Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du did not pay much attention to the animals becoming famous on the internet. That was because he could not show himself, and neither did Sophie. Sophie had only filmed the things that had taken place between the six animals.
He found it strange. Sophie had said that the animals were becoming famous, extraordinarily famous.
At the end of June, Li Du brought along Lu Guan and the rest and stepped onto the grounds of Southern Tucson. He was planning to attend an auction.
In the past, when he went to other places to attend auctions, Sophie would go along. That was because, first, she was bored. Second, she had not traveled much around America and was still pretty curious and interested in seeing new places.
However, she had not joined in this time around. She kept the animals at home with her and watched them, keeping her camera and phone close.
The animals did not want that and thought of all imaginable ways to get into the car and run off. For over ten days, being famous had entertained them. However, after the short-lived novelty wore off, they had become sick of it.
Li Du had thrown them out from the car window without a qualm. As the car drove on, the animals howled and cried out. Then, Sophie came out with the camcorder.
On the journey, Lu Guan gave Li Du a quick update of the situation at the auction. “It’s jointly organized by three warehouse companies. One of them is clearing the warehouses because of bankruptcy. It has joined up with two other companies and there will be a total of forty to fifty warehouses.”
“So many?” Li Du asked.
Lu Guan shrugged and said, “That’s right. Because one of the companies has gone bankrupt, all the warehouses that don’t belong to anyone have to be auctioned off. Just that company alone has got 31 warehouses.”
“How about the valuation?”
“Based on the information I have, the valuable warehouses are among those 31. There’s an old military warehouse in there which had belonged to a veteran who has been through the Second World War. As you know, boss, these veterans like to keep some valuable items,” Lu Guan said excitedly.
Li Du said lazily, “That’s right. Old soldiers like keeping good things. But they might not keep them in warehouses.”
The veteran would be at least ninety years old if he were still alive. Having lived so long, he would have had a fruitful life. He would have the money to survive and to be a collector.
Lu Guan said, “This time, the items belonging to the old soldier must be kept in the warehouse. According to the information I got, one of the things he kept is a tank!”
Hearing that, Li Du sat up instantly. “A tank? You mean he kept a tank?! A tank from World War II?”
“Yes, a Tiger Tank!”
Surprised, Li Du asked, “Is he such a bigshot to collect things like that? I’m talking about a Tiger Tank, is that right? A Tiger Tank! How many of them are still around today?”
“Six. Two in France, two in Russia, two in England, and there’s only one that can still be operated. It’s in the military gallery in Britain.” Lu Guan had clearly done his homework.
Li Du said, “And you are telling me that there’s still one in the warehouse? D*mn it, there are six that still exist, and none of them are in America.”
Lu Guan smiled. “No, boss, there’s one in America. The officials have never taken this one into calculation. It is from my personal information source that I know of its existence. If you find it, there are seven Tiger Tanks!”
Li Du did not believe too strongly in information like that. Lu Guan continued to talk. “What I’m saying is the truth, boss, you know. All Tiger Tanks have a serial number. The one that can be operated in Britain is number 131. This one is number 141!”
“I heard that this Tiger Tank was abandoned by the German army due to mechanical failure during the Kharkov counterattack. Then the Soviet First Guard Corps took over it. Of course, it is better to say that the Soviet forces captured it rather than that the Germans had left it behind. In that battle, the Soviet Union had been utterly defeated by the Germans.”
The Kharkov counterattack was a large-scale battle in the Soviet-German power struggle of World War II. The Tiger tanks were famous for their power. The second armored army of the Schutzstaffel, who were equipped with such steel beasts, had almost completely smashed the Popov Mobile Army.
According to historical records, in one battle, two Tiger tanks had slammed into a tank cluster of Soviet troops two kilometers away. The tanks destroyed the sixteen T-34/76 tanks on the spot and also destroyed another eighteen Soviet tanks during the pursuit.
After learning about the greatness of the Tiger Tanks, the Soviet army had wanted to get one to study it at any cost. They fought the tanks with their jets and in the end, gained the upper hand and managed to get two complete tanks that were working.
“The two tanks were sent to Mexico. Stalin himself inspected them and requested for them to be studied. One of the two was dismantled for research while the other was kept.”
“And that was number 141?” Li Du asked.
Lu Guan smiled. “No, it wasn’t. Number 141 was dismantled and number 98 was kept intact. They were then sent to an exhibition at the Kubinka Tank Museum, Russia.”
“After many years, the Soviet Union fell apart. Due to financial constraints, the Kubinka Tank Museum had to put aside the repair and maintenance work of some old tanks from World War II.”
“The museum wanted to generate revenue, and then decided to sell some insignificant old-fashioned tanks. The number 98 tank was a star and could not be sold, but the dismantled number 141 tank was deemed not very valuable and was finally put out for auction.”
“In the end, the tank was purchased by a mystery man. At that time, not many people paid attention to the news. I, too, had to dig deep to find out about it. The mystery man who had bought the tank is the old soldier, the owner of the warehouse. His name is Wisman Trenton.”
“Based on what I know, Wisman Trenton managed to put the old tank together. He purchased the original Maybach engine from Germany and replaced the old torsion bar with some gears and batteries. Other than those, all the parts were the original gear from when 141 was seized all those years ago!”
After hearing Lu Guan’s introduction, Li Du rubbed his chin and asked, “A tank like that, how much is it worth?”
“When tank number 131 was paraded in Europe, Germany had made an offer. That was five years ago. Germany was willing to buy it for four million euros!” Lu Guan said.
Li Du nodded approvingly. “You’ve done your homework well.”
Four million euros from five years ago, taking the inflation rate into account, would be worth at least six million US dollars today. The most advanced M1A2 tank that the US military had was not worth more than that!
Hoping to find the legendary tank, Li Du went to Tucson City cheerfully.
He was no stranger to Tucson and was even more familiar with the Tucson gang.
In the past, when there was an auction like that, the Tucson gang would have thought of all ways to seal the channels. They would have taken all sorts of actions to prevent treasure hunters from other cities from entering.
However, it was different now. The Tucson gang had been reduced to a few small groups. They had a bad relationship with Princeps now and were unable to threaten treasure hunters from outside Tucson anymore.
The result of that was that when Li Du arrived in Tucson, he saw the car plates of many other states.