That night, the treasure hunters gathered together and organized a bonfire barbecue.
At the mountaintop, when the sunset, the temperature would drop significantly.
The wind started to get cold and one would get chills when it blew. Once the bonfire was lit up and the grills spread out, everyone gathered around the bonfire.
A bonfire in the daytime would be way too hot. But at the current temperature and time of day, it was extremely pleasant.
Of course, cold beer was a must in such gatherings. The hotel employees placed buckets of ice and bottled beer on a table. Hans and the treasure hunters raised the beer bottles and cheered.
Li Du sat near the edge of the mountain, looking at the night view of Jerome. Past Jerome, lights from nearby towns and cities could be seen.
Toward the northeast was the Sin City, Las Vegas.
Hans walked over with another two treasure hunters. "Hey bud, penny for your thoughts?"
Li Du laughed and replied, "Look, thats Las Vegas. Thats a city full of wealth!"
Hans nodded in response. "Yeah, a city full of wealth. Theres many more storage companies, more valuables, and many people who have made a fortune living there.
Li Du seemed interested and asked, "Well, why didnt you look for storage information in Las Vegas?"
A fellow treasure hunter replied, "Thats because Big Fox has no guts."
"Ha! Yeah, he has no guts to go to Las Vegas."
Hans showed the two treasure hunters the middle finger. "Okay, you two are right," he said, "its true I dont dare go to Las Vegas, but thats because Im rational!"
"Why do you say that?" Li Du was curious.
"Las Vegas isnt known as the Sin City for no reason," Hans explained. "There are lots of street gangs in Las Vegas. The treasure hunters there work in groups, some of them backed by gangs."
Li Du exclaimed, "Gangs? It sure sounds complicated."
A treasure hunter chimed in, "Storage auctions are an enormous industry, Big Li. Obviously you dont understand it well enough. There are some places we shouldnt go."
"We work in this industry for a livelihood but not everyone else does so," Hans said. "Some join this industry with other motives."
"Well, theres smuggling, money laundering, selling high-quality imitations, and so forth," Hans replied. "Those people in Las Vegas are mostly into money laundering. We need to stay away from them."
The treasure hunter beside Hans gave a sigh and said, "Las Vegas is full of valuable storage units. If we have the ability to go there, we should give it a try."
The other treasure hunter sneered at the remark. "What kind of ability? You would think someone like Andrew is good enough. That fellow went to Las Vegas a couple of times. Once, he got mobbed and locked up in a storage unit!"
Li Du nodded his head. "Wow, the waters run deep in the storage auction business."
Hans sipped his beer. "Remember what I said previously? Youve just been dealing with the tip of the iceberg."
Li Du smiled. "I do hope I can experience more of the industry."
The treasure hunters enjoyed their bonfire until midnight. Li Du carried two sound asleep pets back to the room.
The next day was the auction at Red Rock Storage Co.
Their business had been going downhill due to the dwindling number of town residents. They needed to deal with delinquent storage units as soon as possible.
When Li and Hans reached the storage company, the auctioneer who was wearing a sun hat waved and greeted them. "Hey, both of you are here again?"
Ever since his Hollywood stint, Li Du was so famous in Flagstaff that even this auctioneer came up to them for some small talk.
"Yeah," Hans Laughed, "weve gotten nice items from here previously, and just wanted to try our luck again."
The auctioneer puffed out a sigh. "My friends, frankly speaking, its hard to get anything valuable here. There arent many storage units left now. Most of the units belonged to the poor."
As they chatted about the storage units, the auctioneer revealed some news about the units on auction.
"Unit 19 should be good. It was added at the last minute and from what I know, the owner did not remove anything in there. If there were valuables inside previously, then it is definitely worth bidding for."
Upon hearing this, Li Du recalled the little bug which was currently inspecting unit 6, and sent it to unit 19.
Unit 6 was the commonly seen storage unit that contained lots of useless household items. The little bug made just one round and Li Du knew the unit had nothing worthwhile to bid for.
Unit 19 definitely was a good one to bid for in regards to what the auctioneer had said. The whole unit was wallpapered with a silvery grey color. There were chests, cabinets, and light fixtureseverything was neatly arranged.
Li Du sensed something unusual about the unit. It was very different from other storage unitsit was furnished like a house that someone could live inside.
Something interesting to note was that there was a curtain right behind the entrance. This meant that nobody could see what was inside the unit unless someone pulled the curtains open.
But before Li Du could perform a more detailed check on the unit using the little bug, an Infiniti car drove into the storage company.
A young, blonde woman alighted from the car in a rush; she was running toward unit 19.
Li looked at the young woman in confusion. When she reached unit 19, she pulled out her keys but she was unable to open it.
"Dogsh*t! Pile of dogsh*t!" The young woman muttered angrily.
The auctioneer quickly made his way toward the young woman. "Miss, you need to leave this place. This is"
"F*ck you old man! Shut up! This is my storage unit! He belongs to me OK?!" The young woman lashed out at the auctioneer without letting him finish his sentence.
The auctioneer shrugged his shoulders and said, "Maybe it had belonged to you, but it has already been put up for auction"
"Its him not it! Watch your words, Jerk!" The young lady interrupted the auctioneer once again as she frowned and spoke in a stern voice.
Just then, another car drove in as well.
A middle-aged couple and a young man came out of the car. They hurried over to where the young lady was and beseeched, "Avril, please, you need to come with us!"
Avril was the name of the young woman.
She shrieked, "Go, just leave me alone! Im not leaving here! Im not going with you! You want to auction off my storage unit? You want to sell off Benjamin, right?!"
The middle-aged woman wailed in grief, "Oh God, look at what shes saying, my poor Avril, she must have been bewitched by Satan!"
The middle-aged mans eyes grew livid with anger, he grabbed Avril by the arm and said, "Dont be silly Avril, just come with us!"
Avril tore his hand away and screamed, "No, Im not leaving! I want to stay here with Benjamin! I wont allow anyone to hurt him!"
The middle-aged man shouted, "Shut up! Youre crazy! Dont force me to send you to the mental institution!"
Avril implored desperately, "Im not crazy, you know it Dad! All of you know Im not! I dont understand. Im just in love with a storage unit! Whats wrong with that? I havent harmed anyone!"