Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
After listening to Steve, Li Du could not help but ask, “What, mate? You want to dig for gems? Don’t you mean you want to invest in a mine?”
Steve shook his head. “No investing, just digging. I want to be a miner.”
Li Du swallowed. Sophie thought he was thirsty, so she gave him a glass of water. He pushed the glass away and said, “You want to be a miner? I’m a little confused, Steve. I want you to be clear. What is your purpose?”
With that, Li Du quickly added, “I mean, mining is exhausting work, and miners don’t make that much money. Why would you want to be a miner?”
Steve smiled and said, “I need to exercise. Mining is a workout, right?”
Li Du replied, “Yes, it’s really good exercise, but it’s quite intense, and I don’t think it’s suitable for you. Not only that, but it’s very dangerous. There was a mine collapse at Lightning Ridge not long ago.”
Steve said, “I’ll be careful. Show me around. Truth be told, when I came to the jewelry showcase, I became interested in some of the original stones.”
Li Du smiled wryly. “If you want original stones, I bet a lot of people would fall all over themselves to get you some, so there is no need to take the risk of mining them yourself.” Steve had a very different background and status from the average person. He was in poor physical condition and had heart disease. Li Du did not dare to take him to the mine.
However, Steve was very stubborn, and after he listened to Li Du, he repeatedly shook his head. “What is the point of getting the original stones from someone else? I want to harvest these gems myself.”
Li Du continued to try to persuade him otherwise, but he did not listen. He insisted on getting Li Du’s help and visiting Lightning Ridge. However, because Li Du was also stubborn, Steve decided to compromise and ask for a bit less. He would just go and take a look, and would not necessarily go down the mine himself.
Li Du could only turn to Mr. Elson, who shrugged his shoulders and gave him a helpless look, implying that he could not help. Steve, seeing the looks that passed between the two men, laughed cheerfully and said, “Li, do you still remember my online name? It’s ‘Steel Steve,’ because I have steely determination.”
Li Du said helplessly, “I respect your determination, but I have to say this now. If an accident happens, I can’t be responsible.”
“Of course, I know what you’re worried about. All I can tell you is that my condition is better than you think,” said Steve.
Elson nodded. “Steve’s heart is well protected. Last time it was an accident. This time it will be fine, if he is careful enough.”
Steve added, “Why don’t we go to the gym after dinner, and I’ll show you that I have the body I need to be a miner.” It was necessary. Li Du wanted to be sure. He didn’t want to see Steve suffer a heart attack.
The Four Seasons hotel had a series of upscale rooms that brought together culinary styles from around the world. Of course, Chinese cuisine was naturally an indispensable part of the presentation.
Their room was cozy and was decorated with Chinese classical cloud art wallpaper on the north and south walls. There was also Ming and Qing Dynasty porcelain, ink and ink stone, and landscape paintings on the east and west walls. In the middle of the room was a large round table with thick legs. It was brown and shiny, like an old mahogany table. On the table was a traditional copper hotpot with a chimney in the middle and red-hot charcoal inside. It was China’s hot pot, which, to put it plainly, was the capital’s old copper pot shabu-shabu beef and lamb. This was a rare dish in Sydney.
The waiter brought up plates of red meat and vegetables, and when the broth was stewed, he added goji berries and red dates to the bottom of the pot, indicating that it was ready to eat.
This copper hot pot was very ornate. Li Du noticed the copper pot’s exterior wall was cloisonne, inlaid with red and purple peonies. This design made the pot unusually festive. Beer was often paired with a hot pot dinner and was considered an authentic taste of Chinese capital cuisine, so of course, beer was served with the group’s dinner.
Traditionally, oxtail was served in the pot, while there were also various kinds of beef and mutton on the table, such as pinkish lamb chuck, deep red beef chuck, beef tripe, duck’s blood, and so on.
Seeing the dishes, Li Du laughed and said, “Since I left China, I have seldom had such an authentic hotpot. Thank you for your hospitality.”
Steve raised his glass and said, “I can’t take credit for this. It’s Uncle Elson’s masterpiece. Let’s drink to him.”
Elson nodded quietly and smiled as he accompanied them and drank a glass of beer.
When the hot pot began to boil, Li Du picked up thin slices of meat and dipped them in the pot. Then he put them on Sophie’s small plate and said in a low voice, “Don’t put any sauce on it yet. Taste the meat first.”
Australia produced some of the world’s top beef and lamb, and was known for its beef and mutton. The Wagyu in Japan was famous. Actually, Australia had Wangyu, too, and it tasted almost the same as Japanese Wangyu, but it just wasn’t as famous. Naturally, the beef on this table was from Wagyu cows, and the mutton was also high-quality and carefully raised. The red meat was fresh and delicious, and was served with tahini sauce and leek sauce. Li Du ate the food and was quite satisfied.
They didn’t drink much because they had to go to the gym later. They just clinked glasses and drank a little to toast.
Over time, the broth in the pot evaporated, so the waiter brought the kettle with him to add to the pot. He poured some of the soup over the chimney, and with a sizzle sound, the steam evaporated, making the meal look even more authentic.
After eating until they were about 80 percent full, they went to the gym. The hotel gym was also a lounge where they could relax after meals.
After leaving the room, Li Du saw Bradley again. This guy was patient. Li Du guessed that he must have been waiting for them. Bradley was interested in Steve’s identity, wondering if he was royalty. Li Du wondered if Bradley wasn’t just a little over concerned.
Bradley followed them into the lounge, noiselessly trailing behind and looking a bit shabby. Li Du looked at him several times with dissatisfaction, and Bradley pretended not to notice. He was shameless to the utmost. Ah Meow looked sideways at Bradley, and his expression of discontent showed on his chubby face.
As soon as he saw them change into their tracksuits, Bradley knew what they were going to do, and he went to the closet to change as well.
As luck would have it, there were a lot of people working out after dinner.
Bradley gnashed his teeth and put down his clothes. The people in the room were surprised to see him, and he also felt it was a bit humiliating. He said calmly to the manager, “Please watch my clothes. I just lost my clothes in the hotel the other day, and I hope to God it doesn’t happen again.”