If this were really a black instead of a fire opal, its value would be significant. In terms of its size, weight, and purity, it could fetch a lot of money.
It wouldn't fetch as much priced like a fire opalLi Du's estimate of its value was about 100,000 dollars.
Sophie held the opal as though she were carrying a child. She looked at it under the light from the lamp and smiled. "So pretty, It's really pretty. Do you like it?"
"Yes, I do," Li Du said. "It's really beautiful."
Sophie tilted her head in thought. Then, she held the opal out in front of him.
Li Du was puzzled. "Why? Don't you have a box with you?
Sophie said, "I'll give it to you since you like it."
Li Du broke into laughter. "For me? Haha! Isn't this a gift for your dad?"
Sophie shook her head. "I can go find another one. Since you like this, I'll give it to you."
Li Du waved his hand anxiously. "No, darling. I appreciate your gesture, but the only reason I like it is that it can be sold for money . . . "
He thought that this didn't sound quite right, and added, "I mean, of course, if this were a gift from you, I definitely wouldn't sell it . . . "
Sophie put her finger to his lips and smiled. "No need to explain. I understand. You have given me two opals as gifts. I could just give my dad one of them."
Li Du grabbed her hand and said, "This is a gift from you to your dad. You spent a lot of energy and effort to find itit should go to your dad."
Sophie covered her mouth and giggled.
Mr. Li thought he had touched her with his words, but she then shot him a look and, with a smile, asked, "Was it really found by me?"
Sophie was too smart. She'd been over the moon when she found the opal. She believed she found it on her own, and hadn't given it a second thought.
Now that she had regained her composure, she had probably guessed the truth.
Keeping a straight face, Li Du said, "Of course you did. Do you think that I threw it in front of you after Crispy Noodles found it?"
Still covering her mouth, Sophie couldn't stop giggling.
"You're doubting your own luck," Li Du laughed. "If I wanted to do that, I would wait till we were about to leave. Doesn't make sense to be in a hurry and earn brownie points now."
This made sense to her and so the lady doctor tossed the doubt to the back of her mind. "True. To think that my luck is really so good!"
After she said that, she got excited all over again.
Li Du gently flicked her head. "Of course, I have a saying in my hometown: 'Ladies who smile a lot will never have bad luck.'"
As he said this, he suddenly remembered Tina. Of course, it was just an innocent thought, and he only thought of her because Tina was someone who liked to smile.
Sophie winked at him mischievously. "I like this saying. Guess my luck really is pretty good. See, I waited 28 years and thought my prince charming would never appear. In the end, you came."
If Li Du hadn't already known that the lady doctor's past love life was as blank as a sheet of white paper, he would have thought she was an expert in this area.
Sophie always managed to touch his heart at the most unexpected times.
Since he was moved, he grabbed hold of her for a kiss.
Working until almost midnight, Li Du was rewarded with another 18 opals.
This only took five hours. The last time, he had only managed to find about ten opals within the first five hours. He had nearly doubled his findings this time around.
The last time, he had also found the one-of-a-kind Overarching Sunset, but there was no such find this time. The most beautiful piece was the one he had thrown over to Sophie.
Even so, he had collected quite a bit that night, about 400,000 to 500,000 dollars worth.
He used the little bug for a very long time, and by midnight he felt exhausted.
Sophie wiped his sweat away, feeling her heart ache for him as she did so. "You don't have to work so hard. Take a break and have some supper. Then we should get some sleep."
At this time, a shadow moved by their site. Ah Ow charged over to glare at it with her gleaming eyes.
It turned out to be Old Deckard. He waved and said, "Li, Sophie, are you guys taking a break?"
Li Du stood up wearily. "Yes, we're planning to. What's up?"
Old Deckard said, "I am thinking of making an Indian spicy grilled chicken salad tonight. As you know, I'm an old and poor fella with nothing to thank you with. So, I would like to invite you to dinner."
Li Du walked over and handed him a bottle of beer. "Don't belittle yourself, old buddy of mine. Did you say you're making an Indian spicy grilled chicken salad? That's Indian cuisine?"
Old Deckard smiled. "Yes, my wife's from India, so I know some Indian dishes."
Li Du gave him a thumbs up. "That's great. I've never tasted Indian food. What about you, Sophie?"
"I have," Sophie said, "and it's flavorful. I can still remember how it tastes."
Old Deckard laughed. "Then what are we waiting for? My two young friends, come with me to have a taste."
Li Du knew that he wouldn't be able to prepare a lot of food and so he shook his head at Big Quinn and Godzilla, indicating for them to make their own supper.
"We can have a barbecue, and put some chicken on. Try my cooking," Big Quinn told Godzilla.
Godzilla smacked his lips. "Hmm, I like you."
Big Quinn's expression changed. "What do you mean?" he asked grimly. "I treat you only as a brother."
"I like you making barbecue foodI was saving the words," Godzilla said, throwing in an explanation.
Big Quinn heaved a sigh of relief and patted his chest. "Phew, it would be trouble if you had meant you like me as a person!"
Old Deckard's campsite was close by, just at the northwest corner of Li Du's.
They walked to the entrance of the tent and soon caught a strong whiff of tomatoes, cilantro, and lemon juice cooking.
The cool autumn night, coupled with the aroma of the vegetables cooking perked them up.
Li Du had brought along beer and champagne. Old Deckard said, "Since you brought Corona, then my Budweiser won't need to show up."
Corona was one of Mexico's Grupo Modelo beer company's key products and was presented in a unique transparent bottle packaging. The brand was popular in the US, as the beer had a unique taste. It enjoyed very good sales in the US and was considered one of the high-end beer brands.
Budweiser was much more famous than Corona, as it offered more variety. Corona was meant for the middle class, while Budweiser was catered to the less well-off.
Old Deckard took out a lemon and sliced it up before stuffing the slices into the Corona bottles.
In the US market, high-end beer was not meant to be drunk plain, but with embellishments.
In particular, lemon slices went especially well with Corona, especially lime slices. The citrusy-sweet lemon, matched with the refreshing Corona beer, was a match made in heaven.
Evidently, Old Deckard hadn't had the chance taste Corona previously. Li Du handed him one for a sip, but his one sip wiped out almost half the bottle of beer.
Licking his lips as though he couldn't bear to part with the drink, he rubbed his hands together and said, "Alright, my two young buddies, time to taste Old Deckard's cooking."