After learning from his earlier encounter with Lu Guan, Chalmers did not chase Dickens away despite having rejected his offer. Instead, he struck up a conversation with him.
He realized that Dickens was actually quite a foolish chap, and he could glean much information on storage auctions from him. The information would be useful for him when he held his auction.
Dickens had also cited various means for Chalmers to carry out the storage auction: storage auctions organized by regular folk were called Community Storage Auctions, and applications were on the official website of the Association of American Auction Hunters. This way, the official site would recommend people attend the auction.
Halfway through the chat, Chalmers generously gave Dickens a beer. Acting like a drunkard, Dickens spilled everything he knew after a few drinks.
He told Chalmers that a single storage unit would not be able to attract that many treasure huntersmore storage units were needed.
Chalmers had responded to say that it would not be a problem as he already had four storage units on hand; his neighbors also had storage units that they would need to get rid of. He would just need to get things organized.
As he drank the beer, the flushed Dickens said, "Buddy, keep an eye on the storage units and tell your neighbors not to go into them. It would be best to maintain a layer of dust in them, and let the treasure hunters think that they have been untouched for a long time."
"Is there such a need?" Chalmers scratched his head. He had planned to go poke around in the other storage units to see what was in them and take the valuable stuff away.
Dickens smiled. "Of course. If the treasure hunters think that you've already cleaned the units out, they'll think that the valuable stuff in there has already been removed by you. Why would they still want to buy them?"
Chalmers suddenly understood what he meant.
But he still wanted to go check the storage units as he was plagued with uncertainty. Since inheriting his uncle's property, he hadn't tidied the four messy storage units filled with old items. He had also never counted the items in there.
"Anyway," Dickens added, "it's up to you. If you think there are valuable items in them, then go tidy them up. But this way, the units won't fetch high prices."
Chalmers tried hard to recall what he'd seen inside the units. There were a lot of household items, including many discarded electrical appliances. His uncle had bought many books, but they were all normal books without any value.
He developed a plana perfect plan to avoid his cousin and still make money.
Back at the cabin, Li Du received a call from Dickens. Hans asked, "How did it go?"
Li Du said, "All that could be done has been done. We'll have to leave it to God's will now."
He'd been very busy the past two days trying all means to buy over the National Geographic magazines, as well as to disassemble the siege tower. The Hopis had rented a huge truck to pull it along - the transaction had since been completed.
Separately, Hans was organizing an actual CS competition. The chosen venue for the competition was to be the forest just next to the cabin.
To replicate the forest-like battleground, Hans, Godzilla and the rest started to engage in hard work. They needed to dig up trenches, hang up nets, put up warning signs and false trapsit was tedious work indeed.
Luo Qun also started dropping by to help after work. As the police would usually participate in such training, she was familiar with CS training grounds and could provide technical support.
The grounds were almost ready by mid-October. The competition had been well-publicized and would commence the second weekend of October.
There were ten members on each team: Li Du was on one with Hans, Sophie, Luo Qun, the Playboy and other treasure hunters.
Godzilla and Big Quinn did not enter in the competition; they were too large, so there was no suitable battle gear that could fit them. Besides, the competition needed referees, and the two men's appearances were more suited for referees.
Americans liked to have fun, and this call for participation by Hans had attracted many to register. There were nine teams in total. Including their families, who were there to view the battle, more than 100 people had come over.
Li Du put on his outfit, and after checking that his laser gun was working well, he said, "Take it easy guys, we've still gotta attend that community auction. Don't get into trouble and end up missing the auction."
He was referring to the community auction that Dickens was organizing. He had submitted the application last weekend and the Association had helped him arrange an online advertisement for the auction to be carried out this weekend.
Turis asked, "Any good stuff in the storage units?"
Li Du shrugged. "Who knows? Anyway, since we're nearby, no harm in going to take a look, right?"
He was stating the truth: it would be difficult to determine the gains from the auction this time. Chalmers might have cleaned up the storage units and discovered the full set of magazines. If that were the case, he would have to return empty-handed.
Even if he were to be successful in attaining the magazines, he wasn't planning to announce it to everyone. He was planning to keep the publications, for the whole set of National Geographic magazines was literary wealth and knowledge!
The suave-looking Playboy looked even more charming after he had put on the outfit with camouflage prints, as though he were in military uniform.
Beside the military-looking outfit and helmet with laser sensors, he also wore a pair of Bolon sunglasses and had a plastic dagger attached at his waist. With his blonde hair combed neatly, he looked astoundingly striking.
Their opponents came over to greet themfriendship came before competition. They must remain cordial since they were participating in the competition as a form of entertainment.
The two teams got to know each another: the opponents' leader was a retired military man named "Ward Thomas." With a beard on his face, he looked muscular and very capable.
After getting to know one another, Thomas reminded the Playboy on purpose, "Bro, you've gotta be careful. Our strategy is to get rid of you first."
The Playboy looked puzzled. "Why?"
Thomas shrugged and said, "You're too good-looking, d*mmit.A few of our guys here have brought girls along, but they have switched over to support you instead. So our guys are not happy now."
After they had left, Hans waved all of them over and said, "Buddies, I've got an idea. Let's change our tactics. Akkalou, sacrifice yourself by going to the front to attract the opponent's gunfire."
"What? Crap tactic!" The Playboy was unwilling to play along.
Hugging her gun, Luo Qun sneered, "Who asked you to dress up like that?"
The Playboy gave her an elegant smile and stretched his hand to touch his forehead before giving a slight bow. "Pretty lady, how could you say that? I've dressed up just for you."
Lu Guan frowned and laughed, "Wow, are we having a battle or picking up girls? Or are you here at the battle to pick up girls?"
Luo Qun threw a glance at the Playboy, and said scornfully, "Sorry, I'm not interested in sissies."
Instead of being angry, Playboy was glum. "Sissy? You're saying I'm a sissy?"
As he stretched his body, his muscular torso was visible under the camouflage outfit.
Luo Qun patted his shoulder. "You've misunderstood me . . . "
Playboy gave her a complacent smile. "I knew you were not talking about me."
"No, you've misunderstood again. I'm not saying that you're one of those regular sissies but the kind that comes from the gym," Luo Qun explained.
The Playboy remained frustrated.