Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After staying one night with the tribe, the next day, Li Du returned to the cave. He realized that several men were moving the rocks.
Shocked, he asked Old Martin, “Thomas, what are you guys doing? Are you planning to dig out the rock paintings and move them away?”
A man beside him heard Li Du, rolled his eyes and said, “We are archaeologists, not pirates. How would we do that? That’s an insult to us!”
Li Du pursed his lips and said, “How often have you guys hidden behind the title of an archaeologist? Who stole the flying mural of our Mogao Grottoes in China?”
“The Europeans, not us,” Old Martin said.
The man with the mustache glared at him and said, “What an insult!”
After this exchange, the conversation veered back to the topic. Old Martin said emphatically, “Your discovery is really amazing. Do you know what else we found in the cave?”
Li Du shook his head. The old man clapped his hands and said, “A mummy! A real Native American mummy!”
“Did Native Americans have mummies too? Wasn’t that only a thing in Egypt?” Li Du asked, surprised.
The old man shot him a condescending look and said, “The method of mummification was known across all the civilized, ancient countries around the world. It’s only that the Egyptian mummies have been more widely publicized in novels, movies and other forms of popular art.”
It was not a coincidence that a mummy had been found in the cave. The experts had managed to understand the meaning of the rock paintings and realized that the paintings were describing the ways in which the native people buried their ancestors.
Hence, they started the search in the cave and discovered the mummy. However, there had been some damage.
Old Martin said, “In the past, this cave was very dry. Hence, it was used to keep the mummies. Later, when the spring water changed its course to flow through here, some of the mummies were damaged. A pity, a real pity.”
All that professional information had nothing to do with Li Du. Neither cave paintings nor mummies would be traded in regular markets. It would be better to leave them to the archaeologists and historians.
The discovery of the rock paintings and the mummies could be considered the most important breakthrough in the 21st century in the field of North American archaeology. Very soon, the government of Pittsburgh became aware of the news and sent the police over to maintain order.
Among the group of police officers, Li Du recognized a few who were the same men who had come to the cave previously to detain the poachers.
Li Du walked over and smiled at them. “Coming to the Blue Ridges twice a month must be tough, right?”
One of the police officers nodded vigorously. “That’s right. God bless us, hope that there will be fewer cases like this…”
He was halfway through his sentence when something struck him. He asked, “How did you know that it’s our second time in Blue Ridges?”
Li Du smiled again. “I caught some poachers previously and was the one who called the police. At that time, I saw you guys while I was hiding somewhere.”
The policemen soon realized he was telling the truth. Just like that, Li Du quickly managed to get into their good books.
After gathering some photographs and ancient items, Old Martin and Li Du started their descent.
This discovery was very important. Old Martin and his people had contacted the Pittsburgh government for a press conference, which they had to attend.
As a discoverer and witness of the historical moment, Li Du became one of the key people at the press conference. Through media coverage, his identity was broadcasted throughout the world.
Of course, that had little effect on his life. He was not going to become a star because of such a discovery. At most, some of the people who paid attention to that piece of news would recognize him.
After the cave paintings had been discovered, the rest of the labor had nothing to do with him anymore. This time around, he was just a navigator.
Bringing along his loot from the Tavisi tribe, he took the flight back to Los Angeles and started the preparations to attend the real estate auction.
It was his first time participating in that sort of auction and he was a stranger to that trade. Hence, he would need to do his homework prior to jumping in.
A real estate auction was different from a warehouse auction. It required partnership. The auction would be held at the Urban Housing and Development Bureau. To land a house, naturally, one would have to attend.
In addition, someone would have to check out the condition of the house. If there were any issues, they would have to communicate with the bidders to determine the final price.
It might seem like an unnecessary step, considering that the bidders could have checked out the condition of the house beforehand.
However, it would be inappropriate to do that. First, in the competitive bidding for the real estate unit, the house would not be entirely opened up to the public. This was different from warehouse auctions where the warehouse would be briefly opened, but treasure hunters would not be allowed to enter.
In the process of real estate auctions, the house would not be opened up and no one would be allowed in. Bidders could only view the house from outside or peep through the windows to determine the price.
This was related to the real estate law in the United States. Private property was sacred and inviolable. Even after the property was recovered by the government or the bank, it was considered private.
Under such circumstances, nobody really owned the property and hence, nobody could give permission to visit it, which meant that nobody could be allowed to enter.
In the business of real estate auctions, everyone would go to view the house in advance, and they would continue to observe the house when the auction took place, in case they make any new discovery and want to adjust the price in time.
That point had no impact on Li Du. The little bug would be able to check out everything around the property. He just had to attend the auction.
There were eleven houses to be auctioned off this time, from apartments and private cottages to villas and manors. The most valuable of them was the manor Li Du had set his sights on, which was the target for all the participants.
Lu Guan had gone to inquire about the auction and told Li Du that the number of people attending would be no less than fifty, and at least forty of them were interested in the manor estate.
Fifty people were not a big deal in a warehouse auction, but it was considered to be a high turnout for a real estate auction. That was because there were numerous treasure hunters but relatively few house-pickers.
Li Du did not care about the number of rivals he would have to face. He was only interested in the value of the property.
Lu Guan passed him the addresses of the eleven properties and they drove over to check them out prior to the auction.
The houses had already been sealed by the court and hence, they were unable to enter.
Li Du first went to check out the beach estate. The property had appeared humongous in pictures but was even larger in real life. It occupied at least 20,000 square meters of land. With a proper clean-up, it could be a luxurious manor!
Just as what Lu Guan had told, the house had a good location. Li Du had arrived at the house after taking a turn from the interstate highway. He got off the car and looked forward, gazing at the vast, endless ocean before him.
There was a beautiful beach. The sand was fine and clean. The waves slapped lazily on the shore. Some seabirds were flying slightly above the ocean and the rhythm to their wings, coupled with the rolling of the waves, was very soothing and comforting.
During the drive, Li Du saw that there was a mall five or six hundred meters to the east of the house. There was a subway right next to the mall. That increased the value of the house. Most houses in the suburbs in America were typically far from malls. To buy something, one would have to drive out.
Here, he had a mall within walking distance, and the house was still pretty close to the subway. Of course, people who could afford such a house would not care if there were a subway.