Hans said, “You can eat it all this time.”
When he first partnered up with Hans, they ate pizza together. At that time, both of them were broke, so they put in a few dollars to buy a pizza, and Li Du ate most of it.
Barbara did not travel often, and Li Du expected her to feel awe and wonder at the splendor around her, but she did not seem too impressed when she entered the manor.
She said, “Your ranch is too small ” Chickens, ducks, cattle, and sheep now populated the ranch of the manor, but the farm was still empty.
Knowing what it would cost to have a small farm in such a place, Hans shook his head and said, “It’s a waste. Why not grow something?”
Li Du shrugged and said, “What can we grow? It will be autumn soon. Plant corn? I think whatever you plant now, it’ll freeze to death when winter comes and that would be a waste of energy.”
Hans laughed and said, “Then plant peas.”
Li Du had not planted peas before. He wondered, “Why, are peas more resilient than corn? Will they survive the season? It’s cold at the seaside in winter, and the wind is strong.”
Hans shook his head. “No, they won’t.”
“Then why grow them?” Li Du looked at him with wonder.
Hans said, “The root of the pea, and of all legumes, for that matter, has nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which means it can turn inorganic nitrogen into bioavailable compounds that not only nurture the plant but also nourish the land when the plant residue is used as a natural fertilizer. You can take advantage of that to improve the quality of the soil.”
The idea was not bad. Li Du did not know this before. He patted Hans on the shoulder and said, “Oh, yes, man, are you an agricultural expert now?”
Hans showed him the middle finger and said, “I am a genius. I can go into any profession and become a success if I want to.”
“How about warehouse auctions?” teased Lu Guan.
“Of course,” said Hans nonchalantly. “I admit I didn’t do very well before, but that was because I didn’t have enough motivation. My purpose of being in warehouse auctions was to have enough to eat. I didn’t have ambition, but now that I’m in agriculture, I want to do my best.”
Li Du said, “Now I am sure that you are indeed my good friend Hans. Your bragging is the same as before!”
Sotheby’s auction has not started yet. The first thing that was going to be open was the California customs auction.
It was a major event, and all American treasure hunters were expected to gather.
After all, California was one of the richest states. It was a major center of global foreign trade. The Los Angeles seaport had one of the largest throughputs in the world.
The Los Angeles customs could not predict how much money it would accumulate every year, and each time someone would get lucky and become a millionaire or even a multimillionaire.
The auctions Li Du usually participated in were held by the warehouse companies. It was directly in the warehouse base. Lu Guan took him and Hans to the place to check out the situation. When they approached, he saw a vast area with large and small warehouses occupying an impressive territory.
“Are all the warehouses here for auctions?” Li Du wondered.
Lu Guan nodded. “Yes, all the warehouses are up for auction. They will accumulate things until all the warehouses are full and then hold an auction. Isn’t it huge?”
Li Du estimated that the number of warehouses here could amount to thousands. How many treasure hunters would attend? Would they come from all over the country?
Unlike usual auctions, the California customs auction did not have a system of calling out the bids aloud. There was a box with a slit, like a ballot box, in front of each warehouse and, each bidder would put in a slip of paper with their offer. Later, the highest bidder would win.
Before this auction was due to take place, there were several real estate auctions in Los Angeles.
Li Du tried to prepare for the customs auction, but Dickens and other treasure collectors are waiting for him to lead the team to bid for real estate. After all, the profit they would make from the real estate market was solid.
Compared with the huge customs auction, bidding for real estate was relatively simple.
Li Du spent two hours visiting a dozen houses and choosing two good ones and then went to the auction in late August.
When he appeared at the auction, the chattering tenants suddenly fell silent.
They looked at Li Du in anger, awe, and envy, but no one dared to provoke him again.
Li Du only entered this trade less than two months ago. The two largest gangs from Santa Monica and Bel Air had great losses because of him. Santa Monica’s Dripping Blood gang’s leader was still in the hospital. The Bel Air gang faired even worse, with the key men in prison.
Two cold eyes were fixed on Li Du. They belonged to Wolf King Logan.
Seeing that Li Du noticed him, Logan walked over and said, “The haunted house made you a lot of money, didn’t it? You’re lucky. Congratulations.”
Li Du smiled and said, “I haven’t sold it yet, actually. I did not expect you would also come to participate in this auction. I assumed it would be small potatoes for you.”
Of the six drug-dealer youths arrested, one was Logan’s own brother.
The police worked out who they were and who Logan was, but could not prove he had anything to do with the case, or even that he might know what his brother was doing.
However, Li Du knew very well that Logan was not innocent. Otherwise, he would not have wanted to buy the haunted house.
The price Li Du had offered was out of his budget. He probably thought his brother and the gang would find a way to get rid of Li Du, or that the haunted house would not be sold for a long time, and he would take it when Li Du put it on the market again at a lower price.
In a word, he believed Li Du would lose out on buying the haunted house and would not occupy it for long. Moreover, the secret of the house was well-concealed and Logan trusted it would not be discovered.
However, Li Du did not only discover the secret of the haunted house, but he also found out the truth behind the mysterious deaths.
Although Li Du had suspected something fishy from the start, the ruthless cruelty of taking human lives for the sake of drug money gave him the chills.
Logan stared at him. “You’ll soon learn that I’m involved in something you didn’t expect. Believe me, everyone must take responsibility for what they do.”
Li Du nodded. “Right, especially people who do illegal stuff. They should definitely be responsible for their actions.”
Logan knew what he was talking about, and he sneered. “Are you ready?”
With that, he walked away and waited for the auction to begin.
The administrator arrived, and the first house was put up for auction with the usual opening remarks.
The first two houses were not worth the money. Li Du was not interested in them, and he and his treasure hunters did not bid.
The third house was a detached property, well maintained and uninhabited, and Li Du set his eyes on it.
The starting price of the house was $120,000, and Li Du estimated the value of the house at $300,000, so he led the treasure hunters to bid.
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The treasure hunters bid aggressively, and when the price rose to $250,000, there was no competition. Just as Dickens started to express his satisfaction, Logan said, “Three hundred thousand!” As soon as the price was quoted, Dickens and the others felt helpless.
Li Du gave them a reserve price of 280,000 dollars, which was now exceeded. What could they do?
When the auction was over, Logan took the house and paid $300,000 for it.
Li Du looked at Logan, who happened to be looking at him too. As their eyes met, Logan mimicked shooting him and smiled.
Logan’s ability could be seen from this auction. He directly offered 300,000 dollars, which was the market price under normal circumstances. Taking the house with this price meant there would be little to no profit space.
However, he took the house from Li Du, and Li Du and the others would have no chance to profit.
Hans, for whom it was the first time in such auction, touched his chin and said, “Hey, brother, there’s something between you two.”
Li Du said, “I sent his brother to prison, and I guess he will stay in there his whole life.”
“You still do things in such a hard way,” Hans said.
The fourth house was a detached property too, and Li Du was interested. This time he valued the house at 350,000 dollars. Ollie bid 300,000 dollars and no one else spoke up. He was excited and was prepared to take the house, when Logan called out, “340,000!”
The veins on Ollie’s forehead twitched and he slapped his thigh. “Damn, the old jumper is on us. He must have something against us!”
Li Du stopped him from bidding impulsively.
Since Logan was willing to take the house at that price, he was prepared to let him take it. He was not making money anyway, just trying to get revenge.
As long as Li Du and his treasure hunters did not bid, Logan would not either. Realizing at this, Hans touched his chin with a thoughtful expression and left the room.
After two rounds of auction, Hans was back again, but his image had changed. He was clean-shaven, he put on a different T-shirt, and he wore sunglasses and a hat that would make it hard to recognize him for those who did not know him well.
Another house that Li Du was interested in was put up for auction. This was a small villa with a market price of 800,000$, and its location was very good, close to the famous Los Angeles middle school Saint Elsen.
Li Du himself joined the bidding. The house’s starting price was 450,000 dollars, and he offered 500,000 at once.
Logan wanted to make an offer, but someone else, who shouted “600,000”, outbid him!
Logan glanced at the bidder, who seemed unfamiliar and appeared to be an independent property buyer. He gave up the idea of making another offer and waited.
Li Du followed the quotation, “610,000!”
Someone else shouted, “620,000!”
The stranger raised the price again. “650,000!”
Li Du shook his head and gave up on bidding. Others gave up too, and the auctioneer announced, “Okay, 650,000, the villa goes to this gentleman!”
Logan stared at the stranger’s face for a moment, then turned to look at Li Du. The stranger was talking softly to the people beside him, and Li Du was looking down at his phone.
He didn’t know the stranger, but he knew the people around him. They were independent buyers, not real estate hunters, and he had spoken to them when they arrived in the morning.
Therefore, he was relieved that the stranger was an independent homebuyer. He must have come on purpose for the cottage.
However, at the next auction, the stranger bid again, offering a higher price each time and taking down a total of four houses.
Logan finally realized something was fishy, and in the final auction round of a large villa, although Li Du did not participate in the bidding, Logan bought the property.
The stranger followed Logan’s bid until he offered 1.7 million dollars, which was the market price. The stranger shook his head and gave up. He took off his sunglasses and walked over to Li Du.
“Big Fox, you’re amazing! You got a lot more than we did at the first auction,” Ollie laughed and gave a thumbs-up.
How could Logan have missed what just happened?
He now walked to Li Du’s side and said, smiling, “Great move, Li. No wonder people call you a cunning Chinese.”Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Li Du said, “Who called me that? I’m flattered. I didn’t know I had such a nickname.”
Logan poked his finger at Li Du’s chest and said, smirking, “You got lucky this time. You took a few houses. Next time, believe me, I will not be so naive.”
He paid too much attention to Li Du that day and didn’t put himself on guard against any strangers, which helped Li Du gain a little. This wouldn’t fly next time.
With four houses, Li Du and the others left, and Logan remained where he was, looking after them with a malicious and venomous expression.
One man cautiously said, “Wolf King, you can’t make money by taking down houses at such a price. You won’t be able to teach the China man a lesson.”
Logan turned around and smiled. His face changed. It was much friendlier. He said, smiling, “You have any better ideas?”
The man shook his head and said in a depressed voice, “I have no ideas. This guy is too cunning.”
Logan said, “I will exhaust him. I may not make any money, but I won’t lose much. And then there would be a long game during which they don’t get anything for a long time. This Li guy will give up and move on to other things.”
After a pause, he looked earnestly at the other real estate buyers and said, “But I can’t do this alone. It requires the collective strength of us, the Los Angeles crowd. We must unite to deal with these intruders until they get out of Los Angeles!”
Abel, who had learned a lesson from Li Du, said with concern, “But isn’t it too risky for us to buy houses at regular market value? If something goes wrong with the house, we lose.”
He had snatched a house from Li Du, which turned out to be infested with termites. Later, he and his partner searched the house and found that the floor, walls and wooden furniture left behind were all riddled with the nasty pests. They have lost a lot of money to dispose of the house.
Logan smiled and said, “You don’t have to worry about that. I have a way to make sure we don’t take risks, but I can’t tell you how. I hope you all will believe me. If you are willing to trust me, there will not be any loss.”
Hearing this, one of the real estate hunters responded excitedly, “No problem, Wolf King, we will listen to you. We must drive these country bumpkins back, right?”
In the current atmosphere, even if some of the men did not want to be involved in the conflict, they could not raise any opposition, so the anti-Li alliance was formed unanimously. The California customs warehouse auction was scheduled to start in mid-September. From the end of August to mid-September, there were no warehouse auctions in which Li Du was interested. However, there were many real estate auctions recently.
The last time, through Hans, he had attacked Logan’s side and obtained several houses. This trick would not work the second time, as Logan would be on his guard against strangers.
On the first Friday of September, there was another auction.
Hans said, “You can eat it all this time.”