Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The entire episode had happened so suddenly it was hard for them to wrap their heads around it. The attitude of the old men towards them was too strange.
Although not many people inhabited Severnaya Zemlya, there were still residents who lived there. Once in a while, some tourists or researchers came. Hence, if those people were really forest rangers, there was no reason for them to get so aggressive.
The two parties had never met before. Even if those old men had suspected that they were poachers, they should have communicated at least a bit. However, the strangers had reacted too violently.
Li Du was too lazy to get into a fight with those stubborn old men and he decided to stop thinking about it. Instead, he gave instructions to Brother Wolf and the rest to look for a good place to set up a base for their tents and get ready for the meteorite search.
Bolshevik Island’s environment was considered more comfortable than that of the other three islands. It was because there was more vegetation on this island. There were at least some living things– some plants and greenery. The other three islands were arctic deserts with few living things.
While the bodyguards were setting up the tents, Li Du brought the little animals out for a walk.
There was something special about the Arctic view. It was primal, rugged, tough, and yet it was refreshing. It was a pure sample of nature’s creation.
The little river nearby was the reason why they had chosen that site to set up base. The ground by the river was softer. There were some traces of animal footprints on the ground and it seemed like there were other living things surrounding them.
Ah Meow found a hole and called out twice. Then, Ah Meng rushed over and started widening the hole. The digging made him look like a vigorous chef cooking up a dish. Soon, the hole became bigger and bigger.
Li Du and Sophie went over for a look. As Ah Meow created a bigger hole, the animal hiding inside was revealed. It was an Arctic fox.
However, as it was the summer season, the fur of the Arctic fox was grey. It was not the gorgeous pristine white like the winter snow.
The Arctic fox, however, did not care whether it was gorgeous or not. It hid inside the hole and was trembling, hoping that it would not be eaten by the strange animals.
The little animals had no interest in the fox and Li Du waved them away. He knew that even if his pets had no intention of harming the fox, they would definitely tease it.
It was noontime and dark clouds from the few days before had scattered. Sunlight fell onto the ground and warmed up everyone’s bodies.
While enjoying the sun, Li Du let out the little bug to start searching in the surroundings.
Sophie picked up a cobblestone and toyed with it in her hands. She said casually, “It should be hot summer in Phoenix by now, right? The weather here is just nice.”
Li Du said, “Yup. There’s no real summer in Severnaya Zemlya. It’s pretty good to avoid the heat. It’s just that there’s no entertainment here.”
Sophie giggled and said, “There is, and it’s alive.”
Li Du looked at her in surprise and said, “Darling, when did you become so open-minded?”
Sophie was shocked. “What?”
Li Du made a cheeky face and said, “A lively sort of entertainment, isn’t it? You’re mine and I’m yours, right? That’s what you meant, right?”
Sophie threw her hands in the air and looked exasperated. “What are you thinking about all the time? I was talking about Ah Meow and the rest. They are my entertainment.”
“I’m a lot of fun too,” Li Du grinned.
Sophie rolled her eyes and ran to catch up with Ah Meow and the rest of the animals.
The little bugs searched at top speed on the ground level. They did not see into the earth under the surface as their vision would be too poor, hindering their efficiency. Li Du was only looking for meteorites on the earth’s surface. That was how everyone else searched for meteorites too.
There were some differences between what meteorites and regular stones looked like. The surface of meteorites had some line tracings or markings of water droplets. Those were the result of them melting at high temperatures as they passed through the earth’s atmosphere.
However, it was difficult to search for meteorites. Li Du had combed an area of more than ten square kilometers but had not found any.
However, it was not as though he did not reap any rewards from the past two hours of search. He realized that there were quite a few living things on the land. Although the environment was harsh, some greens still grew in Severnaya Zemlya.
Amongst them, there were ferns, flowers, herbs, lichens, and mosses. As long as one was paying attention, one could notice them. It was just that they were sparse and few.
That was an important discovery. As it was pretty dull searching for meteorites, they needed something else to capture their interest. Otherwise, the monotony would bore them to death.
The meteorite hunters brought alcohol with them everywhere they went. From time to time, they would take a sip. The purpose of that was to perk them up and lift their spirits. As Li Du did not enjoy alcohol, he had to look for other ways of keeping his focus.
When he returned to the campsite, Big Quinn and a chef were preparing lunch.
The Ford brothers led their lives comfortably and knew how to enjoy themselves. They had brought along two chefs. While one was left with Steve’s group, the other followed them. Hence, the arrangement enabled them always to have delicious meals.
The chef was grilling lamb cutlets. The lamb glistened with oil, and after some pepper and cumin powder were sprinkled onto the meat, they caught a whiff of the aroma.
Li Du did not want to have the lamb with pepper. He preferred chili powder. The American way of adding black pepper to all their grilled food was something he found intriguing.
The lamb meat was very tender and aromatic. Li Du enjoyed the delicious food. He turned around, saw that young Ford had not eaten and asked, “This grilled meat is wonderful, why aren’t you eating?”
Young Ford grinned and said, “I’m waiting to have the beef.”
Just as he spoke, the chef brought out packs of beef that were stored meticulously. The beef portions had been packaged in tin foil and stored inside a vacuum bag. It was very well preserved and stored.
Realizing what was going on, Li Du said, “You’re really clever. Is there going to be wagyu beef too this afternoon?”
He was talking about the wagyu that they had brought from Blodwen’s ice storage. At that time, they had picked up many goods and had filled up a few boxes with alcoholic drinks and meat.
Brother Wolf and the rest had very high self-awareness and knew that the wagyu would not be for them. Hence, they went over to get the lamb meat and some beer to sit around and chat while they ate.
Li Du joined them and said, “It’s not good to be eating meat all the time. We’ve got to find some vegetables.”
“There are some dried vegetables in the helicopter.”
Li Du shook his head. “Who wants to eat that? There are so many wild vegetables here, all ours to pick. But I have no idea which ones can be eaten and which ones are poisonous.”
Brother Wolf chewed every piece of meat carefully. Then he said, “In the afternoon, we can have a look. We will definitely find some stuff. The wild greens in the polar regions are indeed tasty and nutritious.”
That was one of the elite soldiers’ useful skills. Back in the troops, they had received strict and rigorous training on surviving in the wild.
“Of course, there’s a limit to what we can find in the tundra. If we were in Europe, we would be able to find all kinds of edibles in the wild.”
“Yeah, tons of them. There are more than ten thousand kinds of wild edible plants in Europe,” Sissy chimed in.
The preparation of the wagyu beef was completed very soon. Li Du went over to snatch eight slices of them and brought them over. As he had done so at top speed, Young Ford, who saw it, rolled his eyes.
Li Du brought the meat over to share it with Brother Wolf and the rest of the crew. The meat was truly delicious, fat and tender. The group of them could not stop marveling at the taste as they ate.
Firecracker laughed and said, “Are we really here on an adventure? Why do I feel that we are on a holiday?”
“If we are following Boss, even if we go to Mars, it would still be holiday-like,” Big Ivan continued. “The next time, we will bring you guys to Australia. Boss has an island there. We can all come along and have a good time.”
Li Du said, “When we are back from this trip, let’s go and have a vacation on the island to relax. Bring all your families over. If you guys are interested, you can choose your own land to build your house there. Whoever manages to build their house can have it.”