Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
They had been planning to set off for the tundra when they met Master Blodwen and went straight for the meteorite. However, the route was farther now.
The plan was to conduct a general search of the northern isles, from the southernmost Bolshevik Island to the northernmost Komsomolets Island.
When they had captured Blodwen, they could get two meteorites from him. Naturally, they had to go to Blodwen’s territory to get the meteorites, and his camp was located on Komsomolets Island, exactly at the opposite extreme of their position.
The journey from Bolshevik Island to Komsomolets Island was almost across the entire archipelago, but the trip was worth it to get hold of the meteorites.
Like Steve and the Ford brothers, Blodwen came from a wealthy family and was well equipped. He came to Bolshevik Island from Komsomolets Island in a Mi-171 transport helicopter!
The next day, after dawn, the group ate breakfast and had Blodwen contact the helicopter crew. The helicopter flew over the campsite, its propeller whirring and whipping up gales.
The helicopter was large, 25 meters long and more than 21 meters wide when counting the propellers. Its height was five or six meters, and when viewed closely, it looked like a steel tower.
The original Mi-171 was an armed transport helicopter that provided artillery support and armed cover for the infantry, with missiles, artillery, and machine guns.
But even the Blodwens, powerful as they were, could not bring a weapon-equipped helicopter into Russia. They had a civilian version of the helicopter that was used solely for transport.
The armed Mi-171 was capable of transporting up to 30 people, and after unloading the weapons and equipment, space was further expanded to accommodate more than 40 people, which approached the capacity of larger aircrafts.
Once the helicopter landed, Brother Wolf went up to disarm the pilot and pulled him down. Big Ivan took his place, sat in the cab, and Feminine sat beside him as co-pilot.
Looking at the helicopter, Li Du gave Blodwen a sidelong glance and said, “Don’t you have a brain? Keeping aside equipment like this and not using it? You could have just dropped a missile instead of going on a night raid. Who do you think you are, Rommel?”
Blodwen, offended by his words, scowled and said nothing.
Steve patted the helicopter and said, “Bobby, lend us this chopper. I’ve had one of these in all the times I’ve been to Severnaya Zemlya. And this time it just so happens I did not manage to get one.”
Blodwen was worried, and said, “Don’t, Steve, I’m using this helicopter…”
“To cut down trees?” Steve joked.
Blodwen said, “There are real poachers on this island who are trying to rob the tundra, but of course that’s none of our business. Listen, Steve, I’ll give you the meteorites, and I’ll entertain you for a few days, but you can’t use this helicopter!”
Steve pushed him into the helicopter and said, “Go first. It’s not up to you to talk now.”
Blodwen with his sixteen men went on a raid to capture Li Du and Steve. These people all fell into the hands of Li Du and his team and were made captives.
They were going back to Komsomolets Island, and Steve certainly wasn’t going to take all of Blodwen’s men with him. He chose two of them to go with the team and gave the rest of the seats to his people. He was generous enough with Blodwen.
Blodwen watched Brother Wolf and his entourage of bodyguards dash into the helicopter, and said resentfully, “Damn, you’re tough nuts to crack.”
Steve and Li Du laughed but said nothing. They did a clever trick last night.
Brother Wolf analyzed the situation and told them that since the enemies chased them so close, they would certainly take advantage of the night to attack.
The night before they had deliberately increased their vigilance, not to guard against Blodwen and his men, but to show their strength. Brother Wolf guessed that Blodwen would send someone to check out how sure-proof their security is.
By his reckoning, Blodwen and his men would not attack the first night but would gauge the situation, and the real danger would be in the night after.
Just in time, the temperatures had dropped the night before. Big Ford and Sophie had colds, but they were the only ones. The others had done a good job of keeping warm and were all fine.
However, Brother Wolf took advantage of the situation by making some of his bodyguards look as if they caught a cold, displaying weakness and lowering the enemy’s guard, which prompted Blodwen’s side to attack.
As a result, Blodwen fell into the trap and launched an attack that evening.
Last night the bodyguards did not go into the tent but stayed in the car to maintain mobility and vigilance. Besides, Li Du let out Ah Meow and the other little ones, who were also on the lookout.
So when Ah Ow howled, the bodyguards drove out and caught Blodwen and his men.
With enough people, Li Du and Steve finally launched the helicopter, and then Big Ivan made it fly up, straight to the north of the Komsomolets Island.
Komsomolets Island was also very large, with a total area of 8,812 square kilometers, making it the third-largest island in the archipelago.
The highest point of the island was 780 meters and 65 percent of it was covered by ice. It was deep in the Arctic Circle. Its northernmost point was the Arctic Cape, and it was the starting point of many arctic expeditions.
It would have been difficult for them to reach Komsomolets from Bolshevik island if it wasn’t for the helicopter. The islands of the archipelago were separated by straits covered with ice floes, and navigating a boat in those would be rough.
From the helicopter, they could see a large, white area. This was the glacier, mainly concentrated in the northern part of the island. Most of the north was flat, and the south was mountainous.
Although 65 percent of the island was covered by ice, the island was the most developed one in the archipelago, because it was popular as a tourist destination.
The helicopters flew to Komsomolets and continued north, where Blodwen’s camp was built directly on top of the Arctic Cape in the northernmost part of the island.
The spotless, white Arctic Cape was the largest stretch of ice in the Arctic part of Russia and stretched from the northern part of the island deep into the Arctic Ocean.
Helicopters could not normally land on the ice cape because the counter-pressure of the ice was not uniform, which could be dangerous.
Big Ivan directed the helicopter to hover over the ice cap, and Brother Wolf and the others took out binoculars to observe the environment below. They were on the guard against Blodwen, thinking he might have set up an ambush from the ground
“You think too much. We’re not enemies. Would I do that?” said Blodwen with a wry smile.
Steve smiled. “There’s nothing wrong with being cautious, is there? Of course, I’m sure you wouldn’t do such a stupid thing because if you put us at risk, you would be the first one to die.”
Hearing this, Blodwen stopped smiling.