Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du was active at the auction. In addition to winning the number 120 mine, he had made multiple bids at other auctions, making multiple offers and interacting with people around him, quietly consulting with them about some aspects of the mine auction experience. When he bid on the last quarries, no one doubted his motives, and few people bid against him.
Compared with Li Du, the local mine owners were all amateurs at attending auctions. Li Du, a professional in the industry, knew how to control the auction’s rhythm and disguise his intentions.
Mine number 645, which had a starting price of $240,000, was among the most expensive at the auction. Mayor Barron explained, “The plot of land was used as a mining tool company, and there may be a lot of tools left behind in the buildings there.” He was trying to entice miners and ranchers to take an interest in 645, but no one was stupid enough to insist on a higher price.
Li Du raised the bid from $240,000 to $250,000, and then gradually to $280,000. The price ended there, as no one offered more. A miner kindly reminded him, “Number 645 is a dog sh*t mine. Why was it used as a mining tool company? Because it has no gems!”
People around nodded, trying to tell him that he was wasting his money. Li Du declined their advice, smiling without a word. Mine 645 really was a sh*t mine, but there was a helicopter in it!
The auction ended just before noon. Ten of the 14 mines had sold. From the stage, Mayor Barron urged people to give out information about the remaining mines, hoping that someone else would be interested in the mines and buy them.
When Li Du went to pay, he looked at Wright and Ulysses in surprise. Even before the auction began, he had noticed people coming in, thinking they were going to interfere with their participation in the auction by bidding against him, just as people had done in the United States. However, the men were genuinely interested in a particular mine, and they made a serious bid for it without any malicious intent.
This was the difference between the two auctions. Wright and the others were not very rich. Why would they bid after Li Du? If Li Du were to drop out of the bidding, they would have to buy the dog sh*t mine.
A mine requires hundreds of thousands of dollars to own and run. They still owed money to the banks. Their financial chain was weak, so if they had another dog sh*t mine, they would go bankrupt. Neither side interfered with each other, and each did their own business.
After completing the payment and paperwork, Steve smiled and waved his land permit and mine ownership warrant and said, “Hey, I’m a mine owner, too.”
Li Du held out his hand and said, “Well, congratulations, buddy.”
Steve asked with interest, “How many gems are there in my mine? You must have found something, right?”
“Mine 120 definitely has gems, but you have to look very carefully, because they are in a vein that runs alongside mine 122,” Li Du said.
“What about mine number 645?”
“Come with me, and I’ll show you something fun.” Li Du laughed.
They drove to the number 645 mine, a dilapidated mine that the owner had abandoned years ago. It was surrounded by vines on both sides of the walls, and verdant grass was growing inside.
They stopped by a large iron door that had been rusted and crumbling in the wind for years. There was no need to open the lock. Brother Wolf and Godzilla just kicked the iron door a couple of times. The iron door made a creak sound and fell to the ground. The noise disturbed the animals in the pit. Several rabbits popped out of the weeds and ran away, while some wild birds flapped up into the sky.
There were multiple warehouses built side by side on the mine, which affected the mine’s operation. That was one reason the mine owners didn’t want to bid on it. Tearing down warehouses and transporting them was seen as a waste of money.
Li Du beckoned Brother Wolf and Godzilla to open all the warehouses. They took the rented hydraulic shears and cut all the chains off of the doors.
Steve asked curiously, “Your goal was these warehouses, right? What’s in them? It’s a bit of an adventure. When I was a kid, my partner and I liked to take risks on some crappy buildings.”
Shortly after he stopped speaking, Godzilla’s voice rang out. “Oh, my god, boss, come and take a look!”
Li Du and Steve walked over to see the warehouse, where a helicopter stood proudly inside! That was his target. That was what he wanted!
The ancient cyan fuselage, the thick steel plate, the broad cabin… although it was full of dust, that still could not diminish its awe-inspiring power. Li Du had already felt its power when he watched the helicopter through the little bug, and now he stood in front of the helicopter and saw it with his own eyes. The helicopter was disassembled, with its top rotor laying flat on the ground, and its tail, parallel to the fuselage, resting against a wall.
The warehouse was huge because of the large digging tools that had to be stored. Li Du estimated that the warehouse was more than 20 meters in length and width and five meters in height. Such a large warehouse would be able to accommodate the helicopter once it was reassembled. In its assembled state, the helicopter would be about 20 meters long. Once the tail fin was installed, the helicopter would be 25 meters long. The helicopter was now nearly five meters high. When the rotor was mounted, it would be more than five and a half meters high!
A worthy giant of steel!
Steve was surprised to see the helicopter and said, “God, was that your goal? You knew there was a helicopter in here?”
Li Du did not answer the question but laughed and said, “What kind of helicopter is this, do any of you know?”
“The Mi-8 helicopter, a medium-sized transport helicopter developed by the Soviet Union’s Miri design bureau, is powered by a two-engine, five-blade, single-rotor that was put into production in 1964. It has both military and civilian applications,” replied Brother Wolf.
“Do you know how much it costs?” asked Li Du.
Brother Wolf was silent for a while, and then shook his head and said, “Without weapons, the military model is about $12,000,000. I’m not sure about the specific civilian model, but the estimated price is lower.”