Sure thing. We will make money together. But please don't put too much hope in it, I haven't done this in a while. My vision might not be accurate."
"Oh yeah!" The gang cheered, and nobody minded what he said. They all thought he was just being humble. Of course, it was indeed his humble way of speaking.
Li Du and Hans had rooms there, so they could stay for free. They had checked in for Brother Wolf, Big Quinn, Godzilla, and Lu Guan.
Bedes smiled and said, "Every time we meet, your team has expanded. Will you be bringing a company buddy the next time I see you?"
Li Du said, "Isn't this good? I'm bringing you business."
Bedes continued laughing. His business was always good.
After Li Du and the gang checked in, they stayed in the lobby of the hotel for the entire afternoon, hanging out and enjoying themselves. During that time there were other guests who came. When they saw a group of big guys drinking and laughing, they were scared and immediately turned to leave, thinking that they might be walking into some gangster party.
There was another group of people who came in the evening. These people were humming and making lots of noise. Every one of them had big bodies, thick waists, and bad tempers. Comparing them to the treasure hunters in the lobby, they were more like gangsters. In fact, they were the gangsters in this field of storage unit auctions. They were the people of the Tucson Brotherhood.
The one who was leading was, of course, Princeps. He was still keeping that pinch of moustache that looked like black tape. At the same time, he was pulling down the corners of his mouth, still imitating Hitler's facial expressions.
The parties met face to face. Upon seeing Li Du and Hans, some of the treasure hunters of the Tucson Brotherhood had strange expressions on their faces. Someone asked, "Weren't you guys overseas? Why did you come back?"
"Because this is my homeland, my hometown," Hans said lazily.
"You only mix around with foreigners, but you still remember that you are an American?"
"Why don't you migrate to China. I heard that you went to China for a while. Did you go and play around with the Chinese ladies?"
"Hey, are you guys staying here, too? This is really bad luck then, bumping into you guys."
The Tucson Brotherhood was used to being arrogant, and every word they said was full of challenge.
After listening to them, Li Du straightened his back. He looked at Princeps coldly and said, "Is it because I haven't been around that you have forgotten the fear that came from being dominated by me?"
Li Du had put down Princeps back in Las Vegas. Li Du had said that he was involved in the kidnapping case, so the cops took him in. Hence, he was still full of resentment towards Li Du. After hearing that, he said indifferently, "Stupid sh*t."
Li Du nodded towards Brother Wolf and said, "That is the one who insulted my people, and this is the one who leads the gang."
Brother Wolf, who was standing behind Li Du's chair, rushed towards the Tucson Brotherhood in lightning speed. He was so fast that the people in front had not reacted before Brother Wolf had already caught the big guy with tattoos all over his body and punched him in the stomach. The big guy screamed as he hunched over. Then Brother Wolf simply slapped him in the face and flipped him over onto the ground. Next, he turned around and gave a whooping kick to the back of Princeps' neck. Princeps' eyes turned white as he fainted and dropped straight to the floor.
The treasure hunters of the Tucson Brotherhood were flustered and angry. Twenty other men rushed over and attacked Brother Wolf. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far