"What's not quite right?" replied Li Du unhappily. "You better apologize againyour silly prank has caused a lot of trouble!"
Rose pouted and remarked, "You can't blame me. You should have informed me that you were having guests today."
"Well, you shouldn't have pulled this prank," chided Li Du in a low tone. "And why didn't you open the door yourself?"
Rose batted her eyelashes innocently. "I forgot my keys..."
At that instant, Li Du felt like vomiting blood.
Rose could feel Li was really infuriated about this and wanted to make amends. She opened the door to her study and smiled, hoping to appease Li Du's anger, "Why not use this room and continue your discussion here? We'll be having lunch here and leave once we're done."
Ding Xiaofeng seemed disturbed and hastily rejected the suggestion. "No, no, no, we're not staying, we can go somewhere else to talk."
Ma Cheng used his elbow to poke Ding's arms quietly. "Yeah, there are too many people herestaying here might be noisywe should go to a cafe to chat."
Li Du didn't want to bring the Gaddafi dagger out of the house and said, "How about this? Mr. Ma, let's go inside the study first, it is quite spacious and we can continue to chat inside. I still have some other items to show you."
Ding Xiaofeng wanted to open his mouth to say something but Ma Cheng threw him a stern look, and laughed politely, "Okay then, let's listen to Xiao Li."
They went into the study while Li Du quickly cleaned up the coffee mess on the table.
The cops went into the dining room. Rose walked over to Li Du and said, "Hey, I want to ask you what kind of people they are? They don't seem right. Why were they so flustered to see us? Are they fugitives?"
"Don't talk nonsense," said a displeased Li Du. "They're appraisers at Christie's."
"Okay, then why are these antique experts scared of us?"
Li Du said, "How many Chinese people are not afraid when they come across the American police?" replied Li Du. "You cops are like wolves and hungry tigersit would be weirder if they weren't afraid."
Although he said this, he agreed with Rose that their reactions had not been quite right when they saw the police.
Now that he was suspicious of them, he decided not to show the three of them the Gaddafi dagger.
After some consideration, he carried a tray of coffee to the study and just before he entered the room, he released the little bug as well.
Frankly speaking, Li Du did not know the three men well. The trust he had for the three men had originated from the trust he had for Ma Zhi-an.
In view of the past deeds that Ma Zhi-an had done to help him out, he felt that suspecting Ma Zhi-an of anything negative would not be ethical of him. However, he was reminded of Chen Haonan's warning and the exaggerated reactions of the three men when they saw the police. He decided that he really needed to be cautious.
After thinking about all this, he decided to send the little bug to check out the situation.
Not long ago at Glen Canyon Storage, Li Du had used the little bug to find out the identity of the Californian treasure hunters. This time, he used the same tactic: checking the personal items of the three men.
Besides Du Dayuan, who carried a leather briefcase that contained the rubies, the other two also carried a document bag each.
There were many things inside their bags. The little bug flew inside Ma Cheng's bag first. Li Du saw Ma Cheng's wallet, company pass, some photographs and several documents.
The company pass showed a colored picture of Ma Cheng's face, his job position and title: "Cultural Relics (East Asia) Appraisal Director, LV5 Appraiser."
His wallet contained a driver's license that was based in LA. These documents looked legit so far, as Christie's West Coast Branch office was indeed situated in the City of Angels: Los Angeles.
Li Du could not find problems regarding the documents and photographs. The documents were mainly talking about characteristics of cultural relics in various countries in East Asia such as China, Japan, Korea, and so forth. The photographs were pictures he had taken with famous people and celebrities.
Li Du browsed through the pictures and did not find anything that suggested Ma Cheng was not an appraiser. There were even pictures of him and California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. There were also various stars, many of them renowned Chinese stars: namely, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, and so on.
He did not find any problem with Ma Cheng, so he proceeded to send the little bug to Ding Xiaofeng's bag.
Ding's bag contained similar items as Ma Cheng's bag. There were also personal items such as chewing gum, condoms, snacks, cigarettes and so on. Li Du did not find a need to scrutinize these personal items and so he recalled the little bug.
As he did not find any problems with their identities, his attitude toward them was warmer.
The three of them had been sitting around the table to check the briefcase that Du Dayuan had handcuffed to himself when he opened the door. The briefcase was open, revealing the glittering rubies that were placed on top of a piece of black velvet. Du Dayuan was cleaning the rubies carefully using a piece of cotton.
The three of them turned around and looked vigilant when they heard the sound of the door opening. They looked relieved to see that it was Li Du. "Ah, it's Xiao Li," said Ma Cheng. "Close the door quickly, don't let anyone else see this."
Ding Xiaofeng added, "Right, we need to be on guardeven if they are the police. The American police are bad and greedy. We got blackmailed by the police before in Las Vegas"
Ma Cheng gave him a shove and frowned. "Okay, enough of that, Mr. Ding. Let's not talk about that anymore. The police officers here are Xiao Li's friends, they're not the same."
"I can't help itonce bitten, twice shy," defended Ding. "I thought these police officers were coming to extort our jewels again in the name of inspection!"
After listening to their dialogue, Li Du realized that they were so frightened of the police earlier because of a bad experience with police.
Du Dayuan, who was patiently wiping each and every one of the rubies, said, "Do go ahead and chat for a little. I spilled the coffee earlier, so I have to ensure these rubies have not been stained by it."
"I'm really sorry for what happened." Li Du sounded apologetic. "My friend's too childish and likes to play" He was in the middle of his sentence when he suddenly felt something not quite right!
Li Du suddenly realized that earlier on when he released the little bug, he hadn't felt any urge of the little bug to fly to the briefcase that contained the ruby gemstones, ruby ring, and ruby earrings. If these were really precious relics, the little bug would have been attracted to them like always.
When the little bug had flown around the three men to search their document bags, there was nothing that enticed the little bug's attention!
Moreover, just now when they were having lunch, Ding Xiaofeng had shown his precious bracelet made of fragrant rosewood beads that was worth 15,000 dollars.
The little bug had flown past Ding and it wasn't attracted by that either. This shouldn't have been the caseDing claimed that the ex-owner had kept it for 20 years, so the bracelet should have had a plentiful amount of time energy that would appeal to the little bug!
Ma Cheng's eye twitched when he saw Li Du stop talking halfway through his sentence. He smiled and asked, "What happened? Is there anything wrong?"
Li Du was calm and made a troubled expression. "My bad, I shouldn't be making excuses for my friend. We should simply just apologize for our behavior."
"So it's because of that," laughed Ma Cheng. "It's nothing really. We are all Chinese, a little misunderstanding like this is totally fine. You don't have to worry so much."
"Thank you for your kind understanding, Mr. Ma. Let me represent my friend as I apologize to Mr. Ding and give you a bow." As Li Du said that, he released the little bug to the briefcase that contained the rubies and used the Relive the Past ability.
Ding Xiaofeng helped Li Du up and said, "There's no need for this, Xiao Li. It's just something small, just a misunderstanding, no big deal."
However, Li Du now knew that this was not a misunderstanding.