It was another hour before Li Du’s mind was almost clear again.
He and Sophie sat side by side on a stone, leaning on Ah Ow and Ali, who squatted behind. Ah Meow snuggled up in their arms and helped to keep both of them warm.
Ah Ow tried to move a little and Li Du said without any energy, “Don’t move, that’s a good kid, let Dad lean and rest for a while, OK?”
“Oww…” Ah Ow let out a muffled howl.
Steve staggered over. A bodyguard wanted to help him, but he waved the man away, relying on his own strength to walk to Li Du’s side.
“It’s a trap,” he said gloomily.
Li Du rubbed his face and said, “Damn, who was it that told me the villagers here are very reliable, kind and honest? They’re using some kind of damn hallucinogen on us!”
Brother Wolf explained the matter. They were set up by someone. What Li Du and the others saw was not real. The vision of tentacles pulling the man into the fog was all an illusion.
According to Brother Wolf’s guess, this kind of hallucinogen has strong volatile properties. It was spread in the car, so once the passengers traveled in the car for a while, the hallucinogen would begin to show its effect, and the afflicted people would have hallucinations.
Brother Wolf was the first to guess this. It occurred to him when Li Du asked why he did not see the tentacles while Li Du clearly did.
Brother Wolf really did not see it. Because of the fog, he could not see what was entangling the deer, but it certainly wasn’t the so-called red-eyed tentacle.
He wasn’t sure what was going on, so instead of speaking out, he observed the team.
He noticed that many people saw the tentacles, but some did not. He and a group of his comrades did not see them, and some of Steve’s and the Ford brothers’ bodyguards didn’t either.
He then asked the bodyguards if they had received anti-hallucination training while serving in the army, and he got a positive answer, so he knew what was going on.
In modern military interrogations, hallucinogens were a commonly used drug, so Special Forces and elite counterterrorism personnel received anti-hallucinogenic training programs as part of their counter-interrogation training.
The training was simple: they were given a constant dose of psychedelic drugs to make them eventually immune. This time, they got the same dose as everyone else but were not affected.
Li Du and the others were miserable. The hallucinogen affected all their sense organs. At first, they were irritable, and then gradually they would see an illusion and feel confused.
Brother Wolf was worried about what they would do when they were in this condition. After all, some of them had guns. Therefore, he teamed up with a group of people who were not affected and knocked everyone else unconscious or tied them up until the harmful effects had passed.
After dealing with the crowd, they made a pretense that the bodyguards got into a fight and ended up on the ground or in their cars.
In this case, the culprit has been following them from outside. Those who led them into this situation finally made their move. They entered the ambush that Brother Wolf set up. The gunfire that Li Du heard was Brother Wolf and the others fighting against them.
The hands under the table had been arrested, but not all were caught. Someone realized the situation was not good and fled. Brother Wolf and the others did not dare to chase after them because they had a group of unconscious people on their hands. Their main duty was to protect their boss.
However, after a fight, they still achieved something. They caught 15 people, who were now all tied up and thrown beside the swamp.
Brother Wolf went closer to check the identity of these people. There was the guide Andrey, and the “honest” villagers that helped them out the night before.
After listening to Li Du’s words, Steve said angrily, “It seems that we think too kindly of humankind. Damn, yesterday you wanted to give them supplies for free. Fortunately, I stopped you, or they would have made fools out of us.”
Li Du smiled wryly. “Maybe it’s because we didn’t give them the groceries in time? Maybe they’re just trying to get what they need, so they attacked us?”
Steve gave him a side glance and said, “So do you mean it’s my fault?”
Li Du said, “Don’t you have any responsibility for the incident today?”
Steve grumbled, “What responsibility do I have? Am I not warm, kind and charitable enough?”
Li Du said, “You are not educated enough. First, you should have found out all about the myths of the northern islands, such as the legend of the deep sea devil.”
Steve said, “There are legends, but it’s obviously not true. I told you from the beginning, there are some local legends of sea creatures and polar monsters…”
“You didn’t tell me,” Li Du interrupted.
Sophie said, “Ok, guys, be quiet. If I may ask, are the hallucinogens still working? What, are you going to quarrel again?”
Li Du and Steve both threw out their hands and quickly denied, “No, I’m awake.”
“I’m fine now. I’m joking with Li.”
Sophie smiled. “Oh, is it so? Good, then.”
There were several ways to get rid of the hallucinogen’s effect. The best way was to inject a specific antidote to neutralize it. However, they were in the wild and could not find something like that, so Brother Wolf and the others gave the simplest treatment they could come up with, water.
It worked, but it was too cold, and neither Li Du nor Steve wanted to go through it again.
With the fog still lingering, they decided to set up camp early. Most of them were suffering from the effects of the hallucinogen, and some had been beaten severely and sustained extensive injuries.
Firecracker arranged the bodyguards and the people who had awakened to set up the anti-frost tent and prepare lunch. Brother Wolf took Big Ivan to question the villagers they caught.
Li Du and Steve pulled out Andrey from the crowd. The three of them sat facing each other. Andrey lowered his head with a gloomy expression.
Steve took a deep breath and said, “So you weren’t eaten by the monster?”
The hoax was elaborate, and Andrey played an important role.
Hallucinations were susceptible to guidance. The reason why Li Du and the others believed they saw the tentacles of a giant squid was the guidance of Andrey. If they were not directed by Andrey, they might not have seen the same thing in their illusions.
In order to increase their fear of the deep-sea evil monster and increase their anxiety and panic, Andrey feigned being captured, making the existence of the deep-sea evil ghost monster seem more real so that the force of hallucinogens became more powerful.
He took the most credit for this, and Steve thought he was the mastermind.