Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Perhaps because the whole area of Phoenix was warm even in winter, when the temperature of the water was right, a winter wonder appeared.
In the distance, a wide river was flowing, the blue waves rolling smoothly.
Along the two sides of the river, there were green grassy plains with large pieces of granite scattered here and there. The granite dotted the plains, showing off their beauty.
Some areas of the land led to woods of tall, majestic pine trees. With the birch and poplar trees rising up to the sky, green was a prevalent color even in winter.
Taking in the scenery, Li Du understood why the warehouse auction association decided on that location for the party. He said in awe, “Turns out that there’s such a beautiful place in Arizona.”
Riverdale was considered to be within the Kingman area. However, ever since its residents joined efforts to create the Kingman Government Building, Kingman had kicked them out in a fit of anger.
Besides, the small town was situated in an area bordering Arizona, California, and Nevada. That gave rise to some sort of idea that neither of the three states kept the place in governance.
However, the view at Riverdale was different from the three surrounding states. The town was situated in a unique location. Its people treated their hometown as a self-governing entity and named it Independent Town.
The town spanned a very large area, which was characteristic of Arizona. After all, the local climate was very dry, with much of the state being a desert, so naturally, the population was scattered even in towns.
However, Riverdale had pretty good land and plentiful water supply thanks to the many rivers in the area. In most of Riverdale, it looked as though there were woods or grass plains all around. However, beneath the woods and grass lay swamps.
Thousands of years ago, that whole area had been one huge swamp. At that time, the Colorado River had flowed through it, forming a lake.
However, years later, perhaps due to tectonic plate movements, climate change, or other reasons, the water in the lake partially evaporated, and the rest of it seeped through the ground and slowly disappeared.
Under those circumstances, the swamp replacing the lake provided a great environment for living things to grow –flora and fauna both flourished.
Hans explained to Li Du, “You know the American logging industry is well developed, right? There are still a lot of lumberjacks living in the deep forests of the northwest.”
Li Du replied, “Yes, of course I know that.”
Hans smiled. “In the past, there were also lumberjacks in Riverdale. Phoenix was developing and needed wood. They had set their sights on the forest in Riverdale.”
“However, there were traps everywhere in the forest. Many swamps were hidden in the area and people were caught in them. In the end, they withdrew from the area and did not hurt the woods here.”
Once the car drove upon the cinder road, they were not far from Riverdale.
After around forty or fifty minutes, plots of farmland appeared. There were herds of sheep and cows moving on the yellow-green grass.
Just as they were about to enter the town, a herd of sheep crossing the road blocked their way and the car had to stop.
Driver sounded the horn and a huge dog ran out from the ditch by the road, barking at them.
Ah Ow, who had been drowsy on the journey, started to get agitated. She jumped out of the car from the window and bounded in the direction of the large dog.
The big dog had a ferocious demeanor. Seeing Ah Ow, it was unafraid and bared its teeth, facing her.
The fighting powers of dogs and wolves were on different levels. In terms of the ability to bite, strength and endurance, the gap was vast.
The two animals crashed into each other and then Ah Ow continued to push forward. She knocked the big dog onto the ground and rolled it around several times.
Ah Ow continued to show off her strength. With one foot, she pinned the dog down but did not bite it. Instead, it clawed at the dog’s face and jumped around it, showing off her advantage.
A lady on a horse rode out from behind the herd of sheep. Whipping the horse, she shouted, “Hey, hey, move aside. Don’t hurt my Hans!”
Hearing that, Li Du started to laugh. “Did I hear that right? Hans? That’s the name of the dog?”
Intrigued by the horsewhip that the lady was brandishing, Ah Ow turned her attention towards the newcomer. She gave up on the dog and ran towards the lady. She jumped up, trying to bite on the whip.
The horse could feel the threat from Ah Ow and was afraid. It started to jump on the spot, letting out fearful whinnies.
However, the lady showed no sign of nervousness. In her leather boots, she stepped on the stirrups, controlling the horse with the spurs. One of her hands was pulling on the bridle while the other was waving the whip. There were the sounds of ‘pat, pat, pat’ as she tried to protect herself.
Ah Ow had no intention of hurting the horse or the lady and only wanted to bite on the whip that was flung around.
The lady did not hurt Ah Ow either. She was only using the sound of the whip to scare Ah Ow.
The two parties reached some sort of equilibrium. Under the control of its rider, the horse started to move in circles on the road. The blonde girl calmly controlled the horse as it dealt with Ah Ow, losing no ground.
The girl’s hair was tied up in a ponytail that was swinging behind her. Her body was straight and the denim clothing clung onto her, outlining her beautiful curves. She looked both graceful and strong.
Hans, who was in the front seat, looked up. His eyes widened as he stared at the lady, unable to look away.
Li Du smiled. “Hey, don’t flash that cheap look of yours.”
Hans ignored him. After observing the lady for a while, he pushed the car door and jumped out. Then he yelled at Ah Ow, “Buddy, come back, behave yourself!”
Ah Ow, however, did not cooperate. After turning to look at Hans, she continued to chase after the lady’s whip.
Hans was embarrassed and turned back to glare at Li Du.
Li Du had no choice but to blow on his whistle, after which Ah Ow returned at once.
Only when Ah Ow had gone back to the car, the big dog that had been cowering on the ground started to get up.
Hans walked over in swaggering steps and removed his shades. He grinned and said, “Hi, how are you doing? Sorry, my dog must have shocked you. Can I have the pleasure of learning your name?”
Hearing that, the fair shepherdess opened her jade-green eyes wide. She giggled and waved the whip over the buttocks of the horse. She said, “Oh, I’m not used to speaking to prim and proper men. Goodbye. Hans, let’s go!”
The dog picked itself up and followed behind the horse. Hans followed suit and ran too. That confused the dog and it turned back to look hard at him.
The lady, who was driving the herd of sheep, saw that Hans was still behind her. She turned and said, “What are you doing?”
Hans said, “Didn’t you say ‘Hans, let’s go’ just now? My name is Hans. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Hans Fox.”
The shepherdess looked surprised and said, “Oh, is that so? Sorry, my dog’s name is Hans too. Um, forget it. Goodbye, Mr. Fox.”
She whipped the horse and rushed into the grass on the side of the road. Hans did not want to give up, but he had stepped into a pool of mud. His feet were quickly bogged down and he could not run further.
It was only upon seeing that the shepherdess had gone far ahead that Hans turned to walk back. However, he continued to look behind him as he did so.
Li Du said, “Can you control yourself? Don’t go chasing after every skirt, we are here to…”
“I’m in love, Li,” Hans said to him. “Your brother has fallen in love.”