Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
As he walked past the cave walls, Li Du kept seeing colorful images.
In front of him was a drawing of a red buffalo, surrounded by small figures from all directions. They were simple matchstick man drawings.
The little men were holding sticks, and the bison had sticks stuck in its body. The whole clearly depicted a hunting scene.
Looking at the painting, Li Du reached out his hand and touched it. It was not actually painted, he realized, but chiseled in stone. Then the lines were daubed with red pigment. It was still well-preserved even after so many years.
He knew these were rock paintings, but he didn’t know which era they were from.
Petroglyphs were a kind of stone carving culture. Ancient humans used stone tools depict and record their life and struggles with rough, simple and natural stone carving methods.
The earliest pictures of ancient humans left in caves were supposedly from around 40,000 years ago, and the primitive tribes that still exist today still use cave-painting as a form of self-expression. Rock paintings have been discovered all over the world, mainly including Europe, Africa, Asia, India, and China.
There was no doubt that ancient petroglyphs were the most valuable. However, some primitive tribes in modern times also painted petroglyphs, which were of less value.
For example, some tribes in Africa and some native tribes in North America have adhered to their ancestral ways until relatively recently, and they still kept the tradition of rock painting.
Some rock paintings by native tribes have been found in North America, and they were considered to be of relatively low value because their history was difficult to trace.
Li Du thought about it for a while and released the space-time bug to reverse time to observe the paintings.
The space-time bugs have grown and were now able to reverse thousands of years.
Unfortunately, when he went back in time, Li Du saw what the rock carvers looked like. They were natives dressed in plain clothes.
He could see the origins of the rock carvings, which meant they were less than a thousand years old. Second, the clothes of the carvers looked like they were made of linen, which meant this couldn’t have happened more than 500 years ago.
Li Du smiled at himself. What are you thinking? These rock paintings could not be very old, because there was a stream inside the cave, and the moisture would damage the color of rock paintings very badly. If they were thousands of years old, the rock paintings would have lost their color.
Since they were only a few hundred years old, the value of these petroglyphs was small.
However, it was a coincidence to find these things, too much of a coincidence. Big Markelov ran into the cave along the stream when he was escaping and found them. It was dramatic.
In any case, the petroglyphs had some history, and therefore some value, and could be useful for studying the history of Native American tribes.
The others came in. They made torches and went down the stream.
“I was hiding here and the sun was shining and I looked up and I found these things and I was like, oh my god, I must be so tired and hallucinating. But in the end, I realized it wasn’t an illusion, it was real!” said Big Markelov.
Li Du said, “So you had the idea of using this thing to bargain with me?”
“That was the worst possible scenario,” said Big Markelov with a wry smile. “I didn’t think you’ll keep chasing after me.”
After a pause, he added, “I felt like I’ve made enough obstacles to stop you, but I couldn’t do that. It was unbelievable.”
Li Du patted him on the shoulder and said, “That’s because your opponents were one of the strongest G9 frontier brigades.”
Big Markov was then relieved. “When you appeared at the mouth of the cave I knew that I must have met a worthy adversary, but I did not expect to face elite German troops.”
He gave a military salute to Brother Wolf and showed his admiration for the strongest. Brother Wolf returned a salute, both of them admiring each other.
Firecracker raised the torch to look carefully at the rock painting, and said, “Oh God, who made these? What is this about? Take a picture quickly, we are encountering history!”
“Lower the torch, you’ll burn them, and it’ll destroy them,” said Brother Wolf.
Firecracker went in and said, “Some of these are in bad shape already. The rock paintings in the back are out of color.”
Then he added, “Hey, I bet they’re tens of thousands of years old. Do you think we’re going to be famous for discovering them?”
Li Du smiled and said, “No, they are not that old. Might be only a few hundred years old.”
He had turned back the time and saw what had happened, so he was sure.
Firecracker turned around and said, “You’re wrong, boss. I bet they must be ten thousand years old.”
Brother Wolf said, “Would you bet with the boss? I’ve never seen the boss lose a bet.”
Li Du folded his arms and nodded to him. He said, “Okay, what do you want to bet?”
Firecracker smiled and said, “I haven’t thought of the terms, we can discuss it later. As long as both of us feel that it’s reasonable, it would be okay, right?”
Li Du said, “OK, let’s bet.”
Firecracker made a shooting posture. “You lose for sure, boss, come and see here.”
Seeing that his tone was firm, Li Du relented. He walked deeper into the cave and saw other carved images on the mountain walls.
As Firecracker said, some of the images have faded, and the further back they went, the more prominent it was. The images were palpably ancient.
In this way, Li Du knew that he had miscalculated. He could see that the paintings in the back were not of the same age as those in front.
Li Du released the space-time bug again to reverse time, and this time it was different. He could not penetrate far enough back into the past when the carvings did not exist yet.
They were not from the same era!
Li Du’s spirits rose. this was more than he had expected. Maybe the rock paintings here are worth something.
Firecracker’s discovery proved this, and he touched a painting above and said, “Look at this, this is the saber-toothed tiger, which became extinct in North America at least 10,000 years ago, and now only fossils remain.”
Li Du looked at the rock painting, which depicted a big cat with simple lines. The head of the cat was close-up, and the carving was relatively lifelike.
The animal was depicted not only in one place but also in another as it hunted, felling a horse-like animal, with its long teeth stuck into its prey’s neck.
Firecracker went on, “Primitive man didn’t know what a fossil was. They painted these pictures after having seen something like this, so the saber-toothed tiger was not extinct in their time.”
Li Du was willing to admit that he lost the bet and said, “You win.”