Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
That night, Sophie came back to tell Li Du that it was Miranda Kerr, an Australian supermodel, who had lost her underwear.
“It was probably Ah Meow who did it. This is the second time he has done this. Do you think it will be caught on camera this time?” Li Du asked.
Sophie was shocked and said, “Ah Meow did it? Nothing was recorded. The security guard watched the video and found no trace.”
The men’s and women’s dressing rooms were not likely to have cameras. Ah Meow might have once again used his ability to move from the wall of the outer part of the hotel, so that was why the camera had not captured him.
The two of them looked at him, and he acted as if he was very interested in the carpet in front of him. Obviously, he was feeling guilty. Otherwise, with his character, usually once Li Du and Sophie looked at him, he would come over to get their attention.
Li Du did not know what to do. He had not caught him at the scene of the crime. There was no proof. He had done this because he knew Li Du and Sophie disliked Bradley. He was trying to help them, so they did not want to criticize him and affect the relationship between them. After all, Li Du had not lost anything. He simply gave Ah Meow a small dry fish snack to reward his loyal and courageous behavior towards his master. Ah Meow was very intelligent, and when he was rewarded, he immediately understood what Li Du meant and held his head up for praise.
Li Du patted him on the head and said, “No praise. You are not allowed to do this in the future. Even if you do, you can only steal your mother’s underwear and give it to me, okay?”
Sophie said rather petulantly, “Why don’t you teach him something good?”
Ah Meow took the joke literally. When Li Du got up in the morning, Li Du opened his eyes and saw several sets of Sophie’s underwear beside his pillow. He woke Sophie up. She groped for her underwear to put it on, but no matter what, she could not find it. She cried out in horror, clutching the quilt, “Hey, what are you doing? What are you doing?”
Li Du said in a naughty manner, “What do I want? I want to…!”
Sophie stood still and said, “Excuse me?!”
Li Du said, “I am teasing you. Are you not awake yet? Look, Ah Meow brought your underwear to my bed.”
The wardrobe in the room was open, and the suitcase they kept by the wall was open, too. Ah Meow had carefully taken out all the underwear and had put it near Li Du.
Sophie came to her senses and shouted, “Ah Meow, get over here. I’m gonna kill you!”
Ah Meow knew something was wrong and ran away
The showcase was held for a total of four days. Various jewelry and luxury goods were constantly showcased, and various rich people and dignitaries constantly came to purchase them. This was not only a jewelry sales meeting but also an opportunity to network.
Cole was very good to Li Du and took him to meet people when he got the chance. Of course, he may have done so on Steve’s behalf, because once when they were chatting, Cole asked Li Du how he had saved Steve’s life. Li Du answered vaguely, saying that Steve had a heart attack during a business meeting, and that he was in time to rescue him. Cole expressed envy, as if regretting that he wasn’t the one who had saved Steve.
Li Du now knew that Steve’s family was worth a lot of money. After the showcase, he took Steve to Lightning Ridge. Steve brought along Elson as usual, as well as two middle-aged men, one black and one white, both of whom were brawny and were apparently his bodyguards.
They had arrived in a helicopter, and they were now returning in a helicopter, but this time, the helicopter wasn’t as comfortable as the Dolphin had been before. This helicopter was a bit like a military transport chopper, only with more space and speed.
Li Du looked around, curious about the helicopter. When Steve noticed, he told him that the helicopter was a rescue helicopter, and that the design was not meant to be luxurious but to save space. There were many medical machines in the helicopter. Li Du realized that this helicopter could be specially used to treat Steve, if necessary.
Back at Lightning Ridge, the helicopter landed at the mine, and Aubrey and his gang waved enthusiastically at them. Li Du had brought many gifts for them, and they were delighted.
Steve looked at the scene and said, “Your people are so good to you. How do you do that? I did not realize that you’re a great leader.”
Li Du laughed and said, “What kind of a leader am I? As long as you pay them on time, they treat you as a leader.”
Steve was really there to dig ore. Li Du had a major headache regarding this situation. He did not know why Steve persisted in doing so, but it was his request, and Li Du could only honor it.
Because Steve had just arrived at Lightning Ridge, he lacked a basic understanding of the gemstones and the mines. Li Du arranged for Aubrey to guide him and give him a brief orientation.
Meanwhile, Li Du continued to search for suitable mines to try to get more out of Lightning Ridge.
From the original number 104 mine to his current number 122 mine, there was a large vein of ore scattered along the line, and there were precious stones in some of the surrounding mines. Luckily for Li Du, the vein had never been discovered. The mines were constantly excavated, but few gems were ever harvested.
Knowing that both he and Steve were interesting in buying, Aubrey said, “Hey, boss, you’re in luck. You’re back in town at the right time. There’s going to be a mine auction in town.”
“Mine auction? Auctioning off mines?” Li Du asked.
“Yes, it’s the end of the week, and you’re back just in time. I know there are 14 or 15 mines up for auction,” said Aubrey excitedly.
Lightning Ridge had thousands of mines, but only a small fraction of them could produce gems, so most of them operated at a loss. If the mine was not producing, the mine owners would not make any money. However, a mine could potentially be worth millions as a real estate investment. Like property taxes on houses, the Australian government also taxed mines at a higher rate, so many mine owners wanted to sell their mine when it didn’t produce. However, it was not easy to sell a mine. Not all the mines were attractive prospects for miners to take over.
Lightning Ridge had at least 100 mines available, but the market for trading them was bleak. Not many people wanted to take over those mines. If a mine had high property taxes on it, and a mine owner had no money to pay the taxes or went bankrupt, if no one took over the mine, the mine would be seized by bank, and the government would auction it off.