Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Have we raised his suspicion unnecessarily?” Luo Qun asked Li Du.
Li Du shook his head. “He can’t hide anymore. We needed to use the grenade to resolve this. Otherwise, too many people would dare to interfere with this matter. Then our troubles would be huge.”
Being a mammoth ivory hunter was a strange profession. The people guarded themselves against each other and attacked one another. However, once they met with external enemies, they would quickly unite among themselves.
That was linked to their identities. Most of them were criminals who have committed felonies and escaped justice. There was no shortage of people who came to seek revenge or law enforcement officials who came to arrest them.
Hence, when they were faced with an external enemy, they would unite and fight together. It was so that if in the future, they met with trouble themselves, others would also help them.
That had turned into an unspoken rule of the ivory hunting trade. Just like the principle of mutual rescue at sea – when ships were wrecked at sea, any nearby vessels must try to rescue them unconditionally.
There was no such law, but in every trade, it was not uncommon to have certain unspoken rules.
That was the reason why Li Du had not wanted Luo Qun to go there. As the hunters would unite and fight together, if Luo Qun came over alone, she would definitely be ambushed once the hunters discovered her motives.
Just the Praying gang alone would be able to deal with a lonely Chinese lady like her, let alone an alliance of many mammoth ivory hunters.
Luo Qun got more anxious and angry. Not only had she been unable to find Jonas Malone after coming all the way to the territory of the Praying gang, but she had even lost the last thread on where Jonas Malone had gone.
She said, “Let’s give them money as a reward. Whoever manages to catch him, we will pay him a sum.”
Li Du shook his head. “No, that won’t do. This cannot be resolved by money. The mammoth ivory hunters will not capture their own kind just for cash.”
Luo Qun laughed in contempt. “Are they really so loyal? These people are the same ones who gave us information on Jonas Malone.”
Li Du replied, “That’s right, they can sell information of Jonas Malone to make money. That is possible. However, they would never capture him for money.”
“Don’t you get it? There’s some measure of secrecy when they sell us information. As long as we do not tell anyone, nobody would know who gave us the information on Malone. In fact, they can even be spies. Perhaps they might take money from us and then go inform Malone.”
“However, it’s different if they have to capture him personally. They would be labeled by their own kind and ostracized. They might also become revenge targets. The people here are not simple. All of them keep each other’s secrets. Hence, nobody dares to break the informal rules of the trade.”
Luo Qun sent a kick to the car door and asked, refusing to give up, “Then what do we do now? Do we go into the wilderness to look for Jonas Malone?”
“If a cunning man like him wants to go into hiding, how can we find him?” Li Du asked her in return.
Luo Qun was confused and shouted, “You can plan this, and it’s your responsibility. How do I know how we should search?”
Right after the words came out of her mouth, she caught hold of herself and calmed down. Distraught, she said, “Sorry, Li, I know you’re here to help. This is my problem. Sorry, but I cannot control my emotions right now.”
Li Du patted her shoulder and said, “Right. I will be responsible for this. Therefore, rest assured that Jonas Malone won’t be able to get off. We are already in his territory. He can hide from us for a time, but not forever.”
Steve interrupted them and said, “Li, I don’t believe there’s anything that cannot be resolved with money. We can increase the reward. We can spend one hundred thousand US dollars to capture a man. If one hundred grand is not enough, then two hundred…”
Li Du shrugged his shoulders. “As long as we have some patience, we won’t have to expend a large amount of effort to catch this b*stard. Why should we fork out so much money? We haven’t reached a point whereby we can just throw money away, right?”
Steve nodded and replied, “Whatever you say. You’re the leader now.”
“Where do we go now? What should we do next?” Luo Qun asked.
Li Du answered, “Let’s split into two teams. One group will stay behind and monitor the situation here. The other group will follow me and go hunt for something.”
The thing he wanted to hunt for was the mammoth tusks.
The eight SUVs split into two groups. Li Du and Steve led one group, while the Ford brothers led the other. The Ford brothers would stay in Krasnoyarsk Krai and Li Du’s team would leave the area.
The Ford family had a great standing in Russia. After the Soviet Union was dissolved, the Ford cars had entered the Russian open market.
Hence, there would be no security concerns for the two brothers to stay behind in Krasnoyarsk Krai. If they just made a couple of phone calls, people would arrange for the government to protect them.
Li Du’s team drove off, leaving Krasnoyarsk Krai behind. They returned to the highway that led into the wilderness. Following the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, they continued their journey.
Li Du had intended to head towards the first stop on the mammoth ivory treasure map that he had. He wanted to hunt for the mammoth ivory.
The owner of the map had been a hunter too. He had been a lone wolf and was especially skillful in finding ivory. He had managed to locate many mammoth graves.
The so-called mammoth graves were similar to the graves of modern African elephants. Like elephants, when mammoths were on the brink of death, they would head towards the family graveyard and pass away there.
That was a mystical thing that even scientific research had yet to provide an explanation for. A Norwegian research institute had started the narrative with molecular science and believed that elephants could release unique pheromones before and after death.
Such a pheromone could cause the elephants to be attracted to the same kind of pheromones, and the place where most such pheromones could be found was the elephant graveyard.
Similarly, whales in the ocean had comparable behavior. There were whale graveyards in the ocean. Before they died, whales would head there. However, there were buoyancy and undercurrents in the sea. After the whales died, the currents would take them to other places, so such whale graveyards were hard to find.
The owner of the map had located the graveyard of the mammoths, but it was impossible for him to excavate the site alone. He did not trust the local hunters and hence, he had wanted to return to his hometown and get help.
However, the owner had been a criminal in America. Not long after he returned home, the police had arrested him. After he got into jail, he contracted a chronic disease and passed away. Hence, in the end, the map had become secret.
The earth by the river had a softer surface, and hence it was harder to maneuver the car. Besides, there were many mosquitoes around!
It was the first time that Li Du had seen such a scourge of mosquitoes. They were roaming around the taiga, searching for prey. From afar, it looked like a small sandstorm.
Even brave souls like Brother Wolf and his team were frightened by that sight. Under such conditions, if someone was bitten by the mosquitoes, they would probably turn into mummies from loss of blood.
Steve’s deep general knowledge was put to use at that moment. He smiled and said, “Don’t be afraid. This kind of mosquitoes cannot feed on us. It’s inevitable that we will be bitten, but our body has impeccable ability to adapt. After being bitten a few times, our bodies will be immune to their anticoagulant proteins.”
“Even so, I won’t be willing to risk it,” Li Du shook his head.
Under such circumstances, it would be impossible to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes. Whenever Li Du bent down to prepare dinner, some part of his waist was exposed, and the mosquitoes would fly to it.
The worst part was doing their “business”. After the first time they did it, they could not stop scratching their buttocks.