Hans climbed out the window, his movements extraordinarily nimble. Ah Meow, held in Li Du's arms, seemed dumbfounded as it watched him escape the truck.
There were people everywhere, both inside the house and out in the yard. There were at least 20 of them. Li Du shook his head. The information that Hans had told him was inaccurate. This was considered a small gathering?
A party for Americans could be cheap and simple, but it could also be grand and complex. This was a simple party, with large amounts of beer, fried chicken, fish, and a few people barbecuing in the yard. There were many people at the house, and they seemed mostly uncivilized.
The people in the house were watching an NBA game. The match started early and would be ending some time in the evening.
Whenever Li Du was still studying, he too loved watching the NBA. His basketball skills were pretty good, and he had been a member of the varsity team at university.
The Miami Heat called a timeout. With only four seconds remaining, a couple dozen people were heatedly debating what would happen.
"LeBron is definitely going to hit a buzzer beater for the Heat. King LeBron! I believe in him, he will definitely be able to do this!"
"Ha! With all that traveling? This is the NBA, not the NFL. His strategy of just hugging the ball and rushing isn't gonna work here. I bet he's gonna miss!"
"Why would they hand over the buzzer beater to LeBron? I bet this one is gonna be settled by The Flash. LeBron doesn't have the guts for this!"
While they were debating, another car had arrived, with its large exhaust roaring loudly.
"Who brought a tractor?" Li Du asked Hans in shock.
Hans gave a loud laugh. "That is probably Cocky Andrew. That guy loves to show off. He pimped up an old Mustang, a Shelby Mustang GT500CR. The sound of that car is like the sound of chicks getting forced down by The Hulk in bed!"
Soon, a middle-age man in a flowery shirt walked in. He had sunglasses on and walked with his head held high, chewing on a piece of gum. The most prominent thing about him was the large, golden H belt buckle hanging on his waist.
When they saw him, the treasure hunters that had been heatedly debating all stood up. A man handed him a bottle of beer. "Hey Andrew. Good afternoon," he said flatteringly.
Taking the beer, the man nodded, and asked, "What are you guys talking about so excitedly?"
Someone gave a quick explanation of how the game was going. Then the timeout was almost finished, and everyone turned their attention to the bets.
They invited Andrew to join in.
"What are we betting?" he asked.
"The loser pays for the expenses of this party."
Andrew nodded. "That bet seems kind of small. But then again, it's not appropriate if it gets too big. So be it."
"Why don't we switch things up a bit? Whoever loses has to share their information that they have on a valuable storage unit," Hans snickered.
Andrew scoffed. "Then I'm not playing. Your information has no value to me, but whatever info I give out would be able to feed any one of you for a whole year."
Hearing this, combined with his tone and expression, Li Du raised his eyebrows. How could this guy be so annoying?
Since the match was going to resume soon, the group stuck to the old bet. Their eyes were then glued to the television.
On the 60-inch LCD display, two teams started a fearsome fight for the ball and four seconds swiftly passed. The ball went to LeBron. The moment he got the ball, he took the shot.
Seeing this, Li Du silently chanted in his mind, "Time Deceleration!"
Behind the television, a 'Pa' sound was heard, and the screen turned off. The group gasped and then started placing their bets.
"I bet LeBron scored! There was only that midget point guard in front of him, so his vision wouldn't be blocked, and there was no pressure! He will definitely score!" Andrew said confidently.
Hearing his words, the ones who had been talking about how LeBron wouldn't score started changing their opinions.
"This shot looked smooth, I bet he drained it."
"This is King LeBron, of course he can do it!"
"If he can't even get this shot in, then he should retire. He must have made it."
Hans scoffed and looked at Li Du. "What do you think?" he asked.
"He missed," Li Du replied without any hesitation. "The buzzer beater failed!"
From the Time Deceleration, the movements on the screen became extremely slow, almost like watching with a high-speed camera. Although the screen looked off to everyone else, Li Du clearly saw all the movements LeBron made from the moment he touched the ball.
Yes, LeBron did successfully trick his opponents and mess with their formation. The ball wasn't passed well, however, and it slipped slightly off his hands due to its spinning motion. He did not have the time to adjust, so he had to just throw it in the air. Although his form looked natural, it was actually very bad.
Hearing Li Du's words, Hans nodded, and said, "I agree with my buddy. The buzzer beater failed."
The ones who had been supporting Andrew booed. Someone asked provocatively, "Hey, why do some people always like to go against the flow? Is it to get special attention?"
"That's actually pretty stupid," Dalton smirked.
Li Du was silent. He went to search for the news online with his phone, and found the headline: 102-101, Boston Celtics narrowly win Against Miami Heat, LeBron James' Buzzer Beater Bricked! He read this aloud.
Hearing this, the smirk on Andrew's face crumbled.
Dalton turned on the television. The score on the screen showed: 102-101, with the Celtics and their fans cheering.
The atmosphere in the room became awkward. People looked at one another before finally directing their eyes to Andrew.
Andrew continued to hold his head high. "LeBron is really trash," he said. "He should never dream about winning a championship in this lifetime. Alright, match over, let's get this party started!"
"OHHHH!" The group started getting rowdy again, and followed Andrew into the yard.
When everyone was gone, Li Du asked curiously, "Who is this Andrew? Why is everyone trying to kiss his *ss?"
"You're a level one member in this association, belonging to the Ten Thousand Club," Hans said. "So is everyone else here, except Andrew. He is in the Hundred Thousand club.
"He has a lot of unique, quality information on storage units. I hate to admit it, but having a good relationship with him means securing a source of money."
Li Du nodded. No wonder Andrew seemed like the head of a dog pack. He was actually an elite amongst the treasure hunters.
Association of American Auction Hunters had five clubs altogether. At the base was the Ten Thousand Club, followed by the Hundred Thousand Club, the Million Club, the Ten Million Club, and the Billion Club at the top.
The Ten Thousand Club could be entered once someone made a profit of 10,000 dollars at any one time. The member, who was now level one, would raise a level each time they made a single profit of 10,000 dollars. Hans was a level five member in the club.
For the Hundred Thousand Club, they had to accumulate a single profit of over 100,000 dollars at least twice in auctions. This was much harder than what it took to become accepted into the Ten Thousand club.
There was another club, a pseudo Hundred Thousand club. This was not official, but was something that the treasure hunters talked about amongst themselves. The requirements were to either acquire a profit of 100,000 dollars in an auction, or to accumulate a profit of 10,000 dollars ten separate times.
Li Du calculated. He had participated in six auctions. Currently, only two had earnings over 10,000, and the chance of receiving the recognition from The Association would only come once. He was still far from the Hundred Thousand Club.
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