Li Du looked at him with his head tilted and said nicely, "Must you go against me? You are here to purposely cause an issue, right?"
Hughes, with an innocent look, unfolded his arms and said, "No, I deal with the issue, not the person. If you think I have offended you, then come and hit me."
Godzilla clenched his fists and was about to attack when Brother Wolf stopped him.
Li Du pointed at Hughes and said, "You have succeeded in trying to anger me. Listen up, b*stard, quickly get lost from my land. I am getting impatient."
An employee with a ponytail said, "Mr. Li, you have to clear your name. I do not wish to say this, but everyone here knows that you are suspicious."
Li Du stared at him. "Why?"
The ponytail employee said, "First, you drove a truck here. Second, you have harvested a lot, more than the usual amount. In the state of Arizona, if your heifer gave birth to ten calves in one go, we would think that you had stolen other people's calves."
"Fine," Li Du responded. "You guys suspect all you want. However, if you guys want to touch my safe, you'll have to call the police and get them to bring over a warrant."
The Native American man frowned. "Sir, we do not need to blow this matter out of proportion. If you did not do it, are you willing to help us find the culprit?"
"Am I obligated to?" Li Du sneered.
The Native American man replied, "Maybe you do not know that we have the right to bar anyone from coming into the national park if we deem the visitor a threat to the national park's safety!"
His words hit Li Du in his soft spot. He looked stunned and began contemplating.
Indeed, the national park had such authority. Not just the national park, every other public area in America also had such authority and could bar anyone from coming close if they were deemed to be a threat to the public's safety.
With countless opals still waiting for him here, he could not leave this place. Based on his estimation, the total value of all the fire opals in the national park amounted to billions of dollars!
If he could dig them all out, he would be set for life.
After brief consideration, he said, "Alright, I am willing to help you guys find the culprit behind this matter."
"It's you," a gem hunter said enigmatically.
Li Du could not be bothered with him. He said to the Native American man, "Could you bring me to the scene of the incident to take a look? I need to know what happened."
The Native American man beckoned him to follow. "With pleasure."
Following the staff, the group of people either drove cars or rode motorcycles toward the northwest direction.
The area of the national park was very huge. The entire national park was not only made up of rock-filled land, it was also made up of soil in some areas and rock formations in a few others. Even though these areas also contained fire opals, there was no way of mining them.
The fire opals inside the rock-filled land could be extracted by picking up the crushed rocks. For opals in the ground or within rock formations, they could only be extracted by digging a mine.
After traveling for more than ten miles, another piece of rock-filled land appeared in front of them.
The east and west sides of this rock-filled land were petrified forests. Some of the petrified trees were as high as 30 feet and as wide as three feet, like a sky-piercing pagoda. They were a magnificent sight to behold.
In such an environment, even if someone were to operate machinery, the sound would not travel very far.
Every few steps along the rock-filled land there was fragmented rock and dispersed rock dust. These were the effects of the machine.
Stephen Chandler's cousin, Brendan, as well as his sister-in-law, Alicia, came as well. Li Du asked the both of them, "What is the procedure when using machines to search for fire opals?"
Brendan said, "As you know, gemstones have varying brightness and quality. There are a variety of machines that can isolate them. For example, by shining an intense light, fire opals can be found through the degree at which the light is being reflected or, through the use of a centrifuge, different rocks can be separated.
"The former method is commonly used. As the machine has a conveyor belt, people will use a spade to shovel rock onto the conveyor belt. The machine then cuts up the rock while simultaneously shining an intense light on them. If there is a fire opal inside, it can be detected through the use of light reflection."
After hearing his explanation. Li Du asked, "Wouldn't this shatter the fire opal?"
"It won't be shattered, only cut. Even so, fire opal that has been cut is still valuable and quite a bit of money can be earned from it," explained Brendan.
Machines would cut up a bunch of rock in one go. If no opals were detected, they would continue operating until the rocks had been reduced to dust before replacing them with a new batch of rocks.
This was the reason behind the large amount of rock dust here. Also, as there were some crushed rocks here as well, it revealed that they had found a fire opal since machines would stop operating after detecting a fire opal and move on to search the next batch of rocks.
While looking at the piles of fragmented rocks, Alicia whispered, "D*mn it, they found fire opal, and not just one or two pieces. They found quite a few."
Basically, every pile of crushed rocks represented a piece of fire opal that had been harvested.
After entering the scene of the crime, the Native American man looked at him and asked, "Have you discovered anything?"
What could Li Du discover? As this was a rock-filled land, vehicles would not leave any trace behind when driving here. They knew that the violators had hidden a machine but did not know where.
However, Li Du had another method he could use.
He released the little bug and randomly found a pile of crushed rocks before using the Reverse the Past ability.
A barren, rock-filled land, from one to two hundred years ago, first appeared in front of him. He rapidly advanced time until the latest time period where he saw last night's incident.
There had been quite a number of machines operating here last night. Someone had erected a huge tent for the machines to operate in so that noises and lights were blocked.
Due to the large amount of dust produced when the machines cut up the rocks, the people working here wore large dust masks as well as googles. He was dispirited by his inability to clearly see the faces of the people working here.
Just like looking through a stuttering video, he looked at each frame in detail.
At last, he discovered something. Although these people wore dust masks to filter out the dust, some of them frequently used their cellphones to take pictures of the opals they had found as well as make phone calls.
The visions of the past were very clear; so was the number on the large screens of their phones.
Li Du took out his cellphone and discreetly dialed the number to see whose phone it belonged to. In the end, a name popped up after dialing the number: "Owen."
This was Owen's phone number, the gem merchant Li Du had worked with before. It was apparent that this matter was related to him.
The cellphone, which was a Samsung touchscreen phone, Galaxy Nexus, became a clue.
Li Du was so certain of this because this phone had just been released not long ago and Samsung had been advertising it for the past few months.
With that, he released the little bug again. The little bug went back and forth between the pockets of the people in the crowd, specifically searching for this cell phone model.
The first person he searched was Hughes. The first reason was that Hughes kept bothering him. Second, people who bought this phone model were mainly gadget fanatics as the price of this model was very high since it had just been released onto the market.
Coincidentally, Hughes was a gadget fanatic as seen from his love of flying drones.