Sophie quickly helped Crispy Noodles bandage the wound and tied a butterfly knot using the gauze.
Crispy Noodles stretched his legs, looked at the butterfly knot on his paw happily and ran back to concentrate on digging and stone flipping.
Sophie returned the first aid kit to Alicia. "Thank you. If not for this, we would have left the wound to heal by itself. You've been a great help."
"No, nothis is a small thing," laughed Alicia. "But if you want to be gem hunters, it's best to have a first aid kit ready. You might not be aware, but there are lots of creatures out here that can hurt people."
"Yes, especially fire ants," warned Brendan. "If you see them, you must quickly get away. Don't take them too lightly. It's not a joking matter if you get bit and you don't have any first aid equipment with you."
Every industry had its own rules and regulations. If one wanted to start earning money without being fully prepared, one would be in for a hard time.
Brendan showed them his set of tools; there were geologic tools, medical supplies, and cleaning equipment. There were even lighting equipment and storage boxes.
The small boxes he had brought for gem storage were exquisite and lovely. They were hardcover boxes with black velvet all over them; inside the boxes were small lizard figurines. As Sophie had two pieces of opal, Brendan gave two such boxes to her.
Sophie hurriedly thanked him but declined the offer as well. "Both of you are so kind, but these boxes are too beautiful. I bet the cost is rather high. Sorry, I can't accept your kindness. Otherwise, God will think that I'm too greedy."
Alicia pushed the boxes back to her. "Just take them, the boxes aren't expensive. Frankly, each box is only ten dollars."
"A ten dollar box could instantly make your opal more valuable," Brendan said. "A clean fire opal in a box can be more expensive than pure mineral stones. It could be sold for a few thousand dollars higher."
Sophie glanced at Li Du and he gestured for her to accept. "Don't worry, honey. They are Stephen's relatives, and Stephen is Big Fox's, as well as my, relative. We are very close."
Brendan was laughing and nodded at Li Du's words. "Yes, yes."
Sophie accepted the boxes, took out the lizard figurines and put the opals in.
Brendan stopped her. "These belong to the lizard. Don't you think that the combination of the fire opal and lizard is uniquely beautiful in its own way?"
Sophie placed one of the lizard figurines on a fire opal and smiled. "It's indeed lovely."
Brendan and Alicia were full-time gem hunters who lived in Winslow. They worked three to four days a week at high intensity.
Being a gem hunter was not an easy job. They needed to pay an entrance fee of 500 dollars every time they entered the park. Then, they could only hunt for gems for 24 hours. In order to maximize the time limit, they would usually work for the entire 24 hours.
In other words, when they started work, they would work for the entire day, only going to their tent occasionally for a short break.
Nevertheless, even if one worked hard, the chances of success were slim. "We'll often find some beautiful stones and try our best to recover our costs," said Alicia. "If we get some agate stones, we can earn some money. If we wanna make more money, we can only rely on Lady Luck."
"Li, you're lucky," said Brendan. "You found two fire opals in just one day. This is uncommon."
"That Cyril's quite miserable," Alicia said with a relaxed laugh. "If I remember correctly, he hasn't found a single opal in the past two months. And when he finally finds one, he loses it in a bet with you. He's really unlucky."
Brendan remarked, "That's good for us. He's annoying."
Li Du said, "You don't like him either?"
"No. Those *ssholes are villains. The words they spit from their mouths are like manure. They really get on my nerves. However, they're not to be messed withyou need to be careful."
Brendan was giving him a kind warning; he suggested to Li Du, "Why don't both of you leave now? Don't stay here overnight. You don't know what they'll try to do to you at night."
Li Du hadn't thought of staying here overnight. He wanted to find a few more fire opals and leave.
Brendan and Alicia left after warning Li. Time was precious to the couple. They needed to search for valuable gems.
Before they left, they showed them what they had found so far that day. There was a white stone that was clean like the ice crystal; there were a few stones with red and purple spots like discs of Reversi, with one color on one side.
Li Du thought the stones looked beautiful but Brendan told him that they were not worth much. So far, their findings could only sell for around 200 dollars. They needed to continue hunting for gems or they would lose money.
After saying goodbye to the couple, Li Du brought Crispy Noodles with him to continue searching for fire opals.
There were very few opals here. The little bug flew around repeatedly in the area the size of about one hectare. About half an hour later, he found an opal around the size of his pinky.
Li Du brought Crispy Noodles over to the area where the opal was, and the raccoon started to dig and flip over the stones. When the tip of the opal could be seen, Li picked it up.
Although the opal was small, its color was very pure. There was a floc inside the opal that looked like the fiery clouds of a sunset.
Li held out the opal to Sophie, but she shook her head. "Don't give it to me. When you give me too much of the same thing, it doesn't feel like a gift anymore."
Sophie had a serious and sincere expression on her face. Li Du shrugged his shoulders and put the opal in his pocket.
Besides the fire opal, there were also other valuable stones such as the geode, coprolite, turquoise, rose quartz, Unakite and many more.
All these stones had some value but were far from the value of the fire opal. Li Du did not have a set of proper tools with him; after getting some nice stones and satisfying his curiosity, he did not dig around as much he had been earlier.
For the full hectare of land, there were millions or tens of millions of mineral stones contained inside. It was like a huge warehouse of stones.
There were many broken stones in the barren land. They did not sit nicely on the ground, but piled up in layers, as if some giant heavy machinery had passed by and crushed several mountains.
Sometimes there were pits full of small stones in the ground. When the little bug flew down to check the depth, the deepest pit he estimated was over 60 feet. Some fire opals were inside these pits but there was no way he could get them without the help of any machinery.
Li Du searched for another two hours and was exhausted. It became harder to find fire opals; he only managed to find four.
Of course, the little bug found more fire opals than that. It was just that they were deep in the ground, and Li Du was unable to excavate them by himself.
And because he didn't want to arouse people's suspicions, he couldn't dig for the opals himself. Crispy Noodles was the one who had "found" all the opals and the raccoon was unable to dig any deeper than a few feet; this was beyond the capability of the raccoon.
So, in total, including the opal he had won with the bet, Li Du had seven fire opals. To him, this was not a big quantity. Nevertheless, to normal gem hunters, his gains were unimaginably incredible!