Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
With the initial intention of cooperation reached, Li Du no longer needed to stay there and decided to leave the tribe.
When Sadisram saw that the party was leaving in the morning, he asked him to stay. “Stay here a few days, Mr. Li. Catulom likes you very much, and he wants to ask you for some information. You know that we have no school here and the children are thirsty for knowledge.”
Li Du looked at the man. This guy is really something. The few words that he said to convince Li Du to stay were sympathetic and suffused with emotion, but he excluded himself from the topic.
Li Du knew why he wanted to keep him. Sadisram hoped to use the Holy Wolf’s power to create a buzz. Both he and his nephew Catulom wanted higher status in the tribe.
In particular, Sadisram was one of the candidates for the next tribal council, along with Hakatulama. Both of them were in conflict with each other, so when Hakatulama doubted Li Du, he did not say a word.
Sadisram wanted to push Hakatulama down and raise his status. So when they returned to the tribe, he didn’t interfere when Hakatulama questioned Li Du.
His little abacus clanged and he thought he was doing a good job, but the man was clearly not too good at scheming.
Li Du hated being used as a pawn, so although Sadisram insisted that they had been saved by the Holy Wolf, Li Du refused to verify this.
Now, almost everyone in the village knew that it was true, so Sadisram hoped Li Du could help him increase his status, but Li Du was silent most of the time.
“Does the boy want to learn?” asked Li Du.
Sedislam nodded quickly. “Yes, we are in the mountains, but we must have contact with the outside world. How can we do it without knowledge?”
Li Du said, “Well, next time I come, I will bring a lot of books for the children to study. You can set up a school in the village. Goodbye, good luck, and may the god of the Mohicans bless you.”
Leaving with this blessing, he walked away freely.
Although he resented being used, his final harvest from the visit with the tribe was far more than he had expected.
As the chief said, the Tavisi tribe have been accumulating wealth for thousands of years.
They were looking for someone to work with to sell their wealth, but the terms were too strict. This disliked white and black people and they had to get the consent of the elders.
The elders were old men with stubborn minds, and the chief had sought out some men before, among the natives, who were doing business abroad, but had been rejected by them for one reason or another.
Li Du happened to meet their requirements, especially since he was the master of the Holy Wolf. The elders’ stubborn attitude played right into his hands. These people love him and were very respectful of him thanks to his wolf. Therefore, they were willing to cooperate with him.
There was another advantage to descending from the mountain starting in the village of the Tavisi tribe, namely that this way down the mountain was easier. Originally, Li Du had planned on another rigorous climb, but Tavisi tribe knew another way out of the mountain. Although it was not a straight road, it was much easier to walk than directly across the mountains.
The tribe has come into contact with the outside world, with modern things like generators and walkie-talkies.
The chief had told Li Du that they had used barter before, and had suffered a great loss. Many things that were cheap in the outside world had been exchanged for precious metals, furs, or snake venom several times their value.
Therefore, he came up with the idea of finding regular clients to handle the tribe’s wealth, which would lead to a fair exchange which was profitable to all.
Leaving the tribe, they came down the mountain in less time than expected.
Just then, after they started on the road down the hill, they met a pickup truck passing by. Li Du hailed the truck, paid and took the journey down.
The owner of the van was scared. Li Du and the others looked like bandits, and he was afraid that he would be killed when he drove through a less populated place.
After leaving the mountains, it would be simple for them to get back. Big Ivan flew the helicopter and waited for them in Pittsburgh. It was a private airport, and they did not need to check in. The Markelov brothers got onboard successfully.
The helicopter flew off, heading for California.
Li Du turned on his cell phone, but it lost its signal when he went up the hill, so he turned it off.
When the signal was restored, the phone was flooded with more than 20 missed calls, 15 new emails, and 30 text messages.
Two of the calls were from Steve Tussenberg. Li Du called him back because he had something he wanted to ask from Steve.
Steve had contacted Sophie earlier and now said, “What were you doing up there? Sophie said you’re looking for treasure, a native treasure?”
Li Du said, “Yes, the legendary gold treasure.”
“What did you get?” Steve asked.
Li Du laughed and said, “Far more than expected, man!”
This caught Steve’s interest and he asked Li Du what he had gained.
The noise in the helicopter was very loud, so Li Du could not speak too long. Instead, he sent Steve a message briefly recapping his trip to the mountains.
An Andean condor, a gold deposit, two men, a partnership agreement, and a mysterious cave with a long history. This time his harvest was big.
After the message was sent, Steve called back, yelling at the top of his lungs and not caring that his voice was loud. “Ha, you lucky bastard…”
He wasn’t interested in money, or pets, or people. He was interested in cave art.
Li Du sent him the coordinates, knowing that if he didn’t, Steve would immediately tell him to turn around and head back to Pittsburgh and take him up the hill to see the cave.
Steve thanked him, and Li Du said, “It’s not for nothing. Help me deal with the legal status of two men. My two new guys got into trouble in Ukraine, and this might be a little problematic.”
“Ukraine? What trouble could Ukraine have? As long as it’s not about nuclear weapons, everything in that country is minor,” said Steve easily.
After several stops for refueling, the helicopter completed a long journey across the United States, from the northeast to the southwest.
When they got off the helicopter, the hot, humid atmosphere of California dashed straight at them, and the sun shone so brightly that they felt they were in quite a different world from the Appalachians.
There were cars, people around, traffic lights and a prosperous city. “This is America, now!”
It was the first time the Markelov brothers had experienced real American life. Ever since they had been smuggled into the United States, they hid either in the desert or in the mountains.