The auction was divided into two parts, and there was a ten-minute break after the first half.
Li Du and Dr. Sophie were walking out to get some fresh air. At this moment, Marate blocked them, saying, "Buddy, are you here for our charity auction?"
"Of course. Youve already seen us. Ive been sitting here the whole time." Li Du didnt know what Marate wanted, but he knew that he was intending to bother him
"Oh, really?" Marate laughed with contempt. "I thought you were just here to eat our lunch." Then, he shrugged and gave Li an understanding expression, saying, "Sure. Its okay that youre here to eatthe theme of the day is charity."
Hearing this, Sophie replied discontentedly, "Marate, watch your words. Youre purposely provoking us, arent you? Why are you so impolite?"
Marate was not the only person who liked to provoke people. This was the culture of the USA.
Some of the males from the USA, especially teenagers, liked to flaunt themselves as tough guys. They would train to have strong bodies. They loved extreme exercise, and they would bully those who were weaker than them.
Bullying the weak: this was the survival rule amongst some teenagers in the USA. You would know it from US dramas and Hollywood movies. The good-looking and graceful leading actors were always bullied by mean teenagers.
Not to mention Li Du made Marate had egg on his face, he had also won Sophies favor. Without this relationship, Marate would dislike him either.
One of the biggest problems facing society in the USA was the issue of racism.
Li Du had been studying abroad in the USA for half a year. The status of ChineseAmericans was what struck him the most. Sometimes it felt like everyone wanted to trample them.
Marate was an egotistical person, and he was obviously racist. Thats why Sophie didnt like him.
He thought showing off his muscles and toughness could win Sophies heart. In fact, that didnt work for Sophie. Because of her work, she often engaged with the results of violence, and hated people who reminded her of it.
Li Du, looking in from outside their relationship, could see this simple problem. But, Marate didnt seem to notice it.
Even if he could tell that his aggression was the issue, he wouldnt change himself. Strong, confident, rough-and-tough: he believed these were charismatic traits, and he was proud of his personality.
Scolded by Sophie, he held up his head. "No. Its not me thats impoliteIm not a weak coward. Sophie, you never truly knew me, and this fills me with regret."
"Perhaps," Sophie smiled. "But, this makes me happy."
Marate stormed away in a rage. Before leaving, he glared at Li Du. "So happy that I could help you, buddy. Eat more during lunch."
After Marate left, Sophie said, "Im sorry, Li. Marate has always been this childish. I dont get why he never matured with age. "
Martin, who had been listening, smiled. "Arent all the young people in Flagstaff the same? Time will teach them the right life attitude."
Li Du smiled bitterly and nodded his head. He had gotten involved with this accidentally.
But, those things in the auction had been useless to him. When Li Du thought that valuable things were in sight, he would spare no effort to use the bug to examine the circumstances.
Sadly, those things weren't as valuable as they looked. He would have only thrown them away if he had won them. In this circumstance, he had to back away from the auction.
When the second half of the auction got started, the first item was interesting. It was a stack of 10 thick books.
The auctioneer started to introduce them: these books were the 1990 edition of the "Standard Bible Encyclopedia." They had been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Martin, and were well-preserved; the starting price was 440 dollars.
This set of encyclopedias was great for Christians. You could interpret every aspect of Bible using one of these; not only were they interesting and fun, but they were very insightful.
Li Du shook his head; more things that were useless to him. He didnt need to bid.
When the bidding started, Sophie bid for the books, showing respect for her parents. This made the auction more intense.
Marate was in the bidding again, however: he pursued each offer vigorously and kept raising the price. In the end, he successfully got the books with 860 dollars.
When he bought them, everyone applauded. Li Du overheard Martin say, "Thats a shame. These books will end up on the shelf. It would be better if they had been bought by Sophie for 440 dollars."
Mrs. Martin glared at him. "Come ondont let people hear you say that. But its certainly a pitywe preserved this set of books very well."
Li Du smiled in secret; this old couple was interesting.
One by one everything was auctioned offnothing failed to be sold. No matter if the prices were high or low, the Christians were supportive during the entire auction.
Halfway through, a young girl held up the next item on a tray: a little green makeup box used by girls.
Seeing this box, Sophie was happy and said, "Hey, this was donated by me. Its a lip gloss container. I wonder how much it will sell for."
This green box was as big as a hand, and was made with emerald or jade. The edges were varnished with enamel paint. Red and blue stones were inlaid on the top. It was beautiful.
"How much was this lip gloss container?" Li Du asked.
"One hundred dollars. When I studied in Phoenix, I bought it from a decoration shop that was closing down. The boss said it was made with Burma jade. Obviously, its fake; it was way too cheap."
The auctioneer started to introduce the box; he emphasized that he was not sure about the authenticity of the jade and stones. The bidding price was 50 dollars.
Li Du looked at the television screen up front, which showed the detailed features of the box. Seeing the red, blue, and green stones on the box, he was reminded of high-end jewelry culture. He was tempted, and let the bug out.
The bug was not attracted by the boxit seemed like it had existed for only a short while.
Li Du let the bug fly over to the box and used its ability to see the past. He thought this box didnt seem to be made by synthetic jadewhich was usually roughly-madeit seemed to be made of genuine jade.
The ability of the bug started to work; the past was flashing back.
The first thing that Li Du saw was someone polishing the box, and then writing a name underneath it. The was a complicated apparatus and sophisticated blueprints around it.
There were some big and small pieces of jade on the table. In another flash, someone opened a safe, and some jagged, colorful stones were taken out of it.
These stones, after being well-polished, were inlaid in the box. It was then sent by plane after being wrapped in velvet.
Seeing this, Li Du became excited.
He was excited not because he had found something valuable, he was so excited because he realized that he had better taste.
Except for attending auctions, he had been reading book and info. Obviously he was doing the right thing, this could make him stronger.
When the auctioneer started to bid, Li Du sat back and relaxed, he prepared to shoot.