Fortunately, the pressure cooker soon gave off a hissing sound akin to a steam whistle, Woo! Woo!
The piercing sound startled Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles, who were gathered in front of the pressure cooker, causing them to recoil, turn tail and flee.
Their sense of hearing was much stronger than that of humans. As such, the sound must have been insufferable for them.
Li Du took the opportunity to pull Crispy Noodles away and quietly drag him to the location of a piece of fire opal.
Crispy Noodles raised his head and stared foolishly at Li Du with silly-looking eyes. He was uncertain of what to do.
Li Du sighed helplessly.He pushed open a rock with his legs and gently threw a piece of preserved fruit inside.
Crispy Noodles's eyes lit up after seeing the food. He used his two small claws to effortlessly pry open the rocks. He then proceeded to cram his mouth inside to search for the piece of fruit before devouring it in two to three bites.
With the help of the piece of preserved fruit, he finally caught the scent of the fruit underneath the rock. He brandished his two front claws, exerted his strength and lifted the rocks up piece by piece, which rapidly dug a hole.
Li Du pretended to look puzzled and asked Crispy Noodles, "Hey little guy, what are you doing here?"
Crispy Noodles's stomach was rumbling and having just picked up the scent of the preserved fruit, he couldn't care what Li Du was saying and continued with his work.
Big Quinn and Godzilla, who had been chatting, saw the scene and inquisitively came over to have a look. Sophie walked over excitedly and smiled. "Is there another fire opal here?"
Previously, Li Du found a few pieces of fire opal by employing the same method of using Crispy Noodles to search for gemstones. When discussing traveling here with Sophie, they also wondered if Crispy Noodles had the ability to search for fire opals.
Crispy Noodles pried open a bunch of rocks, finally revealing the fire opal.
Li Du pushed him aside and dug out a fire opal the size of an infant's fist. Looking pleasantly surprised, he ran over to Sophie and smiled, "You guessed right. He really managed to find a gemstone!"
Besides the gemstone, Crispy Noodles also found the two pieces of preserved fruit.
He picked up the preserved fruit with his claws and quickly stuffed them into his mouth before scanning his surroundings with shifty eyes. Seeing that there was no one around to snatch his food, he chewed it with satisfaction and swallowed.
Not far away, Big Quinn and Godzilla let out an astonished look and simultaneously said, "F*ck, that's unbelievable!"
Sophie was also in awe. However, as she had previously seen Crispy Noodles's amazing ability, she was not surprised by it.
Instead, she felt honored to be Crispy Noodles's parent as Big Quinn and Godzilla were both surprised by him. She took the initiative to explain, "This is Crispy Noodles's unique ability. Do not tell anyone!"
"Crispy Noodles has a unique ability?" Big Quinn replied in awe.
Sophie nodded her head sternly. "Yes, yes, Crispy Noodles is a treasure-seeking racoon. He somehow always finds fire opals buried under rocks. How do you guys think Li Du found so many last time?"
Big Quinn glanced at Li Du. "I thought it was Boss's exceptional observation skills that let him see such things," he joked.
Li Du shrugged. "I saw some while Crispy Noodles found some."
Sophie smirked at him while making a grimace. "You are really shameless, stealing credit for Crispy Noodles's hard work. It was clearly Crispy Noodles who found the gemstone."
Li Du laughed. It was the outcome he had hoped for.
The cooker continuously gave off a woo! woo! sound. Under the heat of the fierce fire, the temperature of the pressure cooker rose rapidly. In half an hour, the beef stew had nearly finished braising.
At this moment, Li Du removed the lid of the cooker and threw in rosemary, tofu cubes, onions and dried chili. All that was left now was to braise for another few minutes before it was ready to eat.
The quality of the piece of newly dug up fire opal was excellent. It looked beautiful with its rarely seen flame color and inner spots of green and purple which were akin to a star.
The four admired the gemstone for a while. Li Du asked Sophie, "Shall we give this fire opal to your father as a birthday present?"
Sophie shook her head. "No, I want to find a piece myself. I can definitely find one."
Li Du replied, "This piece could be considered your finding. It was not found by me, Crispy Noodles found it. As Crispy Noodles's mother, his findings are also your findings."
Sophie shook her head repeatedly and sternly replied, "No, you cannot say that. This belongs to you. I will justly find a gemstone with my own abilities."
Li Du chided in his heart. You think too much. If not for little bug's help, I wouldn't have found the fire opal.
Cyril and his counterparts were right: being able to find a gemstone here after a month's search was already considered lucky.
Finding a fire opal did not require eye power, it required luck. If your luck was good, your harvest would be, too. If your luck was not good, you might not find a piece even after a year's search.
Sophie was a stubborn lady. Li Du knew that once she had made up her mind, it would be hard to dissuade her. Instead of doing something pointless, Li Du kept the fire opal.
Li Du removed the lid once the beef stew was cooked. He took out the chopped preserved bamboo shoots to serve as the appetizer. "Come, let's eat."
Ah Meow, who was the most anxious of the three, hurriedly ran to the truck to search for his feeding bowl in preparation for his meal.
The ocelot was nimble, jumping into the truck with ease and bringing out his feeding bowl using his mouth. Likewise, the raccoon, who was an adept climber, climbed up the truck in search of his feeding bowl. This left the wolf pup who was unable to do so.
Ah Ow tried making the jump but ended up hitting her head on a large wheel of the Ford F-350. With teary eyes, she lifted her head and cried, "Owwwuu!"
Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles were lying in the truck and looking out at her. Both of them, with their feeding bowls in their mouths, looked satisfied.
Ah Ow felt this was unjust and turned her head to Li Du before crying out.
Li Du, who was ready to start the meal, saw the helpless wolf pup and shouted to Ah Meow, "Quickly, bring hers down. Come and eat before there's nothing left."
Ah Meow straightened his tail, ran back to bring out the wolf pup's small metal bowl, and threw it down. Ah Ow hurriedly picked it up with her mouth before striding over and waiting to eat.
Crispy Noodles had fresh and preserved fruits, Ah Meow had meat and fish jerky, and Ah Ow had the stew with bones and fresh meat.
Initially, Li Du did not want to feed the wolf pup fresh meat. However, Sophie, who had asked a veterinarian, said that wolves needed to eat fresh meat in order to obtain some of the amino acids and vitamins their bodies could not produce.
The three of them had their heads buried in their feeding bowls, happily eating away. Li Du helped Sophie scoop out some stew. As she did not like to eat meat, most of the meat was left for Big Quinn and Godzilla.
Sophie had one scoop of stew while Li Du had a bowl. This left the rest of the big pot of stew to be shared between Big Quinn and Godzilla.
Sophie used the stew to soak the dried bread. When dried, coarse grain bread was like dried wood and could not be eaten directly. However, it tasted delicious once it soaked up the hot and steamy stew.
Li Du took two bites and found the stew was not spicy enough. He scooped out a little chili from a jar of chili sauce that Big Quinn and Godzilla took the rest of.