Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Mammoth Ivory hunting was now dominated by gangs and clans, which had to do with working conditions.
As mentioned earlier, the Siberian wilderness was too dangerous, and the more ivory one dug there, the riskier it would be without reliable help.
For Li Du, $30,000 to $40,000 was not a lot, but for these laborers living at the bottom of the heap, such a sum was equal to a few years’ living expenses for the family.
Killing someone and taking their mammoth tusks with hardly any risk of being caught was a tempting option for many.
According to their research, Jonas Malone joined four gangs: the Sea Dragon, the Big K, the Horn, and the Ice Tomahawk.
The gangs were so dominant in this field that many people would wash their hands of the business after getting a batch of mammoth ivory, and use the profit to start a small business in the city, rather than being chilled in the wilderness.
There were many dangers in the wasteland. Wild animals, venomous spiders, poisonous insects, and deadly swamps were waiting for the careless adventurer. This money was not easy to make.
Jonas Malone joined too many gangs, which caused problems for Li Du and his team because they did not know if Malone was still in the Ice Tomahawk group.
However, the name of Ice Tomahawk was a clue, and they had to start with something.
As soon as they entered the bar, someone whistled at them, and a tattooed man with a giddy smile said, “Wow, what a pretty girl. Come and have a drink!”
Godzilla, Big Quinns, and the others then came in, and the tattooed man silently turned away and returned to his beer bottle.
Most of the bar thugs were good at bullying the weak and were afraid of the tougher crowd, and although they were rude, they were not inclined to get into trouble.
Bar fights could be unpredictable. No one wanted to offend the wrong people and then be left hanging by the tail, as it was impossible to know who was armed and dangerous.
Since the tattooed man started first, Li Du would not be polite. He decided to make a breakthrough starting from this guy.
He sat down and the others followed.
The tattooed man was able to understand he was in trouble. He stood up with his glass in hand and tried to walk away.
Li Du nodded, and Godzilla clenched his big hands like metal tongs on the tattooed man’s shoulders, forcing him back with brute force.
The tattooed man was a little panicky. He took the lead by admitting that he was wrong. “Ha, guys, I just said a bit too much because I was a little drunk.”
“Yes, don’t take this idiot seriously,” the person next to him spoke as well.
Another said, “It doesn’t mean anything, the things you say in a bar, right? Everybody knows that’s how it is, right?”
Li du tapped the table and said to the bartender, “Serve us beer. Craft beer. Fill these guys’ glasses. I am treating them.”
The tattooed men were at a loss. They were not sure what Li Du was trying to do.
Li Du said, after a sip of iced beer, “Cool! I feel from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.”
The tattooed man sneered, “If you go into Sakha, that’s how you would feel even if you don’t drink cold beer.”
Li Du smiled and nodded. “I am about to explore the area. Do you often go there?”
“Occasionally, well, you know… there is mammoth ivory, right?”
“Yes, mammoth ivory and many gangs,” Li Du raised his glass and motioned for a toast. “Which gang are you in?”
The tattooed man sniffed. This made him a little wary.
Li Du’s words made him think that their enemy came for them. However, ivory hunters would not usually solve their problems in the city. There were plenty of places to fight in the wilderness, and dead people would no longer be a problem.
With that in mind, the men relaxed.
The tattooed man said, “We are all from the Monster Face Gang. Do you know it? Our boss is a red-faced Cossack, he is a cool guy.”
“Yeah, red-faced Cossack! May he be healthy and successful!”
Others followed, raising their glasses and shouting. It looked less like a toast and more like they were announcing who they were to Li Du and the others.
Li Du did not care about this. He smiled and said, “I just came here, so I am not sure of the situation. Monster Face? Sorry, I haven’t heard of it, but I did hear of the Ice Tomahawk.”
The men exchanged glances after hearing this, and one of them said, “Ice Tomahawk? I admit they’re a tough bunch of jerks, but they’re screwed.”
“What do you mean?” Of course, he knew what that meant. The Ice Tomahawk gang was disbanded or broke up.
Sure enough, the big fellow smiled and said, “This gang does not exist anymore. It broke up a month ago. Some of the bastards took the ivory and ran away, leaving everyone else with nothing.”
This was a big reason why gangs would go out of business. The poor and desperate who joined this field banded together not because of friendship, but to protect themselves.
The root cause of the trouble was the tusks of mammoths and other precious items. In order to do business successfully, the gang members would collect them, and after accumulating a certain amount, they would sell them off.
The Siberian moors were vast, and the buyers of ivory would all come from the outside. They could not sell every single tusk once they find it.
As a result, when the stock of ivory accumulated, there could be chaos within the gangs, and someone would try to steal the stash, usually the gang seniors who had more power.
Li Du took out a photo and said with a depressed look, “Damn, this is too bad. I was looking for this guy to work with. He told me that he was in the Ice Tomahawk…”
Several people looked at the picture together and then looked blankly at each other, apparently not recognizing Jonas Malone.
There were many ivory hunters, thousands of them, and it was impossible for them all to know each other, especially if Jonas Malone was careful. He was discreet and would not draw attention to himself.
One of the men said, “If you want to find the man from the Ice Tomahawk, I suggest you go to the Black Cross. The Black Cross has a lot of men.”
Li Du said, “There are so many brothers in this bar. It can’t be that nobody knows this guy. Who can help me find him? If there is good information, I will give him ten thousand.”
“Dollars?” Someone’s eyes lit up.
“Dollars,” Li Du nodded.
A few big men moved. After a while, a youth with a fearsome scar on his face sauntered over.
He looked at Li Du and asked, “Why are you looking for Bryant?”
“Bryant?” Li Du shook his head. “My buddy’s name is Black Snake. Of course, I only know his nickname. He did not tell me his real name.”