Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du walked forward and squatted down to take a look. These meteorites were probably one piece once. He believed it was a deposit of a broken meteorite.
When combined, the meteorite was a little larger than the dog head gold he had found earlier, which was one of the larger meteorite deposits.
Steve watched closely. He looked up and asked, “Are the meteorites that were stolen from you a part of this?”
The old man with the plaited beard said, “No, but I can tell you how this came to be. We once wanted to use meteorite magnetism to make something, so we smashed it. Unfortunately, we did not succeed.”
Steve couldn’t resist slapping his leg in frustration. If it had not been smashed, if the meteorite had remained in one piece, it would have been as large as a rice cooker!
Li Du did not understand the principle, but to them, the larger the meteorite the more valuable it was.
The rangers were happy to give the rocks to Steve and the others. The old men had no idea what the meteorite was worth or what it could be used for. For them, these were just stones with magnetism.
When Steve tried to give them money, the old men waved their hands. “No, no, you’ve been a great help, practically a lifesaver. If you like the stones, take them.”
Little Ford shook his fist furtively, suppressed a grin, and said, “F**k, man, we’ve come to the right place this time!”
The old men not only gave them stones but also invited them to dinner.
They served very traditional food. There was minced beef, Moscow red cabbage soup, beef fillets, Russian stewed beef with lotus beans and garlic mixed with hot braised chicken, as well as a roast spring chicken, ham and cheese sandwiches, sweet duck breast, and other dishes.
The veterans might have looked and lived rough, but their cooking was quite sophisticated. The dishes they had prepared, arrayed in, large pots, looked colorful and tasty.
More than 40 people crowded into a room, and the table and chairs were not enough to accommodate everyone, so some people squatted on the floor or stood at the door. It was like a buffet, with everyone self-servicing from the big pots on the table.
Li Du was enjoying the hot and sour red vegetable soup and eating sandwiches. The red vegetable soup with tomato sauce and pepper was flavorful and induced sweating.
“How’s our Russian food?” The old man with the plait asked. He was sitting next to Li Du and Steve, chewing stewed beef.
“Very authentic,” Li Du gave a thumbs-up.
The old man ate another piece of beef and said, “Thank you very much. You were a great help, especially your soldier radio, which was so awesome that it could not be affected by signal jammers.”
Li Du smiled and did not say a word. The new generation of American military radio transmitters was very powerful. No ordinary signal jammer, not even a high-power one, could have affected them.
Seeing that no one answered, the old man with the plait cleared his throat and said, “Sir, where did you get this kind of radio transmitters? Can’t you spare us a couple?”
That was what he was after. Steve said, “You want it? It’s a little difficult for us to spare any, but since you gave me the meteorites, I’ll figure out some way. I’ll have two sent to you when I get back to the States, but of course, these transmitters are not easy to get.”
The old man with the plait was happy but a little confused. He said, “I saw that you have many of those. Boys, I know these things. Two of them will do.”
Unwilling to appear greedy, the old man then said, “We don’t want your radios for free, you know. You seem to be treasure hunters or something. We have valuable information to offer you.”
Steve pointed to Li Du and laughed. “He is a treasure hunter as well. These radios belong to him too.”
The old man with the plait was delighted and said, “Hey, young man, follow me. I have something to tell you.”
Li Du followed him suspiciously and asked, “What is it?”
Looking for a discreet corner, the old man with the plait lowered his voice and said, “Do you know about narwhals?”
Li Du nodded. The narwhal, also known as the horned whale, was a whale living in the Arctic Ocean. Adult specimens had a body length of 4 to 5 meters and an average weight of 800 to 1,600 kilograms.
One feature of these whales was that they didn’t have dorsal fins, and their necks and vertebrae connected in a way more similar to other mammals, unlike dolphins and whales.
One of the most striking features of these animals was that they had a single tusk protruding from the front of their heads. It was a canine tooth which could reach up to three meters in length and had a spiral shape like the horn of a unicorn. This detail made the narwhal known as ‘the sea unicorn’.
A narwhal’s tusk, which Li Du acquired at a warehouse auction and had made into a work of art for Sophie’s father, had won his favor.
Like the tusks of mammoths, narwhal tusks were an arctic specialty and were worth more than mammoth tusks.
When Li Du nodded, the old man with plait laughed. “Very well, our news is related to this. You may not know that narwhals don’t just die anywhere. When they get old, they go to the invisible cemetery to pass away.”
It was one of nature’s great mysteries. Many species of large animals had group cemeteries, like mammoths, elephants, and some whales.
However, Li Du had not heard of any such whale cemetery, so he asked what it was.
“Unless you’re an Arctic native, you wouldn’t know that narwhals are born with very dark skin and become lighter as they age,” said the plait-bearded old man.
“By the time they reach adulthood, they have many white patches on their bellies, and as they get older, they get more and more white patches, and eventually as they get very they become almost completely white, like the beluga whales.”
“Their cemeteries are in a sea of ice and snow, and since the ice is white, it would be extremely difficult to find them unless you know where the cemeteries are, and that’s where the name ‘invisible cemeteries’ comes from.”
Listening to his explanation, Li Du said, “So you know the location of this cemetery?”
“Yes, we got lucky. We once went on a whaling expedition to obtain blubber and came across an old narwhal, and then quietly followed it to find this cemetery.”
With a wistful look in his eyes, he went on, “That was twenty years ago, when we were all young, and now we can’t keep up with the old narwhals. They are very cunning. Their graves are a big secret!”
“Twenty years? Are you sure nobody else has found the place?” asked Li Du.
The old man with the plaited beard nodded. “We go out to hunt whales every year and visit the cemetery every time. It’s spectacular! The cemetery is still there. If you give us two radio transmitters, we’ll tell you where it is!”