Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Kochena tribe had had that chief funeral tradition for generations, but in the era of the Chief Alisena, the tribe people had been in a difficult situation. Their territory was repeatedly invaded.
It had taken place a century and a half ago. At that time, the United States was still a barbaric place. Many white people took guns and rode on horses to chase the Indiana native people away from their ancestral lands.
In addition, the natives had lived in North America for thousands of years, during which time they had amassed a large amount of wealth that the white people coveted.
Many of the violent white people gathered into armed teams to invade the native people’s territory. They robbed the natives of their treasures, of which gold and silver were the most popular.
There were gold mines in the mountains where the Kochena tribe was located. However, as the tribe was hidden deep in the mountains, white robbers did not loot them in earlier years.
However, time passed and the legend of the Kochena gold started to spread further. Many of the white invaders were tempted and hence, they launched an attack to rob the tribe.
Alisena, who was a tribal chief of that generation, had prepared for the worst. He had hidden all the gold and then led his people to abandon their land, to leave for somewhere deeper into the mountains.
Just as they had taken their leave, a photographer from the studio was coincidentally in the area. Having learned that the photographer was as a friend, Alisena did not give him a hard time. He had only lent the photographer’s expertise to take some photos.
Those photos documented the life of his people and generation. The chief had wanted to keep the photographs for posterity.
When he realized the value of the photographed records, the chief thought about it, brought the photographer to the treasure ground and got him to take a few more photos.
Of course, the photographer was taken there with a blindfold. Hence, he did not know the exact location or the route to the treasure ground. It was only when they had arrived at the treasure ground that the photographer was allowed to remove the blindfold temporarily to take some photos.
At that time, the photographer had given the chief all the photos he developed. However, he brought the films back with him. Later, he had developed another set of photographs and passed them on to the media. Those were the yellowed old photos that Li Du was looking at.
The photographs had led to a local treasure-hunting trend. Everyone wanted to search for the Kochena gold using the landmarks captured in the photographs.
However, the photographed scenery did not include any telltale signs leading to the treasure. There were just some rocks and a few trees. There were countless similar photographs around, so using the photographs to search for the treasure was no different from searching for a needle in a haystack.
Finally, nobody made any discovery. As the Kochena tribe disappeared, the treasure, too, became a local mystery that was never resolved.
This information was not what Li Du had read in the newspaper clipping. He had found out about this from the internet. The legend of the tribal treasure had been circulating in Cleveland and other places for a long time, and there were many speculations about it online.
At that time, the photographer, too, was tempted by the gold. The studio had once organized a treasure-search team. Unfortunately, the photographer had been blindfolded as he was taken to the photo shoot site. He did not know the route to the treasure from the campsite. In the end, like others, they ended up with nothing.
Reading that information, Li Du rubbed his chin. Then, he used the time-reversal capability on the films in the box.
The photo was developed from the negative film. The film and the photographer had arrived at the gold treasure site from the camp. The photographer might have been blindfolded, but the film was not!
As time was reversed, scenes flashed before Li Du’s eyes. The first of the scenes was when the film was being manufactured…
Taking down the number of that warehouse, Li Du smiled at Lu Guan. “Our vacation is about to become more interesting. Let’s go back and start the preparations.”
“What did you see in that warehouse?” Lu Guan asked curiously.
Li Du narrowed his eyes at him and said, “Your prize money.”
Lu Guan’s mouth stretched in a wide smile.
Late in July, the auction began.
Some treasure hunters from across Ohio and Pennsylvania had arrived. Most of the treasure hunters, however, were Cleveland locals. There were about sixty of them.
Li Du had truly become a famous man in the trade. When Lu Guan and he were near the warehouse, someone caught sight of them and recognized him. “Wow, could this be the treasure hunting king from Phoenix?”
“That’s him. How many Chinese are there in our trade? Just look at how he carries himself. He must be China Li.”
“Why did he come to Cleveland? I have never seen those country bumpkins from the Southwest come to our territory.”
“Shut up! China Li is good at bearing grudges. Don’t provoke him. Even if you want to do something stupid, don’t bring us down with you!”
Li Du was unfamiliar with the local treasure hunters, so after he arrived, he casually found a spot to settle down. Godzilla and Big Quinn stood on either side of him, offering protection. That made it even easier for the treasure hunters to confirm his identity.
Not long after, a middle-aged man wearing a visor walked towards Li Du. He extended his hand in a friendly manner and asked, “Mr. Li from Arizona?”
Li Du grinned and shook the man’s hands. “That’s right, hello.”
The middle-aged man pointed to himself and said, “I’m Hook Tatum. Very pleased to meet you in Cleveland. But honestly, I’m very curious. Why did you come to this small place of ours?”
Li Du said, “I came here for a vacation and just thought to take a look at the auction.”
Tatum pouted. “You are on a vacation in Cleveland? Ah, and none of us actually got that piece of news. If you’d like to, as a local, I can introduce you to some of the best spots around.”
Li Du nodded and they chatted about famous local attraction for a bit.
After some chit-chat, Tatum changed the topic back to the auction. “It’s too bad that the studio has gone bankrupt. Otherwise, you could let them take a few photos for you for a keepsake. They were fantastic at photography portraits.”
“Now that they have been bankrupt, I’m not sure what they will leave behind. Mr. Li, do you have any information? Did you make any discoveries?”
The man’s ultimate motive was to get some information from Li Du’s mouth to make money. Obviously, Tatum knew all about Li Du’s feats in Arizona and California.
Li Du smiled and said, “I’m mostly here to soak in the atmosphere. I was bored during my vacation and learned that there’s an auction. So I just came over for a look.”
Tatum did not trust his words, and neither did the other treasure hunters. None of those who knew about Li Du’s identity found his words believable.
Li Du never went away from an auction empty-handed. That was why he had been labeled as the legend of the warehouse auction trade. He had only been in that business for three or four years and was already a legend across America.
The auction started and, fitting with what he had told Tatum, Li Du did not look very enthusiastic.
One after another, warehouses were auctioned off. Li Du had placed a few bids but did not persist. Whenever someone bid higher, he would shake his head and quit the competition.
A treasure hunter said quietly, “Seems nothing extraordinary about that dude.”
Another small warehouse was opened up. The auctioneer shouted the starting bid of five hundred dollars. Li Du looked at the treasure hunter who had commented earlier. Then, he shouted his bid, “Two thousand dollars!”
The treasure hunter felt that Li Du had done this in retaliation to his comment. Hence, he rubbed his nose and quickly made himself scarce.
The rest of the treasure hunters shook their heads. The warehouse was full of films. Besides, one could tell from the packaging of the boxes that they were all damaged. They would not even fetch one thousand dollars.
The auctioneer pointed to Li Du and called out, “Two thousand dollars… DEAL!”