Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du had been to Tucson countless times. The first time he arrived, he found the place interesting and novel. By now, he felt that there was nothing in the town to be curious about.
It was especially so now that he had traveled around the world, been to both the Arctic and Antarctica, dived in Australia, and toured through Siberia. A small place like Tucson was nothing to him now.
The car went around the city as Lu Guan was trying to figure out where they would stay.
Li Du said, “Next time you should find a hotel beforehand. It should be special, the best this place can offer. As for the price, don’t worry about it…”
Lu Guan looked up. “Boss, I’m not looking for a hotel. I’m trying to connect to someone.”
Lu Guan said, “Many of our buddies from Flagstaff and Phoenix are also here to join the auction. Aren’t we going to stay with them?”
Li Du had not thought about that. It has been some time since he has been away. He had forgotten about Big Beard Carl, Dickens, Reeves and the rest.
Perhaps one would be unable to find another treasure-hunting king as unreliable as he was. The treasure hunters from Flagstaff and Phoenix saw him as their leader but he had not even brought them to attend the auction.
Li Du rubbed his nose and said, “You’re right. I had better hang out with them, contact them.”
“I already did,” Lu Guan smiled, “They are staying in Titan Missile hotel. We can go there directly.”
Li Du thought for a while and said, “When we arrive, check if their rooms have been paid for. If not, go and pay for them. If they have, let’s pay for their meals for the two days they will be in Tucson.”
Lu Guan gave him a thumbs up. “Boss, you’re so cool!”
Li Du was about to give himself some praise too when a call from an unknown number came through.
Seeing the number, Li Du strained his memory but did not recall it. It was not a number he was familiar with. In fact, it was not a regular phone number at all.
Li Du picked up the phone and said, “Hi, who is this? If you’re promoting something I’d suggest that you hang up now. At least you’ll be able to save on your phone bill.”
“It’s me, old mate, Tang Chaoyang,” someone said in Mandarin.
Li Du said awkwardly, “Oh, oh, Brother Tang, hi. Sorry, sorry, this number looked strange. I thought it was a phone call from a bot.”
The other party hesitated and said, “Brother Tang… hmm… we are related?”
Li Du did not know how to react. “No, we’re not, as far as I know. Your last name is Tang, so I addressed you as Brother Tang…”
Tang Chaoyang said, “Oh, I see. I thought I had forgotten that we were relatives.”
Li Du burst out laughing. He felt that Tang Chaoyang was cracking a joke.
However, Tang Chaoyang elaborated further to explain. “In the past, I got into some situations that left me suffering from mild amnesia. I can’t remember some things very well now. So when you addressed me that way just now, I misunderstood.”
Li Du was shocked. “You have amnesia? What happened?”
Tang Chaoyang said, “It’s complicated. It’s not like I completely lost my memories. I forget some things, however. Okay, long story short, I’m calling to apologize to you.”
Li Du did not understand. “Apologize? What for?”
Tang Chaoyang said, “I recall that I took some papyrus from you. There are some olden day writings on it.”
Li Du quickly caught on and asked, “You lost it?”
Tang Chaoyang said, “No, I didn’t lose it. It looks like someone stole it. D*mn, this time around, I’ve been duped. Someone tricked me!”
Hearing that, Li Du lowered his phone and looked at the screen, as though expecting to see Tang Chaoyang.
He felt that there was something about with Tang Chaoyang this time. There was nothing wrong with his voice, but it felt like the man did not have his usual smart and steady demeanor that Li Du was familiar with.
Tang Chaoyang went on, saying, “I’m very sorry. However, I have translated the information on the papyrus. It describes a gold mine. The gold mine is situated near Egypt.”
Li Du asked to clarify, “So the papyrus contains information on the location of a gold mine?”
Tang Chaoyang laughed bitterly. “Yes, it should have been found two thousand and four hundred years ago. However, before I confirmed its exact location, it was snatched away by someone else. I’m really sorry.”
Li Du did not harp on that. He smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s not an issue. It doesn’t matter whether the information about the gold mine is true or false. Even if it’s real, after over two thousand years, perhaps someone had discovered it already in the meantime.”
Tang Chaoyang stayed silent for a few seconds before he said, “Thank you, Li.”
Li Du said generously, “I thought something worse might have happened. So it’s just this? Anyway, I had no intention to earn money from that papyrus. Hence, it doesn’t matter that it’s gone. Don’t you worry about it.”
Tang Chaoyang said, “I am responsible for this. I will take responsibility. Please wait for a while. I have information about a jewel mine somewhere else. Once I confirm it, I will let you know to compensate for your loss.”
Hearing that there was some information about a new mine, Li Du’s brain went into rapid action. He repeated, “You really don’t have to compensate me for anything. We are friends. So we should give each other some leeway, right? We are very good friends!”
Tang Chaoyang and he was not very good friends at all. They had only met a few times, in fact. However, Li Du knew that that man was very powerful.
Since Tang Chaoyang was suffering from partial memory loss, Li Du took the chance to advance their relationship. He did not want to pursue the issue of the lost papyrus. It was equivalent to Tang Chaoyang owing him a favor.
With that, the two parties could forge a stronger connection, and improve their relationship.
Tang Chaoyang smiled. “Are we very close friends? In that case, I can’t let my friend take a loss. Alright, I have some issues on hand right now. I will contact you again. You will not lose out, I promise. Goodbye, my friend.”
“Goodbye, brother!” Li Du said.
He was quite sincere, however. He really did not care much about the loss of the papyrus. He had no interest in it. Right from the start, he did not have much expectation for earning anything from it.
The truck drove across Tucson. Titan Missile Museum appeared before them. It was located not far from the gallery.
Tucson had one of the largest air force bases in the United States. Hence, some museums in the city were related to the military. The Titan Missile Museum was well known for having an underground launching base of American intercontinental missiles during the Cold War. One could find much to explore in the place.
Following the theme, the hotel had two missiles erected at the door. One was ground-to-air, and the other was ground-to-ground. The ground-to-ground intercontinental missile model was huge and looked like it was ready to be launched.
The truck stopped and Li Du walked towards the hotel. Then when he entered the door, he spotted someone familiar. Princeps!
Princeps was drinking beer at the bar, relaxing with a few of his buddies. There were also some foreign treasure hunters at the bar. They did not look like easy opponents.
When Li Du walked in, the atmosphere changed suddenly.