Looking out through the gap in the curtain, Mu Qing saw that the chief was patting Li Mang on the shoulder with force.
Li Mang’s expression looked very respectful.
The chief motioned for Li Mang to leave.
Li Mang turned around and walked away.
Mu Qing felt that, before leaving, he seemed to have taken a glance in her direction.
Mu Qing cursed him in her heart.
Seeing that the chief was about to come in, she hurriedly moved and retreated, but her feet got hooked by the pile of ropes on the ground and she fell to the ground.
Mu Qing suddenly had an idea.
She didn’t know whether her idea would work or not.
But she had no other way, she could not afford to reflect on it any longer.
No matter what, it was better to try than to be forced, down on that greasy animal skin.
When the chief came in, he was startled for an instant.
Mu Qing was sitting on the ground by the torch, she had a rope winding around her hands and there was a smile on her face.
She knew she was not beautiful in the eyes of this group of people.
A beauty probably looked like that little plump girl she had seen today.
What they were feeling about her, was probably a feeling and reaction similar to when the people of the late Qing Dynasty saw for the first time foreign women with blond hair and green eyes, ample breasts and plump buttocks.
But now, she needed to seduce this man who made her feel very uncomfortable.
She kept under control her frenzy heartbeat, while she wore on her face a measured smile that would make people comfortable.
Her right hand deftly wrapped around her left fingers the thin rope she had just picked up, it looked clearly tangled, yet with a pull, the rope loosened around her hand, she then wrapped it around a few more turns, and with a finger flick, the rope was knotted.
This was a rope magic trick she had learned once occasionally, it was not difficult, it was a manipulation technique, but people who did not know about it would be puzzled and left wondering.
She repeated the movement again, before raising her head and looking up at the chief.
The chief was obviously fascinated, he walked to her side and squatted down, his eyes stared fixedly, with a very strange look on his face.
Mu Qing did it once more.
The chief took her hand and turned it over a few times.
He then looked at her and a series of words flew out of his mouth.
Mu Qing smiled faintly, she slowly repeated the movements to demonstrate to the chief, before handing him the rope.
The chief took it with a very interested look and tried to wind it himself.
Mu Qing taught him, he failed a few times, but in the end, he was able, just like her, to pull the rope off his fingers, and then tie a knot again with a flick of his finger.
A giggle came out of his throat, his attention had been completely captured by this strange game.
With his head down, he repeatedly winded and pulled the rope constantly, looking very happy.
Mu Qing stood up and took a thicker long rope, which she tied with a knot around the pillar.
In ancient times, when there was no writing, they used knotted rope to record events.
Chinese, Peruvian and Indians all had this practice.
Even in modern times, some ethnic groups without writing still used knotted rope to spread information.
Mu Qing did not believe that this group of indigenous people had their own writing, even though it was now the 21st century.
She betted that they would be interested in knots, not to mention that rope was probably a very important product for their livelihood.
In the past, her company arranged for the guides to take a field training course to visit a respected teacher, who was specialized in teaching tent knots and also taught some other, more common, sailor’s knots.
It was said that there were more than a hundred kinds of sailor knots, all with a specific name.
There were also many other very complex knots that no one even knew the names of.
She couldn’t learn so many of them, she had just learned a few common knots.
But by the looks of it, it was enough.
She first tied a bowline knot, and then a slip knot, then a dingxiang knot, a clove hitch knot, and then a moshui knot in the end.
(TL’s note : I know nothing about knots and wasn’t able to find the equivalent of all of them in English, so for some I just kept the pinyin)
As expected, the chief’s attention was once captured, he came closer to watch her tie the knots and then loosen them.
Mu Qing patiently taught him.
After teaching him more than a dozen times, the chief finally started to get the gist of it.
He squatted in front of the pillar and seriously, repeatedly, knotted the rope.
Just now, Mu Qing had deliberately led him to stand with his back to the animal skin door curtain.
He was very focused on tying knots, a few slurred sounds from time to time came from his throat, his mind was completely absorbed by the knotted rope.
Originally, Mu Qing had intended to take advantage of him being off-guard to hit him with a wooden stick on the back of his head and then escape.
But now, she had changed her mind.
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