As people who had lived in the desert for thousands of years, Bedouin people often had excellent memory and observation. The better the guide, the more so. It had been integrated into their blood as a survival instinct.
They could tell the difference between a dune and another dune, remember the shape of a date palm tree they'd seen two or three years ago, and even judge the age and sex of a camel from its footprints, as well as whether a man was riding it or not and how much it was carrying. They could guess where the camel had last eaten grass from its dung.
Since Nabari was the best guide in the tribe, it was reasonable to be excellent in both observation and memory. Otherwise, it would be a bit of an embarrassment to his name.
He said he had seen a cat like Fina, but his tone was not very sure. It was unusual unless it was seen in a very special situation or he had seen it a very long time ago.
Salem was also surprised. He had always believed in Uncle Nabari's abilities and said, "Uncle Nabari, please try your best to remember. Have you seen it before or not? Have you ever seen it before? Where did you see it?"
For an instant, Nabari's face shook with fear, and his body trembled as if this had evoked terrible memories.
"That was a long time ago, when I was your age." Nabari looked at Salem, but his eyes seemed to be looking at himself many years ago. "I followed my father into the desert and served as a guide to a group of people. As a result, I encountered a terrible Karaburan..."
It was his past that was unbearable to remember, and Nabari still had palpitations when he recalled it.
He had never seen such a terrible Karaburan in his life. At noon, he could see his own hand in front of him. The storm was so fierce that it could blow people away. The camels were panicked. They spent a lot of energy to pull the camels and keep them from running away, and then they let them lie down in a circle while they hid within the fence made by the camels, praying for the storm to pass quickly...Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
But the storm did not let them go so easily.
Not long after, they were horrified to realize that the sand had practically covered the camels that were lying down. If they waited any longer, all of them would be buried here.
In this case, they could only forcefully pull the camels up, without even caring about their goods, and head forward in the direction to leave the desert, based on their memories.
Even with the best guide, they still lost their way. The violent storms changed the landscape around them, countless dunes disappeared, and countless dunes emerged from the sky, moving like living beasts and masking all the familiar landmarks.
When the storm finally stopped, there were a lot fewer people on the team. They disappeared into the desert just like that, and no one saw them ever again.
That night, as they lit a bonfire and silently ate the little food left, young Nabari noticed that the edge of the fire lit up a few eyes. It was some kind of animal.
They clutched their weapons and stared in horror at the eyes, thinking that the devil in the desert was not willing to give up and had sent groups of jackals to reap their lives.
The animals came closer, and then they could see that the owners of the eyes were not ferocious jackals, but cats they had never seen before.
These cats were a bit scared of fire, but they were also very curious about firelight and these humans and kept walking at the edges of the light.
The remaining people in the team staved off their hunger by drinking urine and killing camels, and they finally walked out of the desert. By then, everyone was so thin they looked entirely different and had only half a breath left in them when they were saved.
Nabari, who had experienced the devastation, seemed to have matured at once and became a guide like his father. He traveled through the desert with tourists and science teams. He could calmly deal with any situation and never let anyone die in the desert. The worst situation could not be worse than that one.
He went into the desert countless times and lit bonfires at night. Sometimes the bonfires would attract other small animals, but he never saw those elfin-like cats again. He even doubted whether he had actually seen them that night.
Since he had not observed them closely for a long time, he could not be sure whether the cats were exactly the same as Fina. He only vaguely remembered that their fur was yellow as sand, with dark stripes and spots on their backs and limbs, long tails, and large ears. He could not remember the other details.
Zhang Zian understood that Bedouin people's observation and memory were well-known. It was a startling glimpse of a night twenty or thirty years ago of which he'd kept so many details in his memory.
Salem was very engrossed in listening and said in shock, "Uncle Nabari, you've never told me these things before…"
"Why would I tell you?" Nabari gave him a mild look. "You young people like big cities and are no longer interested in the legends of these deserts. You don't know about the desert, and you don't want to know about the desert. You just know a little bit, and yet you boast about it everywhere. You don't know the real danger and horror of the desert. If you young people encounter such a Karaburan, you will surely die in the desert."
Salem scratched his head sheepishly. "I was wrong in the past, Uncle Nabari. I'm very interested in the desert now. I'd like to learn everything about the desert from you..."
Anyway, it was all making money. He felt it was faster and easier to be a guide for the tourists and earn money, and he would also get the respect of tourists. It was much better than working in the city and getting eyes rolled at him all the time. It wasn't not too late to open a small shop in a big city and enjoy life when he made enough money.
Nabari seemed to see through his thoughts, smiled, and pointedly said, "People with impure minds will not be blessed by a true god when they enter the desert."
Zhang Zian also heard the chill coming from his back. He recalled Fina's contempt for the Harmattan wind because this sort of wind was not even scary in the desert at all.
Nevertheless, Nabari had experienced a nightmare twenty or thirty years ago. At that time, the level of science and technology was not so developed as today. This time, Wei Kang came with many high-tech instruments. Besides, a strong storm probably happened once a century. It seemed unnecessary to worry about it.
Most importantly, Wei Kang would be delighted to find the trace of the primitive Egyptian cat at last.
When the conversation between uncle and nephew came to an end, Zhang Zian interposed, "Nabari, do you remember where you met those cats?"
Nabari's frown became deeper. "At that time, I was still too young and very scared. I had walked out of the desert totally by stepping on my father's footprints, so I could only remember…"
He paused, and swallowed the second half of his words, shaking his head, not wanting to continue speaking.
"Then your father…" Zhang Zian looked around.
"He died," Nabari said.