When he said that, Li Du's mood immediately improved.
However, he knew he needed to control himself and not show too big of a reaction. So he simply waved his hand and said, "No, that wouldn't be nice."
Jim King chuckled and said, "What's not nice about this? How about you choose a few oil paintings from me? Take whichever ones you fancy."
Li Du pondered and said, "If I were to do that, it would be too much to ask. . ."
"Don't stand on ceremony!" Jim King said warmly. "But, Li, I hope you can help me to explain to Mr. Ferrari that we are friends and this matter has nothing to do with me."
Li Du patted his chest and said, "Of course, of course. You aren't linked to this matter at all. I swear that Knight won't be causing trouble for you in future."
Jim King was thrilled and asked, "Really?"
Li Du said, "I swear I will do my best to help you deal with Knight. As for my choice of paintings, how about these two Van Goghs?"
Jim King generously took down the oil paintings and passed them to him. "Since you like them, they are now yours."
Holding on to these two paintings, Li Du was a nervous wreck. These were not just two frames and two paintings - these were worth tens of millions of dollars!
Jim King was shrewd, and noticed how carefully Li Du hugged the two paintings. He felt that something was amiss and asked, "You seem to like these two paintings very much?"
Li Du said, "I like oil paintings now. I like all the oil paintings you have here."
Jim King decided to sound him out. "In that case, how about I change these two paintings? In fact, I had just bought them and have yet to clean them up. They're hardly good gifts."
On hearing that, Li Du immediately understood that he had been overly cautious with the two paintings and had raised this chap's suspicions.
Therefore, he acted decisively, placed the two paintings on the table without hesitation and said, "No, forget it. It seems like I'm taking what you love, aren't I? I shall return these paintings to you and buy my own set."
Seeing that he had put down the paintings so definitively, Jim King's suspicions dispersed. He hurriedly pushed the paintings back towards Li Du and said, "No, no, Li, you have misunderstood me. All I was trying to do was to get you a better gift."
In his heart, he muttered that these two paintings had been acquired from a provision shop and were definitely not authentic by the look of the canvases. There were bumps as well as grains stuck on the surface. How could anything genuine be so badly damaged?
In addition, the most phony part of these paintings was the signature. Since Van Gogh was from the Netherlands, his signatures were in Dutch.
Indeed, whether it was the language or use of letters, Dutch and English were very similar. However, this was now; that wasn't the case back in the nineteenth century.
The signatures on these two paintings were big and clear, as though the signatory was afraid that it would not be obvious enough that the signature was in modern English.
Facing Jim King's re-gifting, Li Du didn't accept. He shook his head and said, "It's alright, I will buy them myself. There's bound to be many replicas of Van Gogh's works on the internet."
Jim King said warmly, "Don't stand on ceremony with me. Li, bring them with you if you like them. If there're any other oil paintings you may fancy, please take your pick."
Earlier, Li Du had released the little bug to take a look. Only these two paintings had any value. The rest were indeed counterfeits or replicas, and quite worthless.
However, he chose two additional paintings, still Van Gogh's work. One was the "Starry Night" and the other was "Sunflowers."
Jim King wrapped the four paintings up personally and said, "If you want to buy oil paintings in the future, you can contact me. I've got lots of experience in this area."
Li Du smiled. "Much appreciated."
Jim King said, "No, no, this is nothing. Just that, about Mr. Ferrari"
He must have still been worried about this matter, hence the emphasis once again.
Li Du said, "Rest assured that Mr. Ferrari will not create any more trouble for you!"
"Great, that's great." Jim King smiled, his eyes squinted into one line.
However, the matter could have been settled with the gift of the two paintings. In the end, he had caused it to be upped to four paintings. At the thought of having lost another two paintings for nothing, he couldn't bring himself to smile anymore.
These paintings were only replicas, and all counterfeits. Compared to the authentic items, they were really not worth any money. However, Jim King's collection of replicas was considered high-end and would probably be worth some money. Every piece could at least be sold for more than 1,000 dollars.
Noticing that he had brought two oil paintings back, Hans asked curiously, "What are these? You went to an art gallery?"
Li Du laughed. "How would that be possible? These are gifts from Jim King."
"This scrooge would actually give someone a gift? Then he must have wanted you to help him with something," said one of the local treasure hunters who was next to them, as he pursed his lips.
Hans signaled to Li Du to put down the two paintings and indicated that he would like him to continue visiting the remaining storage units.
Why would Li Du still be in the mood to continue with the visit? Anyway, he had already seen the storage units and knew exactly what was in each of them.
He waved his hands and said, "You can handle these things yourself. Give me the Narwhal's tooth. As for the rest, you can decide. I'm a little tired. I gotta go back."
Li Du had wanted to keep the two paintings properly. His gain today was simply too great!
Hans was surprised and said, "You're a little tired? Why do you look perked up to me then?"
Li Du said, "My heart's tired."
Hans was speechless.
On the journey back, he gave Playboy a call and asked him to contact Knight to tell him to leave Jim King alone.
Playboy said, "From our investigation, that b*stard's definitely connected to the kidnapping."
Li Du said, "Let him be, since he was not directly involved. Let him off."
No matter the connection, Jim King had already paid the price more than a high enough price.
He asked Godzilla to buy a big box and stored the two genuine oil paintings in it.
Actually, the oil paintings could be removed from the frames, rolled up and carried around.
However, since he knew the two paintings were authentic, they would have existed for more than a hundred years. The canvas wouldn't be able to bear the torture. It would be safer keeping them in their original forms.
Hans returned and gave him a detailed list with the gains from the storage auction.
Beside the Narwhal's tooth, they had an even bigger harvest - the box of watches' balance springs.
Balance springs are the core of the operation of mechanical clocks and watches. Before balance springs had been invented, the mechanical clocks relied on pendulums as oscillators to achieve energy distribution and travel time.
In the 17th century, Hyugens had invented the balance springs, greatly reducing the size of clocks and watches. The appearance of the balance spring had formed the basis of the existence of pocket watches and wristwatches, as well as the end of the glorious age of the pendulum.
The balance spring may have been very small, but the technology was superb and the material it was made of rare. The ones that Li Du had gotten were especially limited, since they came from a high-end Swiss watch supplier every single one was very valuable!