Treasure Hunt Tycoon -
Chapter 1638: Abnormal Tree Rings
Chapter 1638: Abnormal Tree Rings
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Everyone was speechless after witnessing what had gone down with the gyrfalcon.
Half of the gyrfalcon’s slender neck had been sliced open and fresh blood was pouring out of it like a fountain. Very quickly, it lost too much blood and was sapped of strength. Try as it might, it could only flap its wings a little. It looked like it was on the verge of death.
“Are ocelot claws this sharp?” Little Markelov shivered.
He loved teasing and messing around with Ah Meow on the regular and Ah Meow would scratch back if it was really annoyed, but even then, it would not leave more than a few scratch marks on the man’s skin. Most of the time, the ocelot would be snipping hair off him since the Ukranian was covered in a thick layer of hair. In reality, there were rarely marks left on Markelov’s skin.
Now he knew that he was not the one messing with Ah Meow, it was Ah Meow who had been messing with him!
He looked at Ah Meow who was side-eyeing him, face full of disdain.
Little Markelov hurried to put his hands together in worship for the cat. “You’re amazing, Master Cat, you’re the best!”
Li Du took out the medicinal cream he had bought from the Blue Ridge native. He used it previously on Ah Bai and now he was using it on Ah Bai yet again. He had never used this cream on any of his other little ones yet.
Ah Bai was on the verge of crying at the mere sight of the viscous cream. Why was it always the one getting injured?
Its injuries were more serious than usual this time, too. It broke one of its legs and would probably be out of commission for the next few months.
Brother Wolf bandaged Ah Bai and Godzilla pulled out a backpack to stuff it into. The backpack was like a small pack basket and Ah Bai would occasionally call out in pain, but other than that, it was quite the comfortable spot to be in.
After they packed up, they hit the road again, bringing along the carcass of the gyrfalcon. They could roast the bird for lunch later.
Today, they faced the same problem as they had yesterday, namely the dizziness that hit with prolonged exposure to the folded mountains. They had another problem to deal with today: the sky was overcast. Without the sun, it was difficult for them to determine their direction the moment they lost it.
They went a whole round and it felt like they had returned right back to where they started. Li Du’s anger flared up and he could not help but kick a rock. He cursed, “F*ck, what the hell is going on?”
Brother Wolf said, “This means the island of the lake is shrinking. In the earlier half of the 19th century, geologists proposed the theory that the earth was shrinking. This is to say that the earth had slowly been releasing heat and lowering its temperature since its inception, causing its mass to continually shrink in size, much the way apples shrivel and dry.”
“These folds are the result of the shrinkage?” Big Markelov asked.
Brother Wolf nodded. “You could say that. However, to be more specific, the big folds span hundreds of kilometers to form mountains and valleys. The small folds are the kind of landforms you’re referring to.”
Li Du nodded. “Alright, so?”
Brother Wolf continued, “If we go on with our apple analogy, when they shrink, the wrinkles follow a predictable pattern. Similarly, the earth folds form at different paces and more folds form at parts of the earth where the geological activity is most intense.”
“So what you’re saying is that geological activity here on the Island of the Lost is intense, right?” Li Du asked.
Brother Wolf said, “Yes.”
Little Markelov took out two apples. He threw one to Godzilla and bit into the other. He said through crunches and chomps, “What I want to know is this, how can we navigate out of the folds of this rotten apple?”
Brother Wolf responded, “It’s rather simple, actually. We’ve all forgotten this, but we can rely on Ah Fei and have him lead the way from up in the sky. Ah Fei cannot see the folds on the rocks so it won’t lose its way, nor will it be fatigued mentally—”
“That’s a f*cking great idea, why didn’t we think of this earlier?” Li Du could not help but swear.
Brother Wolf sighed. “Because our heads were in a mess. The folds on the rocks have a hypnotizing effect and we’ve been looking at too many for too long so our brains aren’t working as they should.”
Li Du and the rest of them first confirmed their position before finding their target destination. Then, he pointed to the destination and Ah Fei flew into the air. It led the entourage from above and so they started moving.
Despite this, the mountains, valleys, numerous rocks, and lush vegetation made it easy for them to lose their way. Sometimes they would loop around a valley for a while only to discover they had gone one big round before finally returning to the right path!
Moving on foot through the mountains was just too slow. Another day passed like this and they were barely any closer to where they were headed.
At night, the bunch of them found a leeward hillside to set up camp.
According to their expedition of the past two days and the information provided by Elson, there were not many large predators so camping at night was not very dangerous. They would be fine as long as they avoided the tiny, venomous bugs.
Big Markelov got some men around the camping ground to spray insect repellent. Li Du made himself comfortable as he lay down. Just like yesterday, he was hit with a dizzy spell the moment he closed his eyes for some rest.
They learned their lesson yesterday and gathered a sufficient amount of wood. Madman saw a few large, withered trees along the road, which he chopped and dragged along the journey. The wood could be put to good use now.
One tree was as thick as the calf of a grown adult and could burn for some time.
Big Quinn went to grab a few pieces of the wood and said, “Let me see if I can make charcoal out of this. If I can, we can roast some— hey, that’s odd!”
Big Quinn stared at the wood in confusion and said, “Boss, there are no tree rings on this one?”
Li Du scoffed. That was impossible; every tree had tree rings. Tree rings were a result of cells and ducts changing from large to small, the material changing from loose to dense. As long as the tree had been growing for some time, it would definitely have tree rings.
However, tree rings were circular patterns of a different color, luster, and texture. Some were obvious and others less so.
The tree that Madman had lugged back was a pine, the most common type of tree in cold regions. Pine trees had tree rings that were clear and not difficult to find.
Big Quinn waved his hand as he spoke, “Come take a look at this, boss, come see for yourself if you don’t believe me. There really aren’t any tree rings on this one.”
Li Du moved over to take a look and was stunned. Tree rings were usually of varying width and easy to spot, but he could not find any in this piece of wood.
This bit of the trunk had rings on it too, but they were not as wide as regular tree rings were. It was basically made of many rings and the whole trunk looked like it was made by gluing layers of wood on top of one another.
These were not tree rings. Li Du was also puzzled and asked, “What’s the matter with this? Why doesn’t this tree have tree rings?”
The others inspected the section of the trunk and arrived at the same conclusion.
Big Markelov turned this over in his head for a while, then reached for an axe to cut another tree. He then took a flashlight and directed its beam on the cross-section of the tree before shaking his head at the result. “Same. The trees here are really weird.”
Everyone was staring in wonder. Someone mentioned off-handedly, “These may be tree rings, just that they’re narrower than usual because of the environmental impact that sped up the tree’s growth.”
“That’s some other kind of rubbish, how can something like that happen?” Young Markelov bit back sarcastically. “This has nothing to do with how quickly it’s growing. Time is the only reason for this. Unless time passes extremely quickly here, how else can such tree rings appear?”
They were only discussing this casually so no one paid much attention to what he had said, but Li Du was momentarily stunned by his words. He had a conjecture that Markelov might be right!
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