Chapter 11 - Highest Price
“That has to be fake!” Mrs. Qiang exclaimed as soon as she saw the item. The wok cap seemed to be have been made of pure gold, but the lack of any sign of aging and fact that it would be unimaginable for anyone to want to build a cap out of valuable gold meant that it was very likely a counterfeit.
“Maybe there’s more to it. Let’s wait.” Ximen Song was more level-headed.
‘This is it.’ This was what Li Yiming came for. He refrained himself from looking at the cap too much and pretended to be sipping his citrus water instead. Chen Quan flashed a glance at Li Yiming and turned his attention to the miniskirt of a waitress nearby.
“You’re interested in that thing?” Fang Shui’er suddenly remarked.
“What?” Li Yiming turned around in awe.
“You stared at the two items that came before. For some reason, you’re refusing to look at this one for more than a few seconds… Also, according to my sources, women are not on the top of your friend’s priority list…” Fang Shui’er explained rather calmly, but behind her composed demeanor was perplexity as to why Li Yiming made his interest so obvious.
Li Yiming could not do anything other than laugh in embarrassment. ‘Wow, how did she know? I thought I was discreet…’
“The origins of this item is unknown…” The host swept across the hall with his gaze. “We could not find any information about it.”
A small brouhaha spread in the crowd. Although only a few thought of the wok cap as an actual counterfeit, most of them were hesitant to offer a high price right off the bat. The host retreated to the side and waited patiently for the auction to start, but only dead silence reigned in the entire room.
“Three hundred thousand.” Li Yiming said hesitantly,
‘Seriously…’ Chen Quan was not impressed. ‘I sold this for nine hundred thousand…’
Li Yiming’s sudden initiative caught the attention of many guests in the auction hall. Although it seemed objectionable to start with such a low price, it all made sense if Li Yiming was simply looking to test the resolves of the other participants. After all, the golden wok cap had yet to show any verified value.
“Three hundred fifty…” Mrs. Qiang looked at Li Yiming and hesitated before offering a price barely higher than Li Yiming’s. She did not have a particular interest in the item, but simply wanted to annoy Li Yiming.
“Four hundred,” Li Yiming said calmly while sipping his cup.
“You can keep going if you want to annoy him.”
“Really?” Mrs. Qiang was about to give up, since she was not quite sure whether Li Yiming was simply fooling around or not.
“He’s too calm. But you can see from the expression of his dwarf friend that this item is of important value to them. Most importantly, look at Fang Shui’er, she hasn’t moved her eyes away from that thing yet,” Ximen Song whispered with a confident smile.
“One million.” Mrs. Qiang raised her right hand and said loudly.
Ximen Song shuddered when he heard the number. ‘Are you serious? How is he expected to follow up on such a jump?’ Ximen Song was unaware of just how much spite and anger Mrs. Qiang felt for Li Yiming and vastly underestimated the extent to which she would go to thwart Li Yiming’s plan.
“How much do I have to add?” Li Yiming looked at Chen Quan with a frown.
“Ten thousand…” By know, Chen Quan understood that Mrs. Qiang only had ruining Li Yiming’s plans in mind.
“One million and ten thousand.” Li Yiming raised his hand again.
“Two million!” Mrs. Qiang pursed her lips and delivered a blow that satisfied her craving for vengeance greatly.
Although Ximen Song let out a sigh of relief when Li Yiming continued to bid, the little comfort he had was completely shattered when he heard the number that came out of Mrs. Qiang’s mouth.
“Two million and ten thousand.” Li Yiming pressed on without hesitation.
Fang Shui’er subtly glanced at the surveillance cameras.
“Three million and ten thousand.”
“Four million and ten thousand.”
At this point, it was obvious to the other guests that Li Yiming and Mrs. Qiang were locked in a struggle simply due to enmity. Moreover, Li Yiming’s bids made it seem like he was the one trying to annoy Mrs. Qiang.
“Five million!” Ximen Song had barely managed to hold Mrs. Qiang’s hand down, but could not silence her quickly enough to prevent her from raising the bid once again.
The guests all turned their attention toward Li Yiming, but the next bid had yet to come.
“Are you giving up?” Fang Shui’er was surprised, since she thought she had understood that Li Yiming was ready to get his hands on the item regardless of the cost.
Li Yiming smiled and sipped his lemon drink calmly. He wanted to continue bidding, but he realized that he would run out of cash. After all, five million was no small sum, and Li Yiming just recently acquired a sizeable fortune.
Beads of cold sweat rolled down Ximen Song’s forehead as Li Yiming remained silent. He had started to doubt whether Li Yiming had observing their reactions the entire time and simply wanted to make him lose money. Mrs. Qiang, however, was too busy savoring her financial victory, rather than considering the long term consequences of her bidding.
“Ten million.” Just as the host was about to seal the deal with a smile, a stern voice was heard from the front row.
‘Yu Runkai?’ Li Yiming frowned. It was not a big deal for the item to be bought by Mrs. Qiang, since Li Yiming could simply “retrieve” it later, but it was a different story if Yu Runkai managed to get his hands on the wok cap.
“Twenty million!” Mrs. Qiang screeched in a moment of frenzied rage. The anger which had been simmering inside of her finally exploded.
“Don’t…’ Ximen Song was too late to stop her, once again. His hands and feet went cold from just thinking about the astronomical sum Mrs. Qiang had just committed herself to.
As soon as Mrs. Qiang’s bid was heard, a commotion occurred in the room. At this point, it was no longer simply a fight between Mrs. Qiang and Li Yiming, but a vicious struggle that would only end a bankruptcy. Yu Runkai raised his cup, not in the direction of Mrs. Qiang, but at Li Yiming. The rest of the crowd interpreted this as being a sign of friendliness showing that the two had been plotting together against Mrs. Qiang the entire time.
However, Li Yiming quickly understood Yu Runkai’s true intentions. ‘He knows…’
“Chen Quan, how much money do you have?” Li Yiming looked at his friend with a frown.
“I have quite a bit of money, but all of it has been confiscated…” Chen Quan was willing to help Li Yiming, but he had lost most of his belongings when he went to prison.
“Ho much do you need? I lend to you.” Fang Shui’er suddenly said in a soft voice.
“How much can you give me?” Li Yiming stared at the wok cap. ‘Fang Shui’er… Yu Runkai… and these surveillance cameras…’
“I can give you one hundred million.” Fang Shui’er smiled sweetly and said a number that shocked Li Yiming.
“Twenty million and ten thousand.” Li Yiming spat out just as the host was about to smash the table with the hammer.
Another ruckus arose in the crowd; Li Yiming, who had been thought to be working with Yu Runkai, turned on the latter. Even Mrs. Qiang, who had an ashen countenance from just waking up to the fact that she had been played by Li Yiming, seemed confused, as was the case for Ximen Song
This time, Mrs. Qiang was not stupid enough to call an even higher price. Her rage gradually settled as she bit her lips and scrutinized Li Yiming.
“Thirty million.” Yu Runkai continued to raise the price.
“Thirty million and ten thousand.” Li Yiming followed.
“Forty and ten.”
“Fifty and ten.”
“Excuse me, sir…” The host finally intervened. “We have done our appraisal on the guests for this cruise trip. We are aware that Mr. Chen has vouched for you, but his limit stands at fifty million…”
“I’m vouching for him.” Fang Shui’er stood up and pushed the wooden bench to the side. She walked to where Li Yiming stood and wrapped her arm affectionately around his neck.
“My apologies.” The host nodded and excused himself.
Fang Shui’er’s firm support for Li Yiming’s bid once again raised eyebrows. Those who were wondering whether Li Yiming was a paid gigolo of Fang Shui’er were astounded. Based on Fang Shui’er’s attitude and actions toward Li Yiming, all clues suggested that Li Yiming was, in fact, the person in control in the relationship.