Hans opened the back of the car and showed the teacher what they had brought. "Take a look. Do you see anything you wanna trade for?"
The teacher laughed, "Sorry, we have all of these in our school. We only want a projector. But if you don't have one, that laptop will do."
Hans always brought his laptop with him so that he could check up on the latest information on the Association's website.
Hans's eyes sparkled. "So what do you have in exchange?" he asked.
"We have handmade tables and chairs, some wooden handcrafted goods, and some of our tribe's special drawings. What do you guys want?" the teacher asked.
Hans showed the Native his laptop, but that guy said with dissatisfaction, "It's not a MacBook? Oh well, HP will do too."
"F*ck, what's great about Apple products?" Hans mumbled.
"Yeah, right?" Li Du agreed.
"I guess I'll buy a MacBook after we get back," Hans said.
Li Du was speechless.
They followed the teacher into the exhibit room inside the school. They saw many small-sized wooden handicrafts, while on the walls there were watercolor paintings, oil paintings and something like embroidery crafts too.
Hans looked around and was disappointed by the exhibit. "Oh no, don't tell me that all of these are works are by children? Looks like they were poorly made. Your sculptor friend in Phoenix makes nicer collections."
Li Du looked around and found out that most of the crafts displayed were the size of a fist. Although they used different types of wood, unfortunately the quality was bad. He couldn't even recognize some of the animals.
After hearing what they had said, the teacher laughed, "These are abstract handicrafts. Even though they aren't exquisite works of art, they are unique, and a way for outsiders to recognize us."
Li Du let out the little bug and it flew right to a polished wooden monkey. He became excited, thinking that he might have actually found something valuable. He used the Relive the Past ability to review the crafting progress of the sculpture.
The sculpture had been crafted by a middle-aged Native American with messy hair, but it had been finished only around 50 years ago.
He took up the sculpture and asked Hans, "Do you think this stuff is valuable?"
Hans felt helpless. "Does it have a signature from a master? If it doesn't then it has no value."
The little bug flew around the handicrafts and was interested in some of the works. When it flew higher, it even showed interest in two of the embroidery works hanging on the wall.
Li Du knew there was time energy in the handicrafts, so he gathered them and asked the teacher, "Can I exchange these with the laptop?"
"Sure," the teacher nodded.
Hans asked Li Du in a low voice, "So this stuff is valuable?"
"Fat hope," Li Du said. "We can't possibly be going back without trading anything right? You're going to get a new laptop anyway. Better do a backup now for your laptop and give it to him."
He put all the handicrafts inside a plastic bag, walked behind the school, and let the little bug do its job. Apparently there hadn't been much time energy in the objects: the little bug finished absorbing it quickly. But, still, Li Du was satisfied.
The handicrafts became useless after their time energy was fully absorbed, so Li Du threw them onto a pile of rubbish without anyone noticing.
Li Du also felt that his body was more energetic after the little bug had absorbed all the time energy; he even noticed himself walking at a faster pace.
He decided to leave the little bug out; it flew around homes to search for anything interesting. The little bug flew for a while and suddenly floated over to something on the wall inside of a cottage. Li Du quickly took control of it and looked closely at the thing it had floated to.
It was a brownish-yellow colored leather bag, its shape like a flagon in the modern day, and it was covered with thick dust.
There was some pattern on it but he couldn't see it clearly due to the dust. Li Du used the Relive the Past ability to see its history. He saw a white man carrying an axe and the leather bag; that man was drinking something from the bag.
Li Du knew that the leather bag had originally been a container to store either water or wine in, and it was created at least 100 years ago since the little bug couldn't trace back to the moment it was crafted.
Li Du pretended he was asking for drinking water and had chatted with the Native Americans inside the cottage. When they saw that he had the colorful feather, they treated him like an important guest.
Li Du explained why he was there; a big guy immediately prepared a bowl of water for him. He used his not-so-proficient English to speak, "Drink, my friend. Drink."
Li Du finished that bowl of water and said, "I want to take some drinking water with me, but I don't have a container. Could you please trade a water container with me? I might have something you want."
"No, no, no," the big guy laughed, "there's water everywhere."
The village was not far away from the Colorado River. Unlike the southern part of Arizona, water was not rare here.
Li Du realized that he hadn't understood what he'd said, so he spoke again, this time in a slower speed. The guy finally understood what he was actually trying to say. He thought for a while and brought him a porcelain bottle.
"Is this bottle okay?" he asked.
Li Du shook his head, "No, this won't do, the size is too small. Hey, what about that water bag there? It looks nice, can I trade something for it?"
The rest of the Native Americans laughed after hearing what he said. One of them answered him, "It's broken. See the cracks?" Indeed, the leather bag had cracks in it since no one had maintained it for a long time. The threads connecting the leather were ruptured, hence the outer part was opened wide.
However, it was not the leather that filled the water, it was the lining that did the job. The liner inside the leather bag was still in good condition. Li Du took the bag down and filled it with water. It could still be used as a water container.
The first guy who had who served him water said, "You like it, just take it. We no need it."
Li Du replied, "No, no, no, I can't do that."
"It's okay. You are a friend of Hopi." The big guy pointed the colorful feather in Li Du's hand with a bright smile on his face.
Li Du finally felt like he understood the significance behind these colorful feathers. Just like a certain period in China where the badge of a chairman represented status and prestige. Whenever he wore it, the people would always respect him.
But still, Li Du felt bad. He asked Hans to drive the car over and let the Native Americans choose what they wanted. "Come, have a look and see what you need."
He felt like this wasn't actually tradinghe was just picking up things people didn't want. Besides, the Native Americans obviously didn't know the value of this leather bag. Li Du certainly didn't know much about it. He wondered how such an old and tattered leather bag could have any value in it. He had picked it just because the little bug seemed to be attracted to it.