As there were not many residences and neighborhoods on King Island, the main selling points of the island were its tourism industry and seafood markets. The abalone market was located along a very conspicuous middle section of a road.
They set off in the morning and arrived at the market when it was already close to noon.
Because this was the time of day when the scorching hot sun was high in the sky, there were not many people at the market. There were a few stalls that had been casually set up by the side of the road. The sellers used sunshades to shelter the stalls from the sun and stored their seafood inside styrofoam boxes filled with ice.
Li Du had inquired about the market beforehand. Since there was no charge for setting up stalls, all he needed to do was find an empty spot and lay out his wares.
Just like harvesting black gold abalone, the spaces in the seafood market were on a first-come, first-served basis. Every day at dawn, the entire market would be unoccupied, and stalls could be set up anywhere as long as the spot was empty.
Needless to say, the closer a spot was to the intersection of the two streets, the more conspicuous it was and hence, the more suitable it would be for setting up a stall. Unfortunately, all those spots were fully occupied at the moment.
Li Du was curious about the few unattended stalls that had seemingly inexpensive items like beans, corn, peanuts, and a few fruits and vegetables laid out.
Nonetheless, according to the rules, as long as a stall was selling something, it meant that the stall belonged to someone, so latecomers were not allowed to snatch away the spot that the stall was occupying.
Most stalls in the market were made up of folding tables. After buying a folding table from the nearest general shop, all Li Du had to do was open up the table, place the box of abalones on it, and wait for customers.
Currently, for every ten seafood stalls, eight of them were selling abalones. Besides the black gold abalones, they also had ordinary types of abalones in varying lengths.
Compared to the other abalones, the lengths of the black gold abalones were more uniform, with the longest being 13 to 14 centimeters.
After arriving at the seafood market, Li Du did not have any desire to go shopping.
Due to the hot and humid weather along with the fishy odor unique to seafood markets that was filling the air, everyone walking around the market seemed to have the fishy odor as well.
After smelling the odor, Li Du no longer had an appetite for lunch.
The seafood market was also very dirty. Not only was the floor flooded with foul-smelling water, there were also pieces of trash such as dead fish, dead prawns, and small pieces of crushed shells.
Ah Meow, Ah Ow, and Crispy Noodles, who were all very particular about cleanliness, were jumping around like small children playing hopscotch, as walking there gave them the jitters.
When Li Du opened up the folding table, the three of them hurriedly jumped onto it. After forcefully wiping his paws on the table in disgust, Ah Meow raised his paws in front of his face and sniffed them before continuing to forcefully wipe them with a disgusted look on his face.
Li Du laughed loudly. "Ah Meow, stop wiping. Don't you like eating seafood? This is great. With paws smelling like seafood, you just have to raise them up and sniff them whenever you are craving delicious food."
Ah Meow gave him a dejected look. "Meow meow!"
Right after the three furry children had lain on the folding table, someone noticed them and asked, "What is the cat's breed? It looks magnificent."
Li Du beamed. "Thanks for the compliment. It's a long tail ocelot, a small wild animal."
Ah Meow complemented his words by opening his mouth and letting out a meow. "Meow!"
Ah Ow hurriedly kept up with the tempo by wagging her tail and barking, "Woo woo wuff wuff wuff!"
The man glanced curiously at Ah Ow. "Is that a husky? Its breed isn't very pure."
Lu Guan and Big Quinn laughed loudly.
After glancing at Ah Ow, the middle-aged man fixed his gaze on Ah Meow and reached out to play with him.
Seeing him reaching out, Ah Meow, who was still annoyed with the smelly water on his paws, immediately glared at him while brandishing his claws.
"Tsk tsk, Ah Meow!" Li Du shouted at Ah Meow to stop. At the same time, he went over to protect the ocelot by telling the man, "Sorry sir, you are not allowed to touch my pets."
Truth be told, it was not because Li Du's pets were not allowed to be touched. After Li Du stopped him, Ah Meow rolled his eyes and immediately cast aside his fierce look. While swaying his tail in a docile manner, he used his paws to gently scratch the man's pants. He realized that the man's cotton pants were more suitable for wiping away the filth on his paws, so he began forcefully rubbing his paws against them.
Seeing this, the middle-aged man gave an affectionate look and said, "This ocelot is really not bad. I like it, how much?"
The smile on Li Du's face immediately disappeared. He asked, "Huh?"
The middle-aged man responded, "I want to buy this ocelot. How much are you selling it for?"
Li Du immediately shook his head. "No no no, I am not selling the ocelot. I am not selling any of these three pets. As a matter of fact, I am here to sell black gold abalone."
Li Du snapped his fingers, and Godzilla opened up the cooler box to reveal the large black gold abalones that had been arranged in an orderly fashion inside.
The middle-aged man, who looked very disappointed, said, "Oh, mate, all the items that are laid on the stall are for sale. You either follow the rules or keep your pets out."
Li Du responded, "There's no such rule. This isn't some pirate tavern. My pets and I can stay on any part on my stall."
The middle-aged man shifted his gaze to the inside of the cooler box. After noticing that every black gold abalone had an abalone card, he became interested again and asked, "You harvested all these? Du Li?"
Like Japan's wagyu beef, this type of black gold abalone was a premium ingredient and hence, had a very high selling price.
In order to be worthy of their selling price, they were complemented with many services such as the abalone cards.
Abalone cards were the identification cards of black gold abalones. With the harvest location, time of harvest, and harvester's name on them, the abalones could be traced back to their harvester if there was a problem with them.
Li Du nodded. "Yes, they are all harvested by me. I am Du Li."
The middle-aged man shook his hand and asked, "What price are you selling them for? You don't look familiar. You didn't come here often in the past?"
Li Du replied, "I have only recently arrived in Australia. As I previously harvested black gold abalone in New Zealand's North Island, I am not very familiar with the people here. As for the price? What do you think?"
The middle-aged man replied excitedly, "These black gold abalones most likely just left the water. It's a pity that they were not kept properly. There are still weeds and mud on them. They can sell for 500 dollars each. What do you think?"
Li Du laughed. "Five hundred dollars?"
Five hundred dollars was a scam. In truth, many black gold abalones were only worth 500 dollars. However, those black gold abalones were of poor quality and had either little meat or cracks on their shells.
All the black gold abalones that Li Du had found were kept in good condition, so much so that he did not scrape off the impurities, seaweeds, and aquatic plants from their shells. Furthermore, the abalones were plump and had very high-quality meat.
Thinking that Li Du had accepted his offer, the middle-aged man said, "The price is more suited for buying them individually. If I am buying them as a whole, can the price be slightly lower?"
Having said that, he boldly waved his hand and continued speaking, "Four hundred dollars each. I won't be choosing, I am buying all of them!"
Li Du responded, "Sorry, I am not selling at that price. Mate, they are all top quality, premium goods. Selling them individually, they should be around 2000 dollars each!"
The price he quoted was not unreasonable. It was the price that he had arrived at after carefully looking through the market prices the night before.
Although the black gold abalones were similar in size, they were different in terms of weight. The price of abalones was closely linked to their weight; their price increased exponentially as their weight increased.