Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The safe to which the key belonged was not a single safe on its own, but a series of cabinets, like in a bank. There could have been a few hundreds of such cabinets arranged together.
There were a few things stored in the cabinets that were connected to the key. The most eye-catching one was a crown.
The diameter of the crown was slightly smaller than a volleyball. It was meant to be worn on the top of the head instead of around the forehead. The metal was more like platinum than silver. The key motive was a bay leaf that was designed and created by a series of coils. It looked elegant and striking.
Within the design of the coils, there were some gemstones. The middle of the crown was inlaid with a round-cut diamond. It was fixed in the center with a platinum-plated claw-collar, and its lower edge was inlaid with a row of small round diamonds.
Of course, that was just Li Du’s guess. The crown might also have been made of silver. The gemstone might turn out to be a crystal and not a diamond, but in any case, it was beautiful.
He suddenly had an idea and texted Lu Guan. Lu Guan understood what he wanted. He decided to bid for that key.
The starting bid for the key was not high. It was 1,500 dollars. As the key was small, even if it was made out of 24K gold, it would have only weighed ten grams. All in all, it would be worth no more than 2,000 dollars.
In fact, it was made of 18K gold. Besides, the verifications had clarified that the ornaments on the key handle were not diamonds. They were just some crystals and hence it was not worth much in itself.
Lu Guan offered two thousand dollars and no one else competed with that bid.
To normal people, that key was not worth much. The hype that the auctioneer created was useless. That was because regular people would not be able to deduce which safe the key belonged to.
However, Li Du was able to do that. There was truthfully no related information on the key, but Time Travelling would be able to attain it.
Coincidentally, the key was in a safe that belonged to Tiffany’s. It was actually the outlet that Tina worked at, Tiffany’s flagship store in Los Angeles. Li Du knew that because only the head office of Tiffany’s in California would have safes for customers.
Now that he got the key, Li Du felt he had not attended the auction in vain. He had managed to gain something for himself.
When the auction ended, Li Du started to get ready to leave. Bill held him back and asked hopefully, “Mr. Li, you will consider my suggestion seriously, right?”
Li Du said, “I will, please wait for my call.”
He meant what he said. After he got into a cab, he rang up Jesus Bell to check out some background information on Bill Shoreton.
Bell asked, “Why are you suddenly interested in him? He’s a good lad. He is self-reliant and independent. He entered the warehouse auction trade when he was sixteen. After some struggling, he has achieved what may be considered quite good results.”
Li Du did not hide anything and told him about Bill’s proposal.
After listening to that, Bell laughed heartily. He said, “Bill is really a smart guy. He made the right decision. He’s a clever one, alright. If you want to know about his character, then let me tell you this. He’s a good guy. He’s smart but not cunning. Also, nobody has anything bad to say about him in California.”
Since Bell had given such good recommendations, Li Du was assured. He passed the file that Bill gave him to Lu Guan. Li Du said, “Go check out the information on the warehouses listed here.”
Lu Guan asked, “Where is this from? Hey, California custom auction. That’s one that we must attend. Boss, there must be quite a few good ones here.”
Li Du nodded. “Yup, go check them out. All of these auctions. I will get ready to join them.”
Bell had good comments for Bill. If he was outstanding in searching for information and in shortlisting, then Li Du was willing to work with him.
It was just a partnership; Bill had made it sound quite low-level and called himself Li Du’s assistant. However, based on the proposed margin-split, it would be considered something more than merely Bill working for him.
If they were really going to partner up, Li Du would not take the 30-70 split. It would have to be 20-80. Besides, he would only be in charge of confirming the conditions of the warehouses prior to the auction. The auction and post-auction work would be done by Bill.
Tiffany’s flagship store in California was a splendid place that occupied the entire building themselves. There were all sorts of luxurious venues in the building, including a hotel, restaurants and entertainment venues. It was an all-encompassing place to splurge in.
These days, luxury companies were also enmeshed in the entire entertainment market. They were no longer just focusing on what they have always offered but were also exploring other business channels and trying to get into more and more profitable industries.
Harry Winston Inc. was like that. In the past, they were just diamond and jewel makers. Now, they had expanded to make watches, clocks and other related accessories.
Tiffany’s had crossed that line even earlier. Audrey Hepburn’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ had given publicity to the company’s presence. Tiffany’s had wanted to enter Hollywood, but the process had not been smooth.
After Li Du alighted, he walked into Tiffany’s. He had not seen any sign of Tina and did not want to bother her. Hence, he headed for the customer service counter directly and pulled out the key. “Hi, one of my relatives has something in the safe of this shop. I’m here to bring it to him.”
The beautiful service lady smiled and asked, “Alright, sir, please show us the receipt and identity card presented in this shop in the past.”
Li Du was stumped. How would he have that receipt? Hence, he said, “Hmm, I’ve lost the receipt. Can’t I just open the safe with the key I have?”
The service lady shook her head with regret. “I’m sorry, sir, but if you have lost the receipt, unless the owner brings in his identity documents to process another one, you will not be able to get close to the safe.”
Li Du felt vexed. He said, “But my relative has passed on and the identity cards have been revoked. What can we do about that?”
The service lady continued to shake her head regretfully. “Then I’m afraid there’s nothing I can help with. Perhaps you can get the police involved. If they are able to prove the relationship between you and the owner of the safe, and also prove the death of the owner and provide the will, we can transfer the related safe to you.”
Li Du did not know the identity of the safe’s owner. However, using Time Travelling, he would be able to know his looks and name, and would even be able to see the safe’s receipt. However, those were not things he could use to gain access to the safe.
He sat down on a stool nearby and started to think of solutions. He did not lie. The owner of the safe had indeed passed away. It belonged to a fairly famous handicraft artist. In the cab, he had started to look for information about that man. On the internet, it was stated that he had been killed in an unfortunate car accident.
After thinking for some time, he had yet to come up with a good solution and was still struggling. Before him, the door of the lift opened and Tina walked out.
Right then, Tina was dressed in a manner that was different from the past when Li Du met her. At the music festival, she had worn a leather top. On the mountain campsite, she was wearing denim, and at the beach, she wore a bikini. At Kobe’s birthday party, she had worn an evening gown.