Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The town of refuge had never been historically important, and little was written about it.
It was built by the nobility, the intellectuals, the landholding class, and the old army, which had taken refuge in the town. The town’s construction was insufficient simply due to lack of labor.
Then, in less than a few years, the vast red empire of the Soviet Union engulfed the Central Siberian Plateau, and a torrent of blood flooded the town, wiping it out.
Back then, the Soviet Union would not give a detailed account of a town that had defied the will of the ruling body since its founding, at a time of international turmoil when no other country cared about the place.
The town’s founders must have written a lot about it, but the Soviet Union didn’t spread the story around the world.
At this time, Li Du and the others came to the location of the town described in the map. As far as their eyes could see, there was only a little crumbling wall, no sign of buildings.
After nearly a century of wind and rain, decay and insects, the place had become almost indistinguishable from the surrounding wilderness.
A few crumbling walls stood barely above the ground, covered with green weeds and mosses. It was difficult to make those out without careful recognition.
Looking at the area which, apart from a few bits of wall, was no different from the wilderness surrounding it, Li Du said, “Let’s go in and walk around. This is the lost city you wanted to see.”
Disappointed, Steve said, “Where’s the city? Damn, there’s nothing here.”
Sophie was unperturbed and said, “Of course there’s nothing here. What did you think we were going to see at a site a hundred years old?”
“The skeleton of the old dead nobleman, perhaps? The tunnel leading to the secret palace? Or books that are hidden from prying eyes?” Li Du laughed.
“You can laugh at me all you want,” Steve said, “but these things are real. They’re not necessarily situated here. They might be in other places.”
“Then you have to go to the bottom of the sea or deep into the mountains,” Li Du said as he walked through the ruins. “With the power of modern technology, other than things buried in the sea or deep in the ground, even a tree can be clearly seen by satellite.”
In the ruins of the town, the ground was smoother and easier for people to walk on and camp in than the pristine wilderness outside.
The buildings have been destroyed almost completely, but the terrain of the streets and buildings remained. They could not see all this from outside, but when they walked on, they could feel that this was a place touched by man.
Li Du asked Brother Wolf to find a suitable place to set up camp for the night. He took Ah Meow and the others to explore the area where they would camp. They would need water, and Li Du wanted to find a river. If he could find some fish, that would be even better.
The best thing that impressed him about the Siberian rivers was the salmon, which was particularly fresh and delicate, with the sweetness that comes with being raised in fresh water.
Modern maps showed a river in the southwest of the town. Li Du went in that direction, but even after a long walk, he did not find the river on the map.
The taiga environment was changeable, and some small rivers could disappear due to a storm.
After a long walk, Li Du did not find the river, but he did find several cars.
He shielded his eyes from the sun and looked ahead, and just as he saw the cars, the dogs around them spotted him and started barking.
As soon as the dogs barked, several people jumped out of the car. They looked in Li Du’s direction. Someone waved, and the few big dogs ran towards them, looking fierce.
The dogs were large, larger than wolves, and looked like Tibetan mastiffs that Li Du had seen in China, but they were bigger and extremely strong, with thick, powerful limbs and long black or gray fur. They ran like little lions.
To meet such a pack of dogs on the moors would scare the heart out of a man. Their appearance was more formidable than that of a wolf. The way they ran was as if they wanted to eat someone.
“Caucasian dogs, the old East German dogs that were trained to patrol the Berlin wall,” said Ivan in ease.
These were indeed some fierce dogs, who, instead of simply barking, ran straight at Li Du and his men, as if to attack them directly.
Ah Bai was frightened. It climbed up along Li Du’s trouser leg to his shoulder, then jumped to the top of his head.
Ah Meow and the others accepted the challenge with a contemptuous look on their faces. Crispy Noodles hesitated a little, but none of the other four little ones did. There were four dogs, so they attacked one each.
As Ah Ow grew up, her fighting skills became more and more prominent. Her attack style was typical for her kind. She looked for the opponent’s weaknesses and then bit hard.
Caucasian dogs were larger than Mexican wolves, but it was hard to say who was stronger, as the wolf’s bite was much stronger than the dog’s.
In a face-to-face encounter, Ah Ow jumped to the side and knocked over the Caucasian dog that was in front of her. She clamped her teeth over the dog’s neck, directly blocking its thoracic.
The Caucasian dog struggled wildly. This would only make its wound expand, however, and it would not be able to wriggle free of Ah Ow’s teeth.
Ah Meow teased the dog with his agility and even jumped on the dog’s back, clawing his way into its muscles as the aching dog turned on the spot with its tail between its legs.
Ali, of course, engaged in his usual boxing match with the dog. The dog came at it, and he avoided it with his natural and trained leap, and then, catching the dog from the side, he punched it hard.
The more interesting thing to watch was Ah Meng’s side. The Caucasian, who dominated it in size and weight, pounced on it and bit it on the back.
The result was that Ah Meng wriggled free thanks to its thick and slippery fur. The Caucasian did not manage to bite on its flesh, and Ah Meng slipped away, giving the dog a nice scratch on its face at the same time.
The fierce dog was in pain, and more pain was coming soon. Moreover, when it missed Ah Meng once more, Ah Meng got under it, jumped up, and gave it a claw over its tender belly, which made it howl in agony.
The four dogs were all beaten up. The owner of the dogs ran forward in a hurry when he heard that the dogs were barking loudly. He was chattering angrily. Li Du only heard that this was Russian and was not sure what the man was talking about.
Big Ivan translated and sneered, “These fools are threatening us. They are asking us to get out of here.”
They ran up to discover that their four dogs were almost killed. They were so angry that someone pulled out a gun to shoot the four little ones.
Big Ivan held Li Du back with his left hand, while his right took out a gun. He pulled the trigger and shot into the sky.
Hearing this continuous gunfire, the other side became more humble. While they had shotguns, Big Ivan’s weapon was a tactical rifle. They were experts and could clearly distinguish between the two.