Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Firecracker cheered up. Brother Wolf came up and punched him. “Bastard boy, you are great, this is the first time I see someone bet and win against the boss.”
Big Markelov licked his lips. “Does the boss seldom lose when he gambles?”
Firecracker said triumphantly, “Seldom lose? No, never! Never! You know what? The big casinos in America have put Boss in the hall of fame, and that’s how you know how great he is!”
Li Du did not join in their conversation. He went on inside, looking at the paintings.
He was fine with losing this time. This discovery could cause a stir all over North America because the history of human origin in North America would be rewritten!
It was well known that the natives were the first owners of North America, but in fact, technically speaking, there were some primitive people before them, whom the natives called “the ancients”.
These ancients were known as the Kennewick people, and Li Du has seen a feature about them in National Geographic magazine. Around 1996, two teenagers found a skeleton on the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington.
Later, local forensic anthropologists determined that the nearly complete skull was from a young man whose carbon isotope analysis dated it to around 8,500 years ago.
Named Kennewick Man, it was one of the oldest and most complete human skeletons ever found in North America, pushing the continent’s history of human existence back to 8,500 years ago.
Now, Li Du thinks their discovery could push the existence of humans in North America thousands of years further back, to at least 10,000 years ago!
Such discoveries may not be worth much in terms of money, but it could earn them great fame!
Li Du went back and said to Markelov, “This is interesting. The person who cannot expose an identity discovered something that can make a person well known to the world.”
“This is god’s plan,” said Big Markelov, with a bitter smile. “God has been kind to us, sending us saviors and gifts that would win them over.”
This guy isn’t as rough inside as he looks, and he’s a good talker.
He meant to give the glory of discovering the cave paintings to Li Du. Of course, this was the only way. The brothers did not have official identities, so how would they dare to show themselves to the public?
Without Li Du, the brothers would not have been able to make the paintings known to the public even if they had stumbled across them.
At night, they stayed in the cave to rest. Brother Wolf lit a campfire at the mouth of the cave to keep away mosquitoes and wild animals. Ah Meow and Ah Ow went to the forest after a rest and caught a small deer, while Ah Bai went to pick some wild fruits.
As it happened, there was water in the stream, so they cleaned the deer and ate a simple meal of roast venison.
After running all afternoon, several people were tired to death and starving.
Therefore, even though the roast venison had little seasoning and a mediocre taste, the four of them gobbled it up.
Ah Ow rested nearby and gnawed on a bone. The bite force of the wolf was terrible. The hind leg bone of the fawn was hard, but Ah Ow’s jaws crushed it like potato chips.
After having their meal, they took a rest. They were too tired, so they let Ah Ow and Ah Meow keep while they slept.
Big Markelov was very clever. He volunteered to tie himself up, to get Li Du’s trust.
Li Du slept until morning and woke up with sore legs.
Brother Wolf and the others were more resilient, and they have become energetic again.
However, Li Du was doing great too. His body’s condition was the best among normal people. After an exercise like the day before, most people would probably be unable to climb up from their beds!
Li Du directed Ah Bai to dig out bird nests. There were many birds’ nests in the mountains. Ah Bai came back with a bag of eggs.
They had roast eggs for breakfast, and Big Markelov, while eating the fragrant, scalding eggs, exclaimed, “Boss, you have worked as an animal trainer, didn’t you? How tame are these beasts? I couldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes!”
Li Du snorted. “I love animals, so animals love me. Now do you understand why I wanted to arrest you all?”
“I love animals too because they make us money and keep us alive,” said Big Markelov, laughing in embarrassment.
“Go away!” Li Du laughed as well.
After breakfast, they set out on their way back.
They were now a long way from their former camp, and in the afternoon of the day before they came as fast as they could to make the journey home without suffering a slow climb.
Besides, Big Markelov went downhill the day before, and he would naturally more tired and slower on the climb back.
Li Du called Big Ivan and got him to record the location of the specific coordinates so that he could expose the paintings to the public.
They started in the morning and it was again sunset when they reached their camp!
Li Du looked back at the sunset in the west and sighed, “Damn, time passes so fast, and I am so tired. Lu Guan, hurry up and prepare hot coffee for me!”
Lu Guan and the others were hiding in a cave until they found out Li Du came back.
When Li Du and the others chased after Big Markelov, they were worried that it was a trick to get them away, so they hid in the cave with Young Markelov.
Hearing Li Du’s voice, the three people came out with Young Markov.
Lu Guan pushed him out, then kicked him in the buttocks and said, “F**k, didn’t you threaten me? Go on, isn’t your brother powerful? Got caught, did he?”
Young Markelov’s situation was worse than his brother’s. He had many bruises on his face and body.
Li Du asked, “How did he get like this?”
Lu Guan hastened to claim the credit. “Hey, boss, you know, this bastard unexpectedly wanted to run last night. He thought we were sleeping, but I was always guarding him, and then we taught him a lesson. By the way, why didn’t you guys tie that other fella up?’
He now noticed that Big Markelov was free.
At his words, Big Markelov came up to him with a smile and held out his hand. “Hi, man. We are comrades from now on.”
Lu Guan was stunned. “What?”
Li Du said, “I hired them.”
Even young Markelov looked bewildered. When his brother went to untie him, he asked in a low voice, “What kind of trap is this? What is your plan?”
“No traps. This is our new boss, and if we work for him from now on, he’ll be able to get us a new identity,” said Big Markelov frankly.
Lu Guan cried out, “Please tell me this isn’t true, boss! This guy will kill me the first chance he gets!”
Young Markelov spat out blood and stared at him. “Huh? Comrades, are we comrades now? That’s great. I’ll remember last night.”