Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The little ones acted more normally now. Li Du poked each of them with a finger and discovered they had calmed down.
Ah Fei hid her head in her feathers, trying to hide: it was too terrible not to be obedient, and the consequences were really fearsome!
Back in the house, Godzilla shook his head at Li Du. “We found nothing suspicious.”
Li Du frowned. The little ones wouldn’t be like this for no reason, so what was the problem?
As the tranquilizers wore off, he held the needles ready, prepared to inject them again.
When he appeared with a large syringe, Ah Meow shrieked and rushed to Ah Ow’s side. The tranquilizer’s effect on Crispy Noodles and Ah Meng did not wear out completely yet, and their reactions were still slow and their movements sluggish. The two of them wriggled on the table like maggots, trying to hide behind Ah Ow.
Seeing this, Li Du was delighted. He dropped the needles and dashed towards them.
The little ones trembled and squawked, hissed, and howled with fear at the same time.
They returned to normal, after the unexpected fit of fearless violence they had exhibited last night. They did not seem to bear a grudge towards Li Du, either.
Sure enough, when Li Du held out his hands, Ah Meow and Ah Ow quickly came towards him to lick the back of his hand to get his attention.
Li Du sighed. “Damn, you bastards scared me to death. You’re all right!”
The little ones looked for food first when they regained their consciousness. They were starving to death after having a tough night and a prolonged fast. Li Du took them to the hall to feed, and they fell upon the food ravenously.
When they were almost done, Ah Meow looked up to the northwest corner of the living room and walked slowly in that direction.
Instead of following, they looked at the northwest corner, where the cat seemed to have encountered something.
Ah Meow approached and suddenly pounced on it like a tiger, scratching hard with his claws on the marble floor.
The sound of Ah Meow scratching at the stone was so sharp that the Markelov brothers shivered and covered their ears. “Stop, stop, the noise is awful!”
Ah Meow wouldn’t stop, and soon the other little ones followed, scratching at the floor in the corner while Ah Ow was barking and growling.
“No, there’s something wrong,” Li Du was the first to react.
Ah Meow scratched a few times, but it didn’t work. Instead of scratching, they went back to the yard and started to play again.
Li Du and the others stood around the corner to watch. Firecracker hit and stamped on a few patches of the floor and said, shaking his head, “I see nothing wrong.”
Young Markelov said, “Get out of the way. I’ll smell it.”
He climbed up and sniffed. Then he looked up and said, “Sorry, I can’t find anything.”
Li Du released the space-time bug which flew down the marble and went straight down…
Yes, there is something fishy here!
It suddenly occurred to him that the cottage foundation was not made of marble, but of local rock from the hills. To make the foundation even, whoever built the house must have used concrete to fill in the gaps between the rocks.
The space-time bug flew around, and sure enough, Li Du saw a layer of solid concrete under the layer of marble.
So the space-time bug flew down, and under the foundation, a deep passage appeared…
The passage was rough and rugged, looking like a natural hollow in the mountains. The section below the house was blocked up by an accumulation of marble and stone, so no matter how hard one beat or stamped from above, there would be no hollow sound.
Then a wide passage appeared, gradually increasing in diameter until a cave opened up more than thirty meters away.
There were people in the cave, five or six people busily working inside a space that looked like a laboratory. There were measuring cups and canisters, portable lamps, filters, dehydrators, scales, funnels, microwave ovens, refrigerators and so on.
Inside, the people wore gas masks. Crystal objects were placed on tables, where they were weighed, packed and sealed in small wooden boxes…
Seeing this scene, Li Du seemed to know what they were. This was an underground drug factory, and the people inside were making drugs!
One of the men’s figures seemed familiar to him. The space-time bug looked through the gas mask and Li Du saw Benedict’s face.
Li Du clenched his fist, understanding it all almost instantly.
No wonder Benedict was fat, pale and flighty. Li Du thought he was an otaku who stayed indoors. It appeared that this guy was pale because he was always underground and had little to no contact with sunlight.
In addition to this passage, the cave had several others, one of which led upward to a house next to the cottage!
Some people were inside, watching TV. The room was cluttered and there was lots of junk food and empty food packages on the floor.
No wonder Benedict was attracted by the smell last night and ate like he was starved. It might have been the first time in a long while that he had tasted real, fresh food. Subsisting on junk food and prepackaged meals must be unsatisfying.
Li Du gritted his teeth. The drug cave next door reminded him of many things, such as the rumors of haunted houses in the village and the people who died there.
He presumed that the men died in the hands of the traffickers, who found the underground cave and threatened exposure. The cave was hidden and suitable for sewage disposal, and the police and competitors could not find it.
However, every secret would get out someday. Perhaps some suspicious acts were discovered by the neighbor, so the drug dealers murdered the neighbor. To make sure they would have no more neighbors in the future, they created a haunted house rumor.
Li Du even speculated that they might have murdered the couple’s two children, the rancher, and the children who later ventured into the haunted house to make the rumor more convincing.
As for the abnormal behavior of the little ones, he could guess what had happened. It was obvious that someone had pushed the marble blocks down the passage and appeared in the living room last night.
They didn’t show up openly, otherwise, Ah Meow and the others would attack directly.
No, the little ones wouldn’t accept food from others for no reason. They must have accidentally consumed or inhaled the drug, which made them lose their rationality and return to their original animal nature.
Looking at the hole in the ground, Li Du said slowly, “Dig under this floor tile, I want to see what’s going on below. Ah Meow wouldn’t just go crazy for no reason, there must be something unusual here. Maybe someone’s up to something down below!”