Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
From time to time, a cheer would be heard from a warehouse, which would make some
treasure hunters run over to see who managed to win what.
For treasure hunters, the auction was a harvest feast.
Of course, not every warehouse had valuable goods. Often, when people started
moving the things from a warehouse and classifying them, they would find out they had
lost rather than gained.
When Li Du opened a warehouse, treasure hunters from Flagstaff City gathered around
and asked, “What is in there?”
The warehouse was full of old tarpaulins, which Godzilla and Big Quinn tore open to
reveal some brown-yellow planks.
“A pile of boards,” said Big Quinn.
Dickens wondered, “Boards? Big Li, is this Asian mahogany?”
“No, they aren’t,” said Li Du.
“What’s this?” someone else asked.
Li Du went over and patted the boards, inhaling their smell. He said with a smile, “If I am
right, these are all corkwood planks, and looking at their pattern, I think they are used to
“Corkwood floorboards? Wow, you made a killing this time,” exclaimed Ollie.
Someone promptly asked, “Corkwood floor? What is that? I haven’t heard of it before.”
“So ignorant,” Ollie gave the treasure hunter a despising look. “Corkwood floors are the
best. Not only is this high-grade real wood, but the floor can hold up a person’s weight
steadily when stepped on. It’s pleasantly springy, like stepping on very stable foam.
Compared to floor mats, they are made of natural products and are more secure. It
doesn’t matter if a baby touches or even licks the floor.”
A group of treasure hunter said with envy, “So these are such high-end goods? I've
never heard of it.”
Looking at the envious expressions of the treasure hunters, Li Du smiled, gave Ollie a
push and said, “Stop that. Don’t put up stories anymore, they actually believe you.”
“So it’s not true?” asked Carl.
Ollie laughed and said, “You are so stupid. Of course not. You might not have seen a
corkwood floor, but haven’t you seen a cork from a wine bottle?”
“Are these the same? Li, you tell me. I don’t believe what this bastard Ollie said,” asked
Big Beard Carl.
Li Du smiled and nodded. “Yes, corkwood floors, like wine corks, come from the bark of
Cork oak was a unique tree. As the saying goes, People are afraid of hurting their
hearts and trees are afraid of hurting their bark. The bark of a corkwood tree would grow
a layer of cork, and stripping this layer would not affect the tree.
Cork was made from this layer. The cork used for wine bottles was of prime quality and
was carved from freshly peeled bark.
However, the corkwood tree had a long growth cycle. It had to be 20 to 30 years old
before the first harvest, and then one could harvest the bark once in nine years. The
quality would not be good if the tree was peeled often or too early, and it would hurt the
As the wine production expanded, the cork supply was insufficient, so only high-end
winemakers could still afford to use this kind of whole cork. Ordinary wine bottle corks
were made of broken bark pressed together, making a composite cork.
By analogy, compound floors were made of broken wood and compressed using
sawdust and wood chips, and corkwood floors were compressed with corkwood bark as
the main material.
Li Du, who had seen an issue of National Geographic, gave a brief lecture on the tree
and the wine corks.
The most abundant source of cork on earth was Portugal. After the cork bark was
peeled off, the manufacturers would dig out the high-end wine corks from the bark first,
then smash the leftovers into a pulp to make other cork products.
Europe and America were currently under a wave of interest in red wine. Corks were
becoming a collectors’ item., Rich people liked to collect red wine, ordinary people liked
to collect red wine corks, and some people liked collecting both.
Most corks on the market were not worth collecting, and composite corks would soon
break or disintegrate into sawdust.
A really good cork could be cut into pieces, just like real wood.
Since only high-grade wine had that kind of cork, it served in the appraisal of wine
quality. Wine could be judged by its cork. Wine with whole-wood cork would not be of
Since cork tree bark was in high demand, the value of the cork floor was self-evident,
and would not be too low.
In the United States, on average, real corkwood floor would cost 200 to 300 dollars per
square foot. Even in a house with just a 1000 square feet, it would cost at least two to
three hundred thousand to lay out corkwood floors.
This was the price of common cork floor, but the corkwood floorboards that Li Du won in
his bid were actually made of real corkwood. This meant they were carved out whole
and made into boards.
Because this kind of cork floor had one-piece boards, it had better waterproof function
and a more beautiful natural decorative pattern, so its price was very high.
In fact, this superior kind of corkwood floor could easily cost ten or twenty times as
much as the regular mashed-up corkwood pulp sort.
Li Du searched the web and found out that such high-grade corkwood floor could sell for
four to five thousand per square foot. Only the rich and famous could afford it.
Most of the warehouse’s contents consisted of natural corkwood floorboards., Each
board was two meters long and half a meter wide, and there were easily more than a
thousand pieces. If he found an appropriate buyer, he could make a few million!
In addition to the corkwood floor, there were other, cheaper planks in the warehouse.
The border control authorities probably didn’t know the value of corkwood flooring. They
piled it together with ordinary wood when they seized it.
To make money from warehouse auctions, treasure hunters had to rely mainly on luck.
Of course, some would lose.
For example, if Li Du did not have the ability to reverse time and see the source of the
floorboards, he would not know their value and would treat them as ordinary boards.
His good luck did not end here. The two warehouses he opened next contained two
boxes of silver tableware worth one hundred to two hundred thousand in total. He also
found animal hides, such as leopard, otter, and crocodile skins, the value of which was
also very high.
The envious treasure hunters left and began to clear up their warehouses.
When there was no one left, Li Du sent Big Quinn and Godzilla to pick off a large
warehouse with some abandoned cars, which he had gained for $100,000.
He had thought he could easily take over the warehouse, but George entered the
bidding and winning cost him a lot of money.
However, he got the warehouse anyway.