Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There was quite a number of poachers. Li Du recalled that when they had bumped into the poachers on the road previously, there were at least twenty men. While he observed the terrain from the helicopter, he realized that there were many more of them.
These people had surrounded the campsite. Just as Brother Wolf had said, they did not aim to attack the campsite to take over it. Their strategy was merely to surround the camp to trap the rangers within.
Initially, they had the advantage of outnumbering the rangers two to one. Although the old soldiers were experienced in combat, they had aged and once they were trapped in the camp, it was hard for them to fight their way out.
The principle was always the same. Everyone cherished their lives. Once the old soldiers realized that they had been surrounded, they could only try to stay safe and did not dare to attempt to fight their way out. There were too many guns out there. If they were to step out of their territory, they would be either tortured or killed.
However, once Li Du and his people came into the picture, the situation changed.
First, there were suddenly a lot more people fighting on the rangers’ side. Second, Li Du’s side had the helicopter to survey the ground and the military radios for communication. In addition, they had heavy-duty SUVs for fighting on the ground and combined forces with the old soldiers to launch a devastating attack. Under these circumstances, the poachers were unable to retaliate. They simply had no chance whatsoever.
Li Du conveyed the information he had gathered to Brother Wolf, who acted effectively. When he sent the team out, they were able to capture more than ten of their enemies.
The remaining twenty were baffled. The helicopter had frightened them the night before, and now it had returned. Besides, there were these huge SUVs that looked like metallic monsters. How were they to resist that kind of attack?
The bloodbath crossfire that Li Du had expected did not take place. Everyone valued their lives far too much. When they realized that they had been surrounded, half of the poachers had surrendered on the spot.
The remaining half had attempted to escape, but their motorcycles were pitifully inadequate for that purpose. The helicopter had reined them in and there was nowhere for them to escape to.
In addition to the sleek, modern SUVs, the old soldiers had their own pickup trucks. The veterans drove as though they did not care about losing their lives. Besides, they were truly familiar with the surroundings, leaving the poachers with no chance of escaping.
The fight lasted for two hours. In fact, the crossfire had only taken twenty minutes before the poachers were defeated. They started to run off and the rest of the time was spent on capturing them.
Steve leaned against the door of the helicopter, eating his apple. Displeased, he said, “We’ve spent so much money for nothing. Twenty thousand for each man? Two thousand would have been enough.”
The bodyguards were doing fine. Most of them were retired soldiers who have undergone training. The people Steve picked had experienced battles and were seasoned fighters. Hence, they had no problem dealing with the situation.
They fulfilled Brother Wolf’s commands to the best of their abilities and never stopped shooting or chasing their opponents until all were caught.
For the meteorite hunters, the reward sum was a true windfall. Some of them had not even fired once. As for the rest, they were merely shooting blindly. They were not even sure where they had aimed their bullets.
Eventually, Brother Wolf decided that was enough. He got the hunters to stop attacking, worried that some of their own men would be killed.
The helicopter started to land as Li Du patted Steve’s shoulder. He said, “Didn’t you set that price yourself? However, it’s a pretty good thing. If we had not come with so many men and guns, those b*stards would not have cracked down so soon!”
Young Ford nodded too. “That’s right. If they had really pursued a crossfire, that would be much more trouble. How much compensation do you think you would have to pay once someone was killed?”
They chatted happily as they got off the helicopter. The old soldiers ran over, following the old man who could speak English. The bunch of them did a military salute.
Li Du and the rest smiled in return and said, “How’s the situation? Are there any casualties?”
The old man said, “No casualties. Some of us were hurt, but it’s mostly abrasions or twisted ankles. Nobody was shot, fortunately.”
Brother Wolf reported the same. Five of their people had hurt their joints. Four had been hurt in a tussle with the poachers. However, nobody’s life was in danger.
There was a total of twenty-nine poachers kneeling on the ground. Their arms were tied behind and they looked fearful. Li Du had to suppress his laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Steve asked.
Li Du did not answer him. He went to the big man who had demanded to borrow his car during their previous encounter. Li Du squatted down before him and said, “Hey buddy, we meet again. This time around, we have a helicopter. Do you guys want to borrow the helicopter too?”
The big man glared at him and yelled, “Ha, so it’s you? I see you guys betrayed the country and are ganging up with these old Russian dogs. Why? Are they sharing their bones with you? Then you should be barking! Oof, oof, oof, oof!”
The old man with the plaited beard could understand English. He grabbed the big man’s face and started slapping him. Piak, piak, piak, piak, piak, piak!
Even as the big man’s mouth was starting to swell from all the hitting, he kept provoking them, yelling and cussing.
The rest of the rangers rushed forward. They each grabbed a poacher and started beating them person up.
Sophie came over with the first-aid kit to tend to the injuries of the bodyguards. Seeing that the old men were hitting their captives, she raised her voice, “Li, Steve, can you guys stop them?”
Steve smiled. “A lady’s kindness can’t do for now.”
Sophie said unhappily, “Then are you guys going to treat them later? Now you might feel good about hitting them, but that’s just going to add to my work later.”
Steve said, “Then don’t mind them.”
Sophie shrugged and said, “What if it comes too far? How are you guys going to deal with it if someone dies?”
Those old men had a fierce temper. They were like a bunch of old, ill-tempered dragons. They were ruthless when they hit their opponents. Li Du had even heard someone’s bones cracking. Very soon, there were loud excruciating screams.
Li Du took a deep breath and said, “Stop them. They will really kill those men at this rate.”
The old man with the plaits aimed a kick at the big man who had already been beaten up. Panting, he said, “Don’t be afraid. This has nothing to do with you guys. We have communicated with the forestry agency and the police. If we bump into poachers, we are free to kill them!”
“No matter what, these men should be taught a lesson,” Big Ivan said as he sucked on a lollipop.
The poachers did not deserve pity. They had indeed surrounded the rangers and intended to harm them. That was no laughing matter. When they exchanged fire, the rangers could have been killed. They were still alive now because they had been good at concealing themselves. They could count themselves lucky.
Shaking his head, Li Du started to leave. The old man with the plaited beard brought them to the campsite and smiled. “So thankful to you guys. You are real comrades! I apologize for suspecting you before.”
“That’s nothing. You guys are doing good and just work here. Every moral person would have lent a helping hand once they saw you guys were in trouble,” Steve said politely.
The old man shrugged and said, “Justice? Sh*t! We are protecting our country. However, no matter what, you guys saved us. Otherwise, they would have polluted the whole area this time around.”
The screaming from outside grew louder and Li Du asked, “You guys don’t really intend to kill them, right?”
The man replied, “Nope. However, we won’t be too gentle with them either. We must teach them a lesson. This is for our brothers who have passed on or suffered at the hands of these b*stards!”