After bursting five balloons with his five remaining shots, Li Du put down the crossbow and gave the hippo plushie to the Asian boy. "This is the Grade E reward? Alright, since you like it, it's now yours."
The little boy's face filled with surprise and happiness. He took the hippo plushie and asked, "Really?"
Li Du gave him a light tap on his head. "Of course."
The boy looked at Li strangely; he titled his head and asked, "But, why didn't you give this to the lady?"
Sophie made a face at Li Du. "I thought you would give me the toy as well," she said. "I'm really disappointed now."
"This lady doesn't want a hippo," Li Du laughed, "she wants a big bear."
Li Du went to the counter and gave the owner 100 dollars. "Ten games."
The booth owner took the money and gave him a bunch of bolts. "Well, lad, looks like you want to work on your marksmanship here? You've made the right choice."
Li Du glanced at him and responded with a faint smile. "I've finished my training."
The owner looked at Li Du's expression and mulled over what he said for a moment. He thought of the five consecutive hits and started to feel uneasy.
However, the bolts were sold to Li Du, so the owner could only console himself. No, it's only a coincidence, he thought. How could a rookie become an expert within seconds?
In terms of crossbow shooting, Li Du not only had experience, but he had talent. If he completely relied on the little bug's ability, he still wouldn't have been able to hunt so well at the national park.
He had just been familiarizing himself with the crossbow and the plastic bolts. He had used the little bug's ability to slow down time to observe and adjust accordingly for the subsequent successful hits.
Once he got ahold of the "winning formula," similar to a gun that received coordinates for a successful shot, scoring a hit was a sure thing.
Li Du pulled the trigger repeatedly and fired five shots. All five shots were successful hits!
Sophie and the surrounding children clapped and cheered in delight. Li Du glanced at Sophie, who laughed so happily that her eyes were shaped like crescent moons. He felt like the lady doctor had become a kindergarten teacher.
The booth owner was now looking at Li Du nervously. In his heart, he prayed that Li Du would crack under the pressure and miss so that he would only hit seven balloons!
The rules that the booth owner had come up with were ingenious. There were rewards for shooting five, six, eight and so on, but there were none for bursting seven balloons.
This way, if one were not confident enough, one would most probably stop after shooting six balloons.
And if someone successfully shot seven balloons, they would most likely be under some stress. If they missed the next three shots, it would appear to be a waste of effort.
The owner was therefore praying that Li Du would crack under the stress and miss three shots.
Another two bolts flew toward their target and burst two balloons.
The eighth bolt was fired but there was some deviation and it missed the balloon!
The booth owner was so elated that he wanted to shout out Yes!
However, before he could do so, another bolt fired and another balloon burst. Pop!
The last bolt went straight for its target, and the ninth balloon burst. Pop!
Li Du took the exquisite bear plushie and gave it to Sophie. "Now this is for you," he laughed.
Sophie hugged the big, beautiful bear plushie and grinned from ear to ear.
Li Du looked toward a little black girl who was dressed plainly and asked, "Hi beautiful lady, what do you want for a present?"
"Me?" the little girl asked in disbelief and pointed to herself.
"Yes," said Li Du. "Which one do you like?"
The little girl took in a deep breath and pointed excitedly at a doll that was five feet tall. "I want that one. I would like that for a present."
That was a grade A reward that required him to burst ten balloons with ten shots!
Li Du wasted no time. He lifted the crossbow and prepared to shoot. He looked extremely confident, as if he would get that prize in a single game!
Ten shots fired and ten balloons burst!
The surrounding kids clapped so hard that their hands turned red. The children were shouting and cheering, "Cool! Dude, you're so cool!"
"Are you Green Arrow?"
"No, he's Hawkeye. He's a master of archery!"
Li Du pointed to the big doll and said to the booth owner, "Come on, take out the doll for this beautiful lady."
The owner handed the doll to him and spoke in a low tone, "Hey Brother, you are an amazing shot. I salute you for that. Would you let me off? Look, you can go to the next booth to shoot as well."
The ten perfect shots had made him realize that Li Du was similar to the God of Destruction for his business.
"I'm someone who abides by the rules," laughed Li Du. "I need to finish shooting all these bolts. Otherwise, won't I have broken the rules?"
Sophie laughed, "No wonder you just bought so many bolts."
After handing the big doll to the little girl, Li Du asked a few children, "Anyone else want a present?"
"Me, I want Flash!"
"Mister, give me a Street Shark plushie!"
"Big Brother, I really like that big turnip!"
Li Du pointed to a white kid with an adorable voice. "Alright, I like the way you address me. You'll get your big turnip first!"
Sophie gleefully gave him a light push. "You're a weird mistera vain and weird mister."
Li Du winked at her and started to aim.
His outstanding performance attracted a lot of onlookers. Many people now crowded around the booth to watch him shoot.
The subsequent 30 bolts were all successful shots; the booth owner pulled a long face as he handed over the plushies the children wanted. "I'm in the wrong, brother. I shouldn't have used that d*mn tone with you. But that was just a way to get more business."
There were still 50 bolts left. Li Du wagged the bolts in his hand. "So you know you're in the wrong? Alright, you're quick, dude. You caught on fast!"
Li turned around to face the crowd of onlookers and announced, "I've played my fill, everyone. Who would like to give it a shot? Anyone? There's good luck in this spot."
There were a few people scrambling to reach out their hands to Li Du. Li distributed the bolts casually and left with Sophie.
Before he left, he spoke to the booth owner. "Although I've won a few toys, I think that also helped you gain quite a bit of publicity. Look, your booth has more attention compared to the other booths."
The booth owner waved to him repeatedly and had an excited expression on his face. "Thanks brother. Thank you for your understanding, thanks for your help!"
The children carried their toys also expressed their thanks to Li Du. "Thank you Big Brother!" They all addressed him as "Big Brother."
Li Du let Sophie carry Ah Ow while he carried the big bear plushie. She laughed and remarked, "I've seen a lot of people play this game and you're the strongest of them all."
"I'm a good shot with a crossbow," Li Du replied.
"No, it's not marksmanship." Sophie pondered for a while and continued, "It's your ability to make everyone appreciate youincluding the owner. Everyone is grateful for you."
"They should be grateful for you. You're the one who brought me here."
Sophie giggled. "I'm grateful for you as well."