Li Du couldnt understand why Thompson was so hostile toward him. Was it because he was close to Sophie? Didnt that guy know that with his strange temperament, even without Li Du, Sophie would never be with him?
Despite only two encounters, Mr. Li had already grasped what kind of person Thompson was. He was trash, a failure of a human!
He had to keep the questions in his heart for now. After stopping the bleeding for the youth, the ambulance left swiftly toward the hospital to perform the latter part of the surgery.
Li Du didnt go along, so Hans drove over to fetch him.
Sometime later, Sophie called, and said in a gentle tone, "The operation was a success. The damaged artery has been closed. Li, I want to express my thanks for today."
Li Du said with a smile, "No need for thanks. We worked together to save that mans life."
Sophie was interested in his surgical expertise, and began asking about the topic.
Li Du had almost no knowledge in that field. The reason he could find the bullet and apply the sponge was all due to the bug.
He knew that the more he spoke, the more he would reveal, so he cleverly changed the topic to Ah Meow.
Thus, with Ah Meow as the main topic, the two chatted pleasantly for half the afternoon, until Sophie was called to perform another surgery.
In the evening, when they were preparing to have dinner, Hans picked up a call, and then said, "Buddy, we have new work to do."
Li Du asked, "Which storage company is having an auction?"
Hans gleefully said, "Its not a normal storage auction this time; its kind of like a mutated auction. A book company has declared bankrupt, and were going to clear out their storage."
"Which book company is declaring bankruptcy? My God, it cant be Borders?" Hannah, who was preparing the dishes, stuck her head out of the kitchen.
Hans shrugged, and pointed his finger at her. "Your guess is right. Its Borders. All their storage in Phoenix will be cleared out."
Hannah said helplessly, "D*mmit, the bookstores are getting fewer. In the future, where will our children go to read? Duttons, The Bodhi Treeall of them have gone bankrupt. Also Barnes & Nobles. I remember when I was still in school how that bookstore had many branches."
"Whats the use in having branches?" Hans asked. "Their sales were poor. Lets take you as an example; did you go to those bookstores when you were in school?"
Hannah said, "Of course I went"
"And you read so many books, but still ended up not making into any of the specialized schools?" Hans cut her off.
Hannahs face flushed red, and she argued, "I-I went to bookstores to buy books, though the number of books I read wasnt many. But I know that we should read more books."
Li Du nodded and said, "Correct. Books are humankinds best friend."
Hans shook his head and said, "I dont understand much about that, so save your breath. The reduction in the number of bookstores is a nationwide trend, not just Phoenix. But if you guys want to buy books, there are still some bookstores out there, like Stories, Skylight Books, Book Soup, The Last Bookstore"
He went out every day, so he was familiar with those shops. From the tip of his tongue, he named many book companies that were still in business.
Li Du said, "In reality, these are not all needed. All thats necessary is one in Arizona."
After resting for a day in Flagstaff, they once again set out on the road to Phoenix.
In the lobby of the Steampunk Hotel, some treasure hunters had gathered. After seeing them, these people waved their hands in greeting.
"Hello, Li, Hans, and the monster. Good morning, fellas."
"Phoenix is going to be scrubbed clean againhope you guys leave something behind this time."
"Li, I heard you guys taught Lucas, that dumb buffalo, a lesson? That guy left Phoenix."
Li Du was surprised, and said, "Taught what lesson? We didnt screw with him. What happened?"
"That guy spent over 50,000 dollars trying to get a storage unit with stone sculptures, thinking that there would be a bunch of valuable art in it," a well-built treasure hunter said with a laugh. "Turns out all of it was just worthless junk. Heard that the unit was snatched from you?"
Li Du said, "Rightthat unit was worthless? I wanted to take a risk for it, but their offer was too high, over 50,000 dollars."
That information was quite useful for him, though he still wanted to personally examine those sculptures to researc their material and time energy to find out what secrets the bug was still hiding.
But it seemed that it was not possible anymore. Lucas would rather destroy those sculptures than give them to him.
They sat at the back to drink, and started talking about the book storage that was being auctioned.
The treasure hunters were feeling emotional, saying that people who read books were getting fewer, and hypothesized that bookstores would disappear completely in the future.
"The disappearance of bookstores is still a small issueif indoor malls are gone, d*mmit, that would be the worst," a treasure hunter named Bale sighed.
Indoor malls were some of the most bustling places in American history. The Beverly Center in Phoenix, built in 1982, could be said to represent the peak of the era of indoor malls.
But today, following the rise of e-commerce and outdoor malls, indoor malls in many cities in America had lost their popularity.
E-commerce was cheap, and it was healthier to shop at outdoor malls. For example, when someone was trying on clothes, their companions could enjoy a few minutes of sunshine.
Americans were emphasizing more and more on health and happiness. Many people had busy jobs, so they had to strive for every chance they could get if they wanted to enjoy a healthy life.
"Well, I feel that if palm trees were gone, then that would really be the worst," another treasure hunter said.
In Phoenix, the palm trees by the side of the road stood out in the city landscape. They were also one of the specialties of the city.
Unfortunately, since 2006, due to aging and diseases, the palm trees had been dying off. The urban planners had started replacing them with oak, mulberry, and other types of trees.
People were heatedly discussing the sports that were slowly disappearing from society. The one that had disappeared the most was horse racing.
Some of the animals were also disappearing; for example, the Desert Black Widow. Arizona was one of the main habitats of these spiders. They were vicious, aggressive, and had strong venom, causing lots of trouble.
According to the research from entomologists for the past two years, the number of Desert Black Widows in Arizona was dwindling. The population of some non-local, Brown Widows was increasing instead.
The Brown Widow was poisonous as well, but it was relatively less aggressive, so the threat to humans was less.
Speaking of that, some of the treasure hunters celebrated. "I wont mourn the loss of spiders; my son, Mark, was once bitten by a darn spider. D*mmit, that b*stard almost killed him!"
As the treasure hunters casually chatted, Li Du drank a glass of ice-cold beer with them, and then brought Godzilla and Hans to the storage units of the book company. He wanted to check them out early and see if there was a chance of finding something good.