Li Du didn't think that the short plump boss would seek trouble with them; there were four of them with three of them being foreigners: a black person, a white person, and a person of Mexican descent.
According to his understanding of domestic policies, ordinary folk would not dare to antagonize foreigners, especially when one was in the wrong.
Even if the other party wanted to make trouble for him, with Jin Jing city being so large with tens of millions of people, how would he find him? It would not be easy to find him if he were alone, but with Godzilla and Big Quinn, it would be easier for them to invite trouble.
Even if the other party had bumped into him, given that no firearms were allowed in the country, even for the mafia, he didn't believe he could be dealt with so easily.
Then, even if they could try to deal with him, he was quick on his feet. If he wanted to run, the other party would not be able to catch up with him.
With this thought, he refused Big Quinn's kind offer and said, "You guys stay here and rest. I'll go with Big Fox."
Being one of the top twenty largest cities in China, many foreigners worked here in Jin Jing City, and many more foreigners were there as tourists.
Hans's build and shape fell under the ordinary category and so he wouldn't draw that much attention. Furthermore, he would not be conspicuous, especially in antique streets where there were many foreigners.
That night, he drove into an antique street.
Jin Jing City was an old city with a rich history. It had been around for more than 1,000 years. Unfortunately, after the founding of the People's Republic, buildings with ancient historical features had been demolished.
The antique street had been modeled after the former architectural style. There was a city gate building at the entrance to the street with a chunk of tadpolenese words on the gate. It was said that to be a pictograph and till today, Li Du had no clue what was written on it.
That wintry night, it was still very busy.
It was almost a new year. With only half a month to go, all the shops and houses had put up red lanterns at their doors. There were stalls on both sides of the road and people were walking byit was bustling.
Seeing the city gate building, Hans quickly whipped out his camera and took several photos.
He had also wanted to take a photo with it, but unfortunately, as there were many people walking past, the camera kept getting blocked. There was no way for Li Du to get a full-body shot of him with the building, so he had to make do.
However, he was still very satisfied, and marveled, "This is the real old goods market. Look at this architectural feature, it's really ancient. I've got a premonition that we're going to get a bunch of treasures here today."
Li Du shook his head and laughed. It would be harder to hunt down a treasure in China than in the United States.
Historically, when the Republic was undergoing reform and opening up, a large number of antiques had indeed appeared in Jin Jing City. However, after almost 40 years, it had whittled down. If any beggar were to pick up a piece of porcelain, he would take a second look to check if it were an antiquetraffickers would do the same.
When Li Du was working in Jin Jing City, he'd heard the local people mention that the antique street was now full of fraudsters, and there were no cheaply-sold antiques here.
But he'd still wanted to try his luck. Who knew? He might find something valuable.
At the antique street, there were not only antiques but also many special snacks.
Hans was interested in these things and kept opening his wallet. Sugar figurines, candied haws, old-fashioned popcorn, and so on. He bought many items.
Li Du released the little bug at a stall and let it venture around.
The first carpeted area was quite large; it was divided into two layers, one layer comprised of shelves, while the other layer had been laid on the ground.
On the shelves, there were mainly old-style books and paintings which were all marked as either "isolated copy" or "incomplete copy." On the ground were some copper coins and porcelain.
The little bug flew over them with no interest.
He was sizing up the things on the ground at the stall, while the stall owner was sizing him up too.
These antique peddlers were getting smarter and smarter, and getting more and more conniving. Doing what they did all year round, they had developed a pair of eyes with penetrating insight.
Their eyes were not used for looking at antiques and relics. How many antiques and relics were there these days? They mainly looked at customers and could read most of the customers who took a second look.
Li Du was their favorite type of customer: young and generous. The main thing was that he'd brought a foreigner along.
The foreigner, who looked interested in Chinese culture, was also obviously rich. He had been buying snacks from the beginning of the street and had been generous, never asking the price. They were two fat sheep.
Hence, when Li Du looked toward items at the stall, the stall owner greeted him warmly. "Come, come, come, young man, and your foreign friend. What would you like?"
Li Du waved his hand and said, "Let me take a look first, my friend and I are not familiar with this."
It was better yet if they were not familiar with it; the stall owner got even more enthusiastic. "Look, look, look, come over and look. I've got many things here. Look, be it jade bamboo, Sambucus, porcelain, ceramics, lacquer papereverything."
A curious Hans asked, "Can I take a look?"
The stall owner said in fluent English, "Friend, have a look around. Feel free to look at everything here, feel free!"
Li Du smiled. It seemed like the rumors were accurate. Foreign tourists were the main consumers at the antique street and the target of the fraudsters.
In order to gain access to the foreigners, these stall owners had taught themselves English.
He once saw a news story about how one of the stall owners in an antique street hadn't made any money in five years. After he started taking an English class, he'd gone on to open chain stores.
Hans's gaze fell upon an antique-looking porcelain jar with a blue painting of a little girl with a lotus flower in a boat.
The stall owner noticed this and immediately patted the porcelain jar. "Friend, great foresight. This here is a treasure. The treasure of my store!"
Hans asked, "What is this? It looks good."
"Good? Hey, this sounds a little insulting. It's very good!" the stall owner exaggerated. "To tell you the truth, this is a blue and white piece from the Yuan Dynasty. In the whole of the Jin Jing City antique market, there are no more than five such good pieces of Yuan porcelain!"
Li Du was stunned. "This is the blue and white porcelain from the Yuan Dynasty?"
The stall owner nodded. "Yes, the Yuan Dynasty's blue and white porcelain. Did you see the news? Some time ago, discovered in Nanhe area was a large piece of Yuan Dynasty . . . "
"As far as I know, the auction prices of the Yuan Dynasty blue and white pieces would be in the region of hundreds of millions in yuan," Li Du said with a smile.
The stall owner shook his head. "Although I'm selling the Yuan Dynasty's blue and white porcelain, I must tell the truth. What is so valuable about this thing? That's just hype, and money laundering. In fact, this is only worth one or two million dollars."
Li Du said, "You could possibly put it up for auction since it is one to two million dollars?"
The stall owner sighed and then turned the porcelain jar around once. "Look, there are flaws on my porcelain. Who would want it if it were auctioned? Of course, you are right. If this thing were to be perfect, why would I put it in the stall?"
There was a gap in the neck of the porcelain jar, which was full of cracks resembling a spider web.
Li Du said, "Boss, you're honest. If you didn't mention it, I wouldn't have seen the gap."
The stall owner said in a forthright manner, "Should we not conduct business in an honest manner? If I were to hide this from you, you would still spot it later on. It's better for me to tell the truth than to deceive customers."