The full name of Sheraton Resort was "Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass." The wild horses from this area, like the bison which had once populated North America, had been virtually wiped out by American hunters.
Li was unwilling to wait in front of the resort. It belonged to Native Americans: the well-known Gila River Indian Community. The luxury resort was known for offering the healing and intellectual practices of Native Americans.
The Gila River tribe and the Comanche tribe were allies, and he had had a run-in with Comanche Casino previously. This is why he felt hesitant about waiting outside.
Hans had wanted to go in for a look. He said excitedly, "Buddy, you should go in too. Theres comfortable rooms and spacious golf courses, as well as equestrian centers and spa facilities. Its a great place for a vacation."
"Did we come here with a bunch of mahogany for a vacation? Are you kidding me?"
Hans continued to tempt him: "Therere also water slides modeled after the ruins of Hohokam, which you surely have not seen before."
Li Du rolled his eyes at him. "Of course not. I havent any clue what the ruins of Hohokam are."
Hans said excitedly, "They are the ruins of a Native American aqueduct, which was once the pride and joy of the Phoenix Native American tribe. It was once abandoned, and later Swilling, an Arizona pioneer, used it as the base for a series of irrigation canals.
"This way, not only was the issue of drinking water and irrigation solved, it also enabled the large plots of Arizona farmland to be used. It attracted many people to build places for gatherings and resulted in todays Phoenix."
After listening to his detailed introduction, Li Du nodded and then said, "Okay, but I still dont wanna go in."
Hans stared blankly at him.
Not long after they arrived at the entrance of the resort, a snow-white Lamborghini drove over.
This sports car had beautiful curves, and a coat of bright, shiny paint. Every one of its parts revealed the machines beautyit was definitely a star on the road.
Hans turned his gaze to it and said, "The beautiful white bat, what a good car. Maybe I should save up some money to buy a Lamborghini."
Godzilla said, "Those who drive Lamborghinis are sissies!"
Big Quinn added, "Or showy playboys!"
Li Du said, "You guys are just jealous because you havent got the money to buy one."
The two beefy men glanced at each other and deflated. "Yes boss, youre right."
The speeding Lamborghini finally stopped in front of them. The window rolled down and a young man with multi-colored hair stuck his head out and asked, "Li Du?"
Li Du was stunned. "Wright Chen?"
He did not expect for his compatriot to be so flashy. Not content with the attention-seeking Lamborghini, he even had a crazy hairstyle. Were all artists the same?
The young man smiled, got out of the car, and gave him a hug. "Yes, Im Wright Chen," he said in Mandarin, "but call me by my Chinese name. Im Chen Haonan."
Li Du was dumbfounded. "Huh?"
Brother Haonan was a boss at Causeway Bayall Chinese youths knew this.
The young man laughed, "Cant be helped. People always think my father named me after someone in the movie, but when I was born Young and Dangerous had not even been shot yet. Its all a coincidence."
Li Du shook his hand and said, "Howre you, Brother Haonan? What do we do next?"
Chen Haonan waved his hand and said, "Follow me, Ill bring you to my studio."
Looking at the lavish Lamborghini he was driving, Li Du was no longer worried. One who could afford to drive such a car would not harbor any ill intentions over wood worth only tens of thousands of dollars.
Tempe was a large city with a population of 1.67 million, not to be compared with Flagstaff. With a large population, Tempe occupied a large area and was surrounded by vast rural areas full of farmland.
Chen Haonan led them on a winding road and after a few laps around the farmland, they entered a small canyon.
Located at the very end of the canyon, his studio villa was discreetly hidden in the woods. It was built in a modern style, using mainly stainless steel, which glittered in the sun.
The car stopped. Chen Haonan laughed and asked, "Well, what do you think of my studio?"
Li Du stared at the villa. "It's very creative. You must have spent a lot of money in order to get it built here."
Chen Haonan sighed, "Yes, Ive been in America for two years and all the money Ive earned has gone into paying for this car and building this house."
Li Du was shocked. "Pardon me, I didnt realize you were a famous sculptor. Ive been ignorant, so sorry."
Hans had told him on the way that the car had cost about half a million dollars while building a modern-style villa like this in a city like Tempe would cost a million dollars.
Chen Haonan had earned 1.5 million U.S. dollars in two yearshe must have surely been a famous sculptor.
He waved his hands modestly. "Famous? I am not a famous sculptor. Relatively unknown."
Li Du said, "You are too humble. To earn more than a million in two years is not something any regular sculptor can achieve."
Chen Haonan looked puzzled. "Who told you I had made more than a million in two years?"
"You would need to spend at least a million to buy the car and this villa, right?" Li Du asked.
Chen Haonan replied, "Yes, it cost 1.9 million dollars, but I had only paid 20,000 dollars. My father gave me 1.88 million dollars"
Li Du did not want to continue chattingthis guy did not follow the format of regular conversations.
Noticing his change in expression, Chen Haonan guffawed, "Haha! Youve been tricked by me. I was joking."
Li Du forced a smile. "I also thought it was a joke"
Chen Haonan interrupted him and continued, "How would I be able to make 20,000 dollars? I cant even make 2,000 dollars. My father had to give me two million dollars!"
Li Du did not even have the motivation to change his expression; this guy did not play his cards according to the rules, and appeared to want to ruin the card game.
But as he joked with him, subconsciously, the relationship between the two had grown closer.
Chen Haonan was obviously one of those incredibly-spoiled rich kids, but he did not have the arrogant, domineering attitude of those rich kids depicted on the Internet. He liked to joke, except that his jokes were not at all funny.
While the villa had looked classy from the outside, Li Du discovered that the inside of the house was a mess. It was chaos, with carving knives, molds, design drafts and other tools sprawled all over.
Upon entering the house, Chen Haonan kicked off his shoes and opened his huge refrigerator. "What do you want to drink? Beer? Coke? Juice? Mineral Water?"
"Mineral water then," Li Du said.
Chen Haonan said. "Sorry, no mineral water."
Li Du was stunned. "Did you not just ask me if I wanted to drink mineral water?"
Chen Haonan said matter-of-factly, "Yes, but I didnt say that Ive got mineral water here. Is there any link between asking you if you want to drink it and whether I have it here?"
Li Du gave him a wry smile. "Alright, never mind. Ill have juice."
"Sorry, no juice either."
Li Du gave him a blank stare.