being yanked off the vines and slithering on the ground.
On the other hand, Ah Meng looked thrilled as it ran off after picking up a snake. The
snake opened its mouth to bit Ah Meng, but Ah Meng turned back to bit it first. Then it
chewed on the snake, tearing it into pieces before swallowing it down one bit at a time…
Honey badgers were experts at dealing with poisonous snakes. Li Du was considering
whether he should bring an entire shipload of honey badgers from Africa to the island to
deal with the snakes.
Of course, that was just his wishful thinking. The Australian customs would not allow so
many honey badgers to enter the island. After all, the country was the greatest victim of
However, honey badgers were indeed good for dealing with poisonous snakes. After
finishing off two sea snakes, a large and a small one, Ah Meng was very full. Ah Meow
did not let off any of the snakes it caught, either. It trapped them and bit them to death.
While wrestling the poisonous snakes, Ah Meng had suffered a few bites. It then walked
drowsily for a couple of steps, like a drunk. When it was back at Li Du's feet, it laid
Li Du looked carefully and it seemed like Ah Meng was fine. It had simply fallen asleep.
That was just like the first time he had picked up Ah Meng. The little animal was soundly
asleep. No matter what he did to wake it up, it would not react, just like a drunkard who
had too much to drink.
Suddenly, it dawned on Li Du that perhaps the first time he had picked up Ah Meng, the
honey badger had fought with a poisonous snake in the bushes and had become
drowsy from the poison.
Li Du and Brother Wolf then went on to look for the sapphire grapes, but Li Du's mother
was worried. She said, "Forget it, forget it, let's not have grapes. Anyway, those grapes
do not belong to us."
They do belong to us, Li Du thought to himself silently.
With Ah Meow guarding the vines, there was no need to worry about the poisonous
snakes. Ah Meow was bursting with energy and was quicker than the sea snakes.
Besides, it had very good eyesight and could spot the poisonous snakes in a moment.
Even if it was bitten by a sea snake, Li Du was not afraid. He had made all the
preparations he could, including bringing along all sorts of serums and antidotes that
were meant to deal with snake poison.
The amount of wild grapes was huge. It spanned over a large area, spreading far and
wide, and totaling up to dozens of hectares. Li Du thought that he would be able to
develop the wine business on the island in the future.
Although few of the sapphire grapes were ripe, they still found some that were ready to
Picking the grapes, Brother Wolf asked, "Boss, do you have any interest in growing a
new strain of grapes? Look, these wild grapes have a different way of growing."
"What is different about them?" Li Du asked, surprised.
Brother Wolf said, "They do not follow the seasons. Normally, there should not be any
ripe grapes at this time of year."
Nowadays, many wineries in the world were cultivating all-seasonal grapes, not for
eating, but to make the plants more resistant to cold. The greater the temperature
difference, the more sugar content the grapes could accumulate.
Li Du shook his head. "I should focus on getting the opals."
He did not quite understand what Brother Wolf was talking about and did not feel
confident enough to venture into something new.
That night, they had some fruit to eat as they had brought back some of the sapphire
grapes with them. Li Du's parents decided to brew wine with the rest of the grapes that
they had left.
The wine from Li Du's hometown was different from the kind that Western people
commonly drank. It was neither red nor white wine and the winemakers did not remove
the sugar. Instead, they made sure that the wine would contain sugar. It was simply
fermented grape juice.
That kind of wine was just like a regular beverage. Unless the fermentation was
especially prolonged, the alcohol content was low. Back in Li Du's hometown, even
ladies would take a few glasses before their meals.
Their tent had been set up by the sea and Li Du was all ready to get a good night's
sleep, hugging Sophie on his left and Ah Meow, Ah Ow and the rest on his right.
That was the first time he spent the night on Seagull Island after he purchased it. It felt
Li Du had not acquired any property before and did not have much real estate in his
name. That was his first property and he had paid it off in one lump sum. It belonged to
him fair and square, and now, being on the land he owned, he felt that his purchase was
Shortly after he got into his sleeping bag, Brother Wolf came over to call him up, saying
that Steve was calling from Antarctica. He had called the satellite phone on the yacht.
Li Du went over to pick up the phone, and the call quality was much better than
"Hi, Li, where are you? You said you were in Australia, right?"
Li Du said, "That's right. I am now on an island outside of Tasmania. Steve, are you
really in Antarctica? What are you doing there?"
Steve's cheery voice rang out, "Weren't we planning to go to the Arctic after the spring?
I'm in Antarctica to get a similar experience, to prepare myself."
The environment at the Antarctic was harsher than at the Arctic. Hearing Steve's words,
Li Du could not help but feel nervous.
However, Steve was only joking. He explained, "I'm searching for a few things in
Antarctica. You know, Antarctica is at its warmest now. It's the light season. If you want
to go there, this is the best time.!
The four seasons did not exist in Antarctica. It was, comparatively, either the warm or
cold season. The Antarctic summer would last from November to March, and it was the
best season for tourism or science expeditions.
Li Du was now relatively close to Antarctica. Of course, that was not too near, either.
The southern tip of Australia was two thousand kilometers away from the Antarctic
However, after Steve verified Li Du's location, he urged Li Du to visit Antarctica. "Come
out here for a tour, buddy. You're so close. I will arrange for a plane to fetch you. You
could bring Sophie along. This icy, snowy environment is perfect for couples."
Li Du himself had no interest in Antarctica. However, he thought about Sophie and felt
that perhaps it would be good to go together with her.
As he was hesitating, Steve quickly made the arrangements for him. Over the phone, Li
Du could hear Steve shouting, "Take the plane to Hobart airport and bring two people
It seemed that he would not be able to reject the offer. The plane was already preparing
to take off.
Li Du asked with concern, "Buddy, is it okay to take a plane to Antarctica? What if
there's a blizzard?"
"There shouldn't be, according to the weather forecast. For the next few days, the
weather is supposed to be great. We should believe in science, right?"
"There would be no problem taking a plane in good weather. Some travel companies
even include low-flying as part of the itinerary in the warm season."
Hearing the confidence in Steve's words, Li Du decided to trust him and take the ship to
The nearest continent to Antarctica was South America. The two continents were
separated by the Drake Passage, but if one wanted to reach the east coast of
Antarctica, Hobart would be closer.
That was convenient, as Steve was at the Eastern part of Antarctica, at Wilkes. That
was a huge area covered with ice. Hardly anyone had gone there in many years. In
addition, no inspection stops from any country were set up there. Li Du had no idea
what they would do there.
When they arrived at Hobart, Steve's plane had already landed there. It was a modified
commercial aircraft. The American government's logo was stamped on it and it was
designed to fly in harsh weather.
Once they met the pilot, he passed them a small notebook with a list of necessities.
Some of those items were available on the plane, and others Li Du would have to buy in
Hobart before his journey.