Li Du, looking in from outside their relationship, could see this simple problem. But, Marate didn’t seem to notice it.
Even if he could tell that his aggression was the issue, he wouldn’t change himself. Strong, confident, rough-and-tough: he believed these were charismatic traits, and he was proud of his personality.
Scolded by Sophie, he held up his head. “No. It’s not me that’s impolite-I’m not a weak coward. Sophie, you never truly knew me, and this fills me with regret.”
“Perhaps,” Sophie smiled. “But, this makes me happy.”
Marate stormed away in a rage. Before leaving, he glared at Li Du. “So happy that I could help you, buddy. Eat more during lunch.”
After Marate left, Sophie said, “I’m sorry, Li. Marate has always been this childish. I don’t get why he never matured with age. “
Martin, who had been listening, smiled. “Aren’t all the young people in Flagstaff the same? Time will teach them the right life attitude.”
Li Du smiled bitterly and nodded his head. He had gotten involved with this accidentally.
But, those things in the auction had been useless to him. When Li Du thought that valuable things were in sight, he would spare no effort to use the bug to examine the circumstances.
Sadly, those things weren’t as valuable as they looked. He would have only thrown them away if he had won them. In this circumstance, he had to back away from the auction.
When the second half of the auction got started, the first item was interesting. It was a stack of 10 thick books.
The auctioneer started to introduce them: these books were the 1990 edition of the “Standard Bible Encyclopedia.” They had been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Martin, and were well-preserved; the starting price was 440 dollars.
This set of encyclopedias was great for Christians. You could interpret every aspect of Bible using one of these; not only were they interesting and fun, but they were very insightful.
Li Du shook his head; more things that were useless to him. He didn’t need to bid.
When the bidding started, Sophie bid for the books, showing respect for her parents. This made the auction more intense.
Marate was in the bidding again, however: he pursued each offer vigorously and kept raising the price. In the end, he successfully got the books with 860 dollars.
When he bought them, everyone applauded. Li Du overheard Martin say, “That’s a shame. These books will end up on the shelf. It would be better if they had been bought by Sophie for 440 dollars.”
Mrs. Martin glared at him. “Come on-don’t let people hear you say that. But it’s certainly a pity-we preserved this set of books very well.”
Li Du smiled in secret; this old couple was interesting.
One by one everything was auctioned off-nothing failed to be sold. No matter if the prices were high or low, the Christians were supportive during the entire auction.
Halfway through, a young girl held up the next item on a tray: a little green makeup box used by girls.
Seeing this box, Sophie was happy and said, “Hey, this was donated by me. It’s a lip gloss container. I wonder how much it will sell for.”
This green box was as big as a hand, and was made with emerald or jade. The edges were varnished with enamel paint. Red and blue stones were inlaid on the top. It was beautiful.
“How much was this lip gloss container?” Li Du asked.
“One hundred dollars. When I studied in Phoenix, I bought it from a decoration shop that was closing down. The boss said it was made with Burma jade. Obviously, it’s fake; it was way too cheap.”
The auctioneer started to introduce the box; he emphasized that he was not sure about the authenticity of the jade and stones. The bidding price was 50 dollars.
Li Du looked at the television screen up front, which showed the detailed features of the box. Seeing the red, blue, and green stones on the box, he was reminded of high-end jewelry culture. He was tempted, and let the bug out.
The bug was not attracted by the box-it seemed like it had existed for only a short while.
Li Du let the bug fly over to the box and used its ability to see the past. He thought this box didn’t seem to be made by synthetic jade-which was usually roughly-made-it seemed to be made of genuine jade.
The ability of the bug started to work; the past was flashing back.
The first thing that Li Du saw was someone polishing the box, and then writing a name underneath it. The was a complicated apparatus and sophisticated blueprints around it.
There were some big and small pieces of jade on the table. In another flash, someone opened a safe, and some jagged, colorful stones were taken out of it.
These stones, after being well-polished, were inlaid in the box. It was then sent by plane after being wrapped in velvet.
Seeing this, Li Du became excited.
He was excited not because he had found something valuable, he was so excited because he realized that he had better taste.
Except for attending auctions, he had been reading book and info. Obviously he was doing the right thing, this could make him stronger.
When the auctioneer started to bid, Li Du sat back and relaxed, he prepared to shoot. Chapter 327: A Magic Trick
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The price increased steadily, quickly approaching the original price of 100 dollars.
Although the auctioneer had emphasized that the authenticity of the small box was unknown, the small box was still attractive and it had excellent craftsmanship. Sitting in the front row was a bunch of wealthy people, and they had the taste to appreciate artwork.
But the starting price of the box was a bit low; they assumed that it was made with artificial emerald. They thought the material was cheap, that’s why it was being auctioned for cheap.
As the price reached 80 dollars, Li Du was staring at his phone; he suddenly raised his hand, shouting, “100 dollars!”
Sophie looked at him in surprise. “You don’t have to bid,” she laughed. “Don’t mind what Marate said-he was being childish.”
Marate was bidding as well, and he was, of course, doing it for the sake of Sophie.
Therefore, when Li Du made the offer of 100 dollars, he immediately said, “110 dollars.”
Li Du said, “200 dollars!”
He doubled the price, and the crowd applauded. But the rest of the bidders gave up the auction; they thought that buying a second-hand jewelry box for the price of 200 dollars was too much.
Marate wasn’t giving up. He shouted, “250 dollars.”
Li Du calmly said, “300 dollars.”
Sophie pulled on his sleeve and whispered, “A new box only costs 100 dollars, what’s the point in spending so much money? Li Du, don’t bother with him. You’re being childish like him.”
Li Du patted her hand, “I know what I’m doing, I’ll show you a trick later.”
It looked as though both of them were being intimate, and Marate became very jealous. He yelled, “400 dollars.”
Li Du raised his hand. “Five hundred dollars.”
The crowd was not applauding, but laughing: it was friendly laughter, however, as they saw this as a competition between two young men to win Sophie’s heart. They were entertained.
Mrs. Martin gave Li Du a word of advice: “That’s enough, son. The price is high enough to put Sophie’s jewelry box under the spotlight.”
The laughing crowd made Marate upset. He had thought the crowd would applaud when he bid-this was his home turf. He hadn’t expected the crowd to laugh like this.
He felt embarrassed; this hurt his ego.
He made one final bid: “600 dollars.”
Li Du knew his plans. He had participated in many auctions at this point and had met with some cunning treasure hunters. It was his job to analyze their psychological states.
Therefore, he knew that this was Marate’s final bid; he said slowly, “610 dollars.”
Marate smirked coldly in the face of the laughing crowd. He stopped bidding and sat in his seat angrily.
The auctioneer waved his hand toward him. “Six hundred ten dollars, first call! Six hundred ten dollars, second call. If no one is bidding, then I shall say: 610 dollars, final call! The jewelry box is yours, Li Du!”
Li Du stood up and bowed. The crowd was applauding and laughing.
After he bowed, he didn’t sit, but moved to leave his seat and walk toward the stage.
Everyone was surprised. The volunteer who was in charge with the activity said immediately, “Sir, you’ll pay after the auction is finished. You don’t have to come to the stage now.”
Marate took the opportunity to mock Li Du: “I thought you were a treasure hunter, don’t you know the rules? I suppose you’ve never participated in a proper auction, what a joke.”
The crowd was laughing loudly; this time they were not laughing out of friendly intentions. It was obvious that the rest of them were thinking the same thing.
Sophie pulled his sleeve before he walked away and whispered, “Li Du, you should pay later.”
Li Du held her arm and smiled. “Do you remember what I said just now? I’ll show you a magic trick-come on, let’s go up on stage. “
He turned his head and whispered something into a volunteer’s ears. The volunteer seemed surprised and allowed them to walk past him.
Li Du brought Sophie on stage and the doctor blushed. She stumbled along after him, with a blank look on her face and mystified look in her eyes: she was confused.
What were they in right now? A church. She thought about how a man and a woman walk toward the altar when they are about to get married.
Now, a man was grabbing her hand and pulling her toward the altar. Her parents, friends, and other church members were sitting in the audience facing them. It looked like they were about to get married.
Someone noticed it too. He laughed, “Hey, boy, are you going to propose to Sophie?”
“This is not a good place. This is a place to get married but not to propose.”
“Sophie, don’t say ‘yes.’ This guy is fooling around.”
The doctor was very confused and she blushed. She couldn’t think properly, let alone listen to the crowd.
Li Du heard them. He didn’t mind what they were saying. He went onto the stage and talked to Lewis: “Let me host the auction, man. I’ll bring some heat to the auction.”
The auctioneer laughed, “Alright, get over here, just don’t spoil everything.”
Li Du nodded and took the jewelry box from the tray. He cleared his throat before confronting the crowd.
Everyone stared at him, looking just as confused as Sophie did.
Li Du said, “Everyone, I bought the jewelry box. But I’m giving it back to its rightful owner.”
“All the fuss for the sake of giving it back to Sophie? That’s too much.”
“This is not romantic at all, man. Not a smart thing to do.”
“Get down from the stage, Sophie is embarrassed.”
Marate shouted, “You’re making a fool of yourself, just like a clown. You’re making a fool of Sophie, too-what a shame!”
Li Du laughed, “Everyone has misunderstood my intentions. I bought the jewelry box. But it is unfair to everyone because you don’t know the truth about this box.
“The auctioneer said the material of the box is unknown. But I can assure you that it’s made of emerald. The little stones on top are real sapphire, turquoise, and ruby.”
The loud crowd became quiet after they heard him. They look stunned.
LI Du smiled, “The design reflects the characteristics of the emerald bird in Eastern myth.”
“According to Eastern myth, the emerald bird lives in the south. It has bright, colorful feathers, which consist of red, blue and green.
“In most cases, the male bird is red and called ‘fei.’ The female bird is green in color and called ‘cui.’ Their eggs are blue. It is a spiritual type of bird.
“There’s a famous poet from the Tang dynasty called Chen Zi-Ang. He wrote a poem to describe this precious bird…”
Before he continued, he switched to Mandarin, following a rhythm: “The emerald bird lives in the south. The male and female bird live in the forest. Their feathers are very beautiful and can be made into beautiful jewelry.”
As he recited the poem, the crowd applauded. The more he recited, the louder the applause was, and it grew as loud as thunder. Chapter 328: Let Us Assure You
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du had been interested in the truth of the jewelry box the moment he saw it because of the three colors of gems and black enamel paint decorating it.