Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
There were no walls around the house on top of the little slope. There was only a small yard, and there were two couples waiting for them at the entrance of the yard. Steve introduced them to Li Du, saying that this was a family of four. Their last name was Wade, and he had hired them to help take care of Sea Turtle Island.
As Steve did not normally stay there, he had to hire employees to take care of the island, and the salary for these people was not low. The annual cost of hiring the family of four was 500,000 Australian dollars. This was one of the expenses of maintaining an island.
Looking after an entire island was not just simply staying on the island, sleeping all day, and not moving at all. There was lots of work waiting to be done. The family needed to take care of the vineyard, needed to take care of the lawn, and needed to maintain cleanliness. All these jobs were enough to keep them busy from morning until night.
Living on an island that was isolated from the land, the issue of safety from intruders was a hidden danger. Everyone knew that anyone who could afford to buy a private island must be wealthy, and a wealthy person’s house must have valuable things inside. Hence, such private islands always encountered the patronage of thieves. One must really have courage and ability in order to stay there.
When the heavy work of farm life, lonely environment, and dangerous atmosphere all came together, it required a high amount of pay to attract someone willing to work there.
Li Du greeted the four people and then entered the house. The house was a quaint, three-storey bungalow. There were wooden beams, cast iron chandeliers, and furniture made out of logs. There was also a large fireplace. The bungalow was filled with rustic style.
Because of the house’s height, the view was very good. The dining area was next to a huge French window, and from there they had a view of the entire vineyard as well as the ocean.
The grapes in the vineyard were all red and purplish, while the grape leaves were yellow and brown. The scarecrow in the vineyard was swaying in the sea breeze. There was also the clear blue ocean and snow white seagulls. Li Du exclaimed, “The beauty is enough to be feasted on. I could have enough to eat with just this view.”
“This is only a side dish. If you want to eat, I have all the food here,” Steve said as he laughed smugly.
They rode on the helicopter in the morning, and they had not had anything to eat so far. Steve had called beforehand, so Mrs. Wade had prepared a feast for them.
“All the ingredients here are locally sourced. The flathead fish, snapper, and silver carp were all fresh out of the water just five hours ago. The big crawfish, green shrimp, and scallops were just caught not even two hours ago,” Mr. Wade explained.
Li Du said, “I am really grateful for your help. Sorry to have troubled you.”
Mr. Wade brought two bottles of red wine over to them, and he nodded politely as he said, “This is our job. Gentlemen, please enjoy.”
Elson opened the bottle of wine and poured half a glass for everyone. Li Du swirled the glass, and the balanced drink clung to the wall of the glass before slowly rolling down. He raised his wine glass and said with a laugh, “Here, let us thank our great buddy Steve for his hospitality.”
Everyone clinked their glasses as they enjoyed the warm autumn sunlight in front of the French window, drinking good wine made from locally grown grapes. In addition, there were dishes of delicious food being served. Everything felt perfect.
Big Quinn raised his glass to Li Du as he exclaimed, “Boss, before I followed you, I had never thought that one day I could enjoy life like this.”
Li Du laughed. “Wait ’til we buy Seagull Island. We will build an even better manor on it. This I promise you; there will be a house that belongs to you on the island.”
Big Quinn puffed out his chest, and his face was filled with hope.
The first dish that was served was baked stone carp. Mrs. Wade paired it with candied fennel and tomatoes, green bean soup, and soft vanilla. It looked really high class, and it tasted really good.
At the same time there were also baked oysters. These oysters were very fresh. They had just been brought ashore, and they were excellent served with bacon bits.
There were some dishes that Li Du had never seen before, so Steve explained them to him. They were quick-fried spinach with crispy Australian lungfish, capers, and fennel sauce. They were sweet in taste.
After that, Mrs. Wade brought them homemade salmon fillets. They were marinated with finely grated wasabi, honey, and sesame oil. The flavor was rich and was a marvel in their mouths.
After being in a helicopter for an entire morning and half of the afternoon, they had all been starving. With all the tasty food, high quality wine, and the gorgeous view, they all had a satisfying meal.
Steve explained all about the food and entertained them well with a lavish meal. “Come, taste this mille crepe style Copra Mojir shrimp and these fried lungfish slices accompanied with champagne butter sauce. I can bet you that no one could ever reject such fine food
“There is also fish and chips. This is Mrs. Wade’s special dish. Every time I am here, I will eat this along with my tongue
“Let’s have another glass. Let us celebrate this gathering. Li, we really hit it off. Let us toast our friendship!”
“Cheers!” Li Du raised his wine glass.
After the meal, they walked around the island. There was a walking path on the outer side of the small island that was paved with wooden planks. Golden leaves fluttered and fell on it, and it gave one a feeling that it was like a painting.
The Wade family was picking grapes. Li Du and Hans had nothing else to do, so they followed them around with a pushcart to pick some grapes, too. These grapes were Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. They were used just for wine making, so they were not tasty at all when eaten raw.
Hans simply took one and put it into his mouth. After chewing a couple of times he spit it out, just like a child who was spitting out saliva. Li Du tried one, too. The taste was a little sour. It was not comparable to the Australian sapphire grapes on Seagull Island.
Grape-picking was not an easy feat. This was because they still had to categorize these grapes to decide which ones could be kept for making wine and which ones were useless and had to be thrown out. The grapes for wine making had to be graded as well, as different grades of grapes would make wines that would be priced differently.
Steve waved him over to fish, and Li Du asked if Hans wanted to go. Hans shook his head and said, “I was already fishing every day at Seagull Island. I think I’d better stay here for grape-picking. It seems more meaningful here.”
Big Quinn laughed. “Actually, every day we were also grape-picking besides fishing. Life was not much different from how it is here.”
Since the two of them were not interested, Li Du put down the scissors and little pushcart, and took the four little furry fellows to go fishing. However, the four little fellows were not interested in fishing. They were interested in staying back for grape-picking instead.
Ah Meow jumped onto the sturdy old branches of grape vines, and as he swung his sharp claws, a whole bunch of grapes fell down. Ah Ow waited down below. When the grapes fell down, she quickly swung her head and accurately bit the grapes’ stems. She then lowered her head to put them down, and the whole bunch of grapes then fell onto the ground.
Ali’s little claws could pick up the grapes. It used its thick tail to support itself on the ground and used its claws to pick up bunches of grapes as it hopped along to the front of the little pushcart. Then, Ali jumped hard as it put down the grapes. Although it would still break a few grapes, it did actually put them into the cart.
Seeing that, old Mr. Wade was shocked and said, “Are these your pets? They are just like island elves. Aren’t they so smart?”
Li Du laughed. “In fact they are elves, grape-picking elves.”