As seen by Li Du when he'd turned back time, these five Olympic rings had an extraordinary history.
Initially, people from the sports association were contemptuous of their claim. As it was their job, they had no choice but to come over and verify the claim that "there was an important discovery regarding the Olympics."
After arriving and seeing the Olympic rings, they were stunned for a while. Their attitudes shortly changed for the better.
The Caucasian man who was in support of Li Du was called Stanton. After hearing his words, Hans's eyes brightened and he asked, "Stanton, sir, what's up with these five rings?"
Stanton, who was in the middle of stroking one of the ring's hollowed out embosses, replied, "As you guys have seen, there things like "1996,""100," and "Atlanta" carved on these rings. Therefore, their identities are self-evident. They belonged to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
"See the torch sculpture at the top of this ring? An ordinary Olympic ring doesn't have such a sculpture. Only the five rings that are used in opening and closing ceremonies would have such a thing.
"I speculate that these five Olympic rings were the ones lost in 2000. It's very simple to verify their identities. The materials of these five rings are very unique. They were made by polishing and grinding aluminum alloy. In order to ensure their integrity, they were coated with a layer of black ceramic and smeared with luminous substances."
Hans, who was very surprised, said, "They have such a sophisticated origin?"
Stanton nodded his head solemnly. "Yes, judging by their looks, this is the set of Olympic rings that our nation's Olympic museum lost."
It was not difficult to verify the identities of the rings. In order for the rings to light up at night to display for the visitors, their surfaces had a layer of luminous coating. People could not possibly have gone out of their way to coat ordinary Olympic rings with these substances.
The five rings were transported onto the shore by the crane. Big Quinn and Godzilla erected a tent on the shore and constructed a simple darkroom after closing the tent, before they moved the Olympic rings inside the tent.
After entering the dark tent, the five Olympic rings gave off a hazy glow. The glow of the rings, which corresponded to the color of their appearance, differed in their colors: red, green, blue, yellow, and black, as if they were under sunlight.
Even a tough woman like Rose couldn't help but exclaim, "So beautiful."
Stanton said, "We can already verify their identities. These layers of luminous coatings are not ordinary. Everyone, they were formed by smearing nanosized synthetic resins, chromic chloride emulsions, and luminescent materials and substances.
"More than that, the luminous outer coatings still have a layer of a photocatalyst that has titanium dioxide as its foundation. Under light, it underwent a reaction that oxidized and dissolved organic dirt, which cleaned the luminous layers."
After listening to his thorough introduction of the Olympic rings, Hans said excitedly, "This is really great. We actually found such a treasure by coincidence!"
He winked at Li Du and laughed playfully, "Li, your observational skills are really amazing. How did you discover them?"
Li Du replied, "It was a blessing in disguise. Do you remember when I was slapped into the water by a fish? That's when I saw them. As a matter of fact, they were able to give out light at the bottom of the river."
Hearing the conversation between the two, Stanton coughed. "Mr. Li, Mr. Fox, congratulations on finding the Olympic museum's valuable collectibles, which have been lost for over ten years. If I may ask, how are you guys planning to handle these?"
According to United States law, after unimportant state-owned and military-used items were lost, they belonged to the person who found them. The "finders keepers" policy was in effect here. Even if a person found a box of gold, it also belonged to its finder.
Hans replied, "Speak frankly, Mr. Stanton. I am a treasure hunter and the purpose of finding these things is to sell them in exchange for money. Therefore, is your sports association interested?"
This was the start of negotiating the price. Even though Stanton understood his meaning, he could not help but smile bitterly.
He said, "As you know, Mr. Fox, our sports association is a private organization and we do not have much money. So . . . " He didn't finish his sentence. He just opened his palms and continued looking helpless. His meaning was clear: Although we are very interested in the Olympic rings, we do not have the money to buy them.
This was the truth. The sports association had no ties to the federal government of the United States. It was only a civilian-owned private organization and did not take a single cent of taxpayers' money.
The sports association was not the only organization that had no ties with the government. The Olympic committee, which was responsible for sending American athletes to participate in the Olympics, was also a private organization that had no ties with the government.
According to the Amateur Sports Act that was passed by the United States Congress in 1978, the sports association and Olympic committee were non-profit organizations. Their operating funds came from individuals, organizations, businesses, and charitable sponsors. The royalties earned from the broadcasting rights of Olympic and related events, online sales, and the rights to manufacture and sell America's Olympic products, provided them with the rest of the funds.
After hearing Stanton's words, Hans also wore a helpless expression and held up his palms like him. "Sorry friend, we spent quite a bit of money fishing them out of the water. Therefore, we can't donate them to you guys for free. At least you guys have donations from people, but we don't. If we lose money working like this, we won't be able to last long before going bankrupt."
Stanton gave them an understanding look. "How about this: we pay for the cost of transportation and the recovery of the rings. We won't let you guys work for nothing and will give you guys 10,000 dollars per Olympic ring as a thank you."
Hans looked at Li Du, who stood in a "you make the decision" posture.
Hans said, "20,000 dollars, Mr. Stanton. Give us a total of 100,000 dollars and these Olympic rings can, once again, return to the Olympic museum."
Stanton motioned for them to wait before making a phone call.
After he got off the phone, he extended his hand and smiled. "Thank you, thank you both of you, my boss said that the price is acceptable. After all, the manufacturing cost of this set of Olympic rings was more than a million USD."
Ordinary luminous substances were radioactive. In order to protect visitors, these Olympic rings had used the most advanced environmentally friendly substances at the time. As such, the manufacturing cost of the rings was relatively high.
After both parties gave each other a friendly handshake, Stanton proceeded to contact the sports association's financial department. Very soon, a sum of 100,000 dollars was transferred to Hans's bank account.
With that, there was nothing here for Li Du and his group. As the transportation of the Olympic rings was handled by Stanton, they could pack their things and leave.
Fawkes and the town's old goods treasure hunters were dumbfounded throughout the whole incident. They became even more dumbfounded after seeing Hans earn 100,000 USD.
Although these people had stayed in the town for many years and frequented the river bend for fishing or boating, they hadn't discovered the Olympic rings. As Li Du and his group discovered the rings after coming to the town for a few days, they felt a great sense of defeat.
While looking at the expressions of admiration, jealousy, and hatred on the faces of the treasure hunters, Li Du said, "See? I'm able to take away the most valuable thing here without doing business with you guys or trading with anyone."
He didn't wait for a response from Fawkes and the others and boarded the pickup truck. Big Quinn started the truck and drove off proudly.