Seeing that the security officers and staff were also present, Li Du knew that things were going to be problematic.
Hence, faced with the hunter's accusation, he said listlessly, "I'm not God. How am I to know what's gonna happen every day?"
The gem hunters started yelling:
"Stop acting, buddy! Do you not dare to admit what you have done? Behave like a man!"
"F*ck, are you comparing yourself to God? You're insulting us Christians!"
"What a good actorhow about you quit being a hunter and go Hollywood to be a star?!"
Since the start of his career as a treasure hunter, Li Du had been the target of suspicion and bullying by his American counterparts. It was to be expected, since he was an outsider competing for a piece of the pie. It was hard to fathom why they would show him any courtesy at all.
Since then, he had learned not only how not to rely on these people, but also how to retaliate.
Therefore, in response to the crowd's public rebuke, he sneered. "All of you f*cking shut up! A bunch of incompetent fools! If you've got something to say, say it. Otherwise, I'm gonna get my breakfast!"
A young staff member with a ponytail said, disgruntled, "Gosh, you've got quite a temper. . ."
Li Du interrupted him rudely and said, "If my temper's any worse, I would be talking to you guys holding a shotgun. I've asked what's going on so many times, who's gonna answer me?"
"Don't you know?" the young man said provokingly.
Li Du said impatiently, "Are you here looking for trouble? What do I know?"
"Machines, some people are using machines to look for gems!" another staff member of Indian descent said out loud.
Flabbergasted, Li Du looked at them. "Someone is using machines to look for fire opals? When? What does this have to do with me?"
The Indian man frowned and said, "Apparently, this happened last night. We saw traces of the machine this morning. Someone brought a machine in."
Li Du was losing his patience. He said, "Fine but what does this have to do with me? Are you guys suspecting me of using the machine?"
"Yes," the ponytail guy answered matter-of-factly.
Li Du spread his hands out and said, "Okay, I understand what's going on. I'm telling you now, it was not me using the machine. I've been working with my hands all along."
A gem hunter folded his arms and said scornfully, "So if you claim it's not you, it isn't you then?"
Li Du gazed at him and asked, "What's your name?"
The big man guffawed and said, "Why are you asking? Are you trying to befriend me? Sorry, I don't make friends with thieves."
Brother Wolf went up to Li Du and whispered, "He's Bandit Hughes Ashbrook."
Astonished, Li Du looked at him and whispered, "How do you know?"
"The night before last, I went to their camp to dig up information."
Li Du suddenly realized that Brother Wolf was indeed worthy of being an elite soldier. His ability to seek out intelligence was really amazing.
He looked at the big man and said, "Hughes Ashbrook, I remember you. It was you who has been watching me with a drone for two days, right?"
The big man was dumbfounded when he heard his name being called. He said, "How did you know my name?"
Li Du said, "That's not important. What's important is that you've been watching me, and know that this has nothing to do with me, right?"
Hughes shook his head and said, "No, I don't know. I mean, who's been watching you?"
Li Du imitated his head shaking. "Do you not dare to admit what you have done? Behave like a man. Hughes, Hughes, Hughes, you really don't do justice to your bandit moniker."
Not all the gem hunters present were there to condemn Li Du. They were there to watch the showdown. The number of people gathered had increased but those who had arrived later were mostly there just to watch.
Hence, many people burst out laughing when they heard Li Du mock Hughes. "I've never regarded this a*shole as being much of a man. Look at how tight his pants are, so very sissy-looking."
"He must have watched Li's movements. This guy likes to play with drones."
"He was trying to steal Li's plot. He always does this this is not being a bandit, but a thief."
Hughes glared at the people ridiculing him and said to Li Du, "Don't you accuse me, Chinaman. I've no idea what it is you do at night. If I had seen you use any machines, I would have reported you earlier."
Li Du said, "Who's accusing who? When the truth is out, we'll know the answer. But I shall emphasize once again, I DID NOT use any machine!"
As he spoke, he looked at several staff members and said, "On what basis are you suspecting me? Are you being racist?"
The Indian said, "Don't drag racism into this. Several people have reported that you did it."
"Where's the evidence?" Li Du asked.
The Indian said, "When you drove in, the machine must have been hidden in the truck. So even if no one had reported you, you would be the biggest suspect."
Li Du sneered. "Are we not allowed to drive into the National Park?"
The Indian man answered, "No, of course not..."
"What's wrong with my driving in?" Li Du asked.
The Indian said, "There's no issue with you driving in. But you are not allowed to make use of machines to search for opals! This is illegal! Illegal!"
Li Du said, "Seriously, you're lucky that I have neither the time nor the mood to mess with you guys. You can go ahead and waste your time here. . ."
He waved his hand and pointed to the truck, "You guys can go have a look, and search for that so-called machine. Go ahead."
The ponytail guy and several security officers went over immediately. Of one accord, both Godzilla and Brother Wolf stepped forward to block their way.
Li Du whistled and waved, so Godzilla and Brother Wolf let them pass.
There was no sign of any gem hunting machine in the truck. Several security officers searched everywhere and then came back shaking their heads at the Indian man.
Li Du spread his hands wide open and said, "The next time this happens, I'll slap you with racial discrimination and privacy violations."
Hughes stood out and said, "Hey, do you think you can be cleared of suspicions just like that?"
Li Du frowned at him and said, "Why are you so concerned? You seem to be very eager to pin this crime on me. You were actually the one who did it, right?"
Hughes spit and said, "Stop harping on it. I'm just trying to uphold the rules around here. No sign of the machine doesn't prove anything, maybe you hid the machine somewhere? Since the park is so big, there's plenty of space to hide things."
"Right, exactly." Someone nodded in agreement.
Seeing that he had support, Hughes got even more daring. "You've a safe in the truck. Open the safe and show everyone how many gems there are in it. If there's a lot, then you must have gotten them by using a machine!"
Li Du sneered. "What kind of bandit logic is that? If there are many gems, they must have been found by machines?!"
Hughes said, "Everyone knows it may take one or two months to find a single opal by hand. You've only been here for a few days? If you've managed to find many gemstones, then you must have used underhanded means!"