Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Silence had fallen upon the wilderness as the commotion of the day died down.
People were moving through the campsite, and although some of them were talking, they spoke softly. They were exchanging greetings and chatting in hushed voices.
The big lamp had been switched off. There was no source of light but the moon shining upon the tents. The light around the camp was rather dim, but that was necessary for stargazing.
Li Du played with the magnifying switch, and under a low magnitude, he was able to see an entire stretch of the starry sky.
The galaxy, which was a rare sight in the city, was vividly displayed in front of him. It shone brightly, looking enchanting and traversing the entire sky like a white sparkling waterfall.
Li Du took a deep breath, and he took Sophie’s hand and murmured, “The red dragonfly is a thousand cores, and the sky is a leaf. At night, the scent of the Milky Way is clear, and the hibiscus is half washed. Unwind the original powder surface and listen to the songs around the beam. In the heart of the autumn, I’m thinking of you and me!”
Now that Sophie did not have to go to work, she had more time at home. She would practice the piano or learn Chinese. As a result, her Chinese improved and she now learned to appreciate proverbs and poetry.
She had not studied the poem that Li Du had just recited. However, she could still make out the approximate meaning. Hence, she held onto Li Du’s hand and looked at him gently, her eyes watery.
Through the telescope, Li Du could see a different side of the sky. As the weather was pleasant without any fog or dust, the telescope helped to bridge the distance between them and the stars perfectly.
Li Du looked up at the stars and felt like they were at his fingertips. At this time, the galaxy became more and more magnificent and awe-inspiring. The stars formed a dome over their heads, splendid and everlasting.
The regular astrology enthusiasts were better at enjoying the activity than Li Du. Some of them had reclined on their chairs and were looking up. It was as though they were sunning themselves at the beach, and indeed, they were all wearing beach shorts. They were just short of wearing shades.
That was just like bathing in the galaxy light, a similar concept to sun-bathing. Of course, considering the current temperature, nobody but hardcore enthusiasts had the courage to do that.
Someone walked over and asked politely, “Sir, when you’re done viewing the stars through your telescope, can we borrow it for a while? I’m Depp Sara and this is my classmate. We come from the University of Houston.”
Li Du shook their hands and said, “Sure, not a problem.”
They had another telescope that was not in use. Sophie and he could share one. As for Brother Wolf and the rest, they were uninterested in stargazing.
Compared to Li Du, Depp and the rest of the people were more professional. They did not need a computerized map to look for the stars. They simply took out their telescope and a physical map. They were able to locate the stars as they continued to have their discussion.
After viewing the stars for some time, Li Du felt that his eyes were tired. It was only then when he left the telescope reluctantly.
As he had been gazing at the stars for a rather long time, when he looked down on the ground it seemed to him as though there were stars shining there as well.
A lady smiled beside him. “Still immersed in the stars, are you?”
Li Du replied, “That’s right. Two things in the world can touch human hearts. One is the compass of values hidden in our hearts and another is the gorgeous starry sky above us.”
Slowly, the camp started to fill with a scent that was alternately fragrant, refreshing, or minty. It was a sign that insect repellents were being heavily used.
Li Du did not use that, but hung up a mosquito coil. The little animals hid in the tent unhappily. Their sense of smell was very sensitive, and they couldn’t tolerate the insect repellents.
When it was midnight, Li Du felt that his eyes were tired and decided to go to bed.
The surrounding camp was dimly lit, and there were only traces of bonfires at the mouth of the valleys. Unlike in the camp itself, many people were singing and dancing around the campfires near the valleys.
In the dark, a few young men walked past the bonfire cautiously. They were walking towards the campsite.
One of those young men asked nervously, “Do you guys think that they are asleep now? What if they are not?”
The black youth, Grande, glared at him and said in a low voice, “Shut up, Jesse, just shut up, okay? There’s no problem with our plan, they are definitely asleep.”
“This is not good, we would be stealing,” Jesse said.
Grande said with contempt, “Scaredy-cat. Don’t look for excuses. We are not stealing. We are just taking back what others took away.”
“Aren’t you afraid?”
Grande said, “What’s there to be afraid of?
“Don’t talk crap with him. D*mn it, I wish I had darker skin. Look at Grande, he just has to shut up and nobody would even know he’s there.”
“Hey, Rollie, what are you trying to say? Spewing your mouth off about black bros?”
The freckled youth, Habri, became impatient and said, “All of you guys shut up, keep quiet, d*mn it! Are you guys here to quarrel or to help me get my uncle’s telescope back? ”
The young men looked at one another and pursed their lips. They continued to inch towards the campsite, keeping their bodies low.
Nearing the campsite, Habri pushed Grande and said, “You go in to have a look. Check if they are asleep.”
Grande said unhappily, “Why me?”
“Because nobody will notice you if you just keep your d*mn mouth shut,” Habri gave him another shove. “Shut your mouth and go do your job. We don’t have much time.”
Grande trudged over and forced his eyes to open wider. He was looking for the location of Li Du’s tent that he had spotted in the afternoon.
It was already one or two in the morning. The camp was dead silent and most people were now asleep. Only a few people were still looking at the stars through their telescopes.
Grande did not dare to go too close. He looked around from a distance and felt that the campsite was very quiet. There was no one keeping watch. Hence, he quickly rushed back.
“Go, no problem, all of them are asleep!”
Habri nodded and waved his partners over. He said, “Do it swiftly, guys. Pay attention, and once you find the telescope, we will carry it out. We must stay silent; there must not be any sound!”
Habri gave them some reminders again and then they started to move as planned.
The bunch of men edged cautiously towards the campsite. They had even removed their shoes and walked on the grass in their socks. That was intended to reduce the noise from their movement.
Slowly, they neared Li Du’s tent.
The two telescopes were assembled not too far from the tents and one of them was their target.
Seeing the wooden telescope, the men were elated. They began to take action.
As the surrounding lighting was too dim, they could only vaguely make out the silhouette of the telescopes. They did not notice that the tent next to the telescopes were unzipped and open.
Brother Wolf looked at those young men blankly. He was wearing an infrared night vision device over his eyes. That was the equipment of the US military. Li Du had used it only once after he got it from the warehouse. He got it when he was dealing with the owners of his neighboring villa.
The infrared night vision device could not enable him to see the facial features of the people clearly. However, from their movement and actions, Brother Wolf could guess their identity. He could also tell what they had come for.
He had initially thought of teaching those men a lesson. However, after looking at his surroundings, he smiled. Then he removed the infrared night vision device from his face and went back to sleep.