Chapter 155 – Bringing Your Boss for Extreme Trekking (Part 2) Marry Christmas 2020 from Mr and Mrs Mooncat!!
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Three vehicles traveled through a small off-road trail within a thick rainforest. Though it was early in the morning, very little sunshine penetrated through the thick foliage, making it seemed like it was still night time. All three vehicles lit up their path with high beams. The forest inhabitants scurried away in alarm as the vehicles zoomed through. This time, there was next to no obstacles barring their path along the way. They were like loud, intrusive monsters bulldozing their way through the darkened arboreal forest.
"Slow down! What was the rush? Aren't we on a leisurely excursion?" Miles complained as the occasional bumps nearly made him lose his balance. Miles had replaced Arash's spot at the moment due to Alan's insistence. Now, he had to travel uncomfortably with this guy known as Rob.
Rob was a tanned guy with slanted eyes. He had short slightly wavy black hair, although it was extremely unkempt. All those messiness was stuffed into a black cap full of grime and sweat. Miles wasn't too keen to be near someone who was as unhygienic as this. However, he still kept some semblance of politeness since this person was a professional in off-road adventuring.
"We need to reach the village by this evening; we've wasted too much time this morning. If we took too long, it could be night time. It'll be bad since there's so much things to carry later." Seeing the silver haired old man made a blank look, Rob asked back, "Oh? Mr. Arash didn't tell you guys? This is not just a leisurely excursion. We're here to send some humanitarian supplies to the aborigine village we befriended last time, the Bateq tribe. Mr. Arash funded everything from his own pocket." Respect could be seen reflected from Rob's eyes. A generous person, especially the one who was not rich, will always earn his respect deeply.
Rob wasn't sure what was the deal being struck between Mr. Arash and the village representative, Pak Jaya. But, he was very sure that the village reclusive elder, Tok Batin Silihan, really liked Arash a lot. That mysterious village elder didn't even look his way; thank goodness. He heard a lot of nasty stuff about the old man from Tanahan before.
"!!!" Miles turned to look at the professional tracker.
"You didn't know? Mr. Arash told me you guys are the additional helpers we need." Rob focused on the obscure trail ahead, missing the unbelievable stare given by the silver-haired butler.
Now, it's Miles turn to give a speechless look to Rob. He never knew they have been relegated as mere helpers now by the locals. He bet the Young Master didn't know this yet. Miles placed his palm over his head and started to massage his temples with his thumb and middle finger.
"Haha, you really didn't know?" Rob chuckled mirthfully after he took a glance at the old man. The silver-haired old man looked stressed out now, it was somewhat funny. It turned out Mr. Arash was quite nasty too, just like Tok Batin Silihan. No wonder they were so ngam1clicked well as in a kindred spirit with each other.
"Don't worry, since you're an elder, you don't have to carry anything. Just follow us. The eight of us can do the rest." Rob laughed lightly. He was quite amused by this situation. Would Mr. Arash dare to ask his own boss to carry rice bags over while trekking?
Due to the nice weather and the lack of obstruction along the way, Arash and co. were able to reach the end of the trail by afternoon. Everyone was in a good mood. Arash started passing boiled eggs to everyone as they rested under the shade of a humongous tree. They ate the eggs in two to three bites only, but felt grateful for the pleasant surprise. Afterward, they were even given mints to remove the bad breath from eating eggs. What thoughtfulness! Everyone gave Arash a thumbs up in their hearts, while their gaze towards Arash turned more amiable.
As usual, Alan has been treated like a 'prince' in the midst of his bodyguards. By now, Arash and his team of pro jungle-trekkers were immune to the spectacle already.
"Alright, from here on out, let's start trekking. It's not that far. Let's unload and carry all of them. If we left any of the foodstuff, I'm afraid the animals will be curious once we left the car, and they will start to rummage everything. Alan, could you lend me a hand? Uncle Miles, please rest at the side and leave all the tough job to young people like us." In one seating, our uncle blurted out a list of instructions to everyone including his own boss, while treating the elderly in a kindly manner. It was already in his habit to give special treatment to elders.
Miles couldn't help but feel only goodwill towards this proper lad. If only the Young Master was as compassionate as this. However, as a butler of the family, he couldn't rest while the Young Master did all the work.
"It's alright, this old bones are still very strong. I can carry something too. However, it is improper to let Mr. Alan carry stuff." Miles tried to stop the lad from earning the Young Master's displeasure. The Young Master had a platinum spoon all his life and would disdain being instructed by the common-folk.
"You heard him, Miles. Old people can rest and let us young ones do the job." Alan patted the old butler's shoulder as he walked past him towards the gray jeep. "What should I carry?"
Miles and the rest of the bodyguards were speechless with the Young Master's actions. They too, started helping out to unload many bags of rice. However, once they saw the number of 10kg rice bags and the prepacked meals within both jeeps, they started sweating.
"No wonder you are so thrifty with your spending. Without us joining today, how do you plan to proceed with carrying all these.. provisions?" Alan asked curiously. He too, was dumbfounded with how much his subordinate spent for these random aborigines. Obviously, he knew how much exactly his subordinate earned each month; basically, the company short-changed him quite a lot with his level of work and dedication. He heard, even when the Madam of the house was still around, she was a housewife. Hence, the whole family depended on Arash's income one hundred percent.
"Ah, this is just a little something. Just a small present to a really kind elderly who helped saved my life last time."
Rob rolled his eyes once he heard Arash's comment. Most probably, Arash was the only person who thought that the eccentric elder of the aborigine people as 'kind'. He didn't get the chance to tell Mr. Arash the hair-raising stories involving the Spirit Healer told by Tanahan before. Nonetheless, he bet that this kind client of his won't even believe him since Tok Batin Silihan was very partial towards Arash compared to his own people. It's like Arash was a long lost descendent or something.
"I don't usually get involved personally with humanitarian missions. I only subscribed for online contributions to different NGOs." Arash talked as he chuckled lightheartedly since it reminded him of the cranky yet funny old man with chicken nest hair over at the aborigine village. He somewhat missed Tok Silihan's antics.
"The people I hired back off once they knew they had to carry so much stuff to the village. If you guys didn't join us, I will ask Rob to trek first to the village and asked for the villagers' help later. Easy." He shrugged; it's just a small matter. They could definitely accommodate him, especially when they knew all these provisions were meant especially for Tok Silihan.
"Save your life? What happen?" Alan caught the first part first and was dumbfounded. He didn't hear anything about this from anyone at all. When did this happen?
"Oh, I had a fall from a nearby hill. Nearly died. The really nice elder came over and save me. Haha..." Arash explained simply as if he was talking about the weather, making the rest dumbstruck.
"He got lost around here two weeks ago. We spent a day and a night searching for him. Thank goodness, these kind Bateq people helped us a lot." Rob helpfully added. He too, was still amazed by the turn of events. Usually, if newbies in jungle trekking encountered such events in the first few excursions, they'll develop a deep trauma. They wouldn't dare to do anymore trekking excursions after that. At least not for the first few months or even years. But not for Mr. Arash, two weeks later, he was rearing to trek again to the same place. He was truly a wonder.
After a short pause of a whole minute from everyone around, Alan patted his subordinate's shoulder while feeling speechless, "You're really something, Arash. Great motivation."
The bashful uncle didn't say anything and changed the subject, "Let's start carrying all these, guys. I think we can do this. There are eight of us. One person carry three packs of rice each. There will be another four who will have to divide between them to carry the ready-to-eat meals. It's just around thirty to forty kilos of provisions."
Everyone, especially from Alan's side made an ugly expression.
"I'll double your pay, no worries. Just a little exercise." Arash quickly added to persuade the two other helpers who showed an unhappy expression. They were so buff, mere thirty kilos of provision shouldn't make them feel tired at all; Arash heard that the young'uns who hit the gym frequently could easily lift fifty kilos of weight. However, Arash failed to understand that the added thirty kilos needed to be borned during a three to four hours of hiking!
It will be a session of extreme trekking that will challenge their bodies intensely!
The uncle was already placing the second bag of rice on his shoulder when his boss called out. Alan had an exasperated look upon his face. He could never be easily moved at work. Today was the first time that Arash saw a few different expressions appearing on his boss' face. The proud stony face was making a mixture of worried and helpless look. Just this morning, he was smiling from ear-to-ear to Ai's antics.
"What is it, Boss Alan? Do you need help with anything?" Arash made a bewildered look. He could see that the whole group from his Boss' side didn't carry anything yet, though they did take part in carrying the foodstuff out of the jeeps.
"Give us some time to unpack. I have a bit of things to bring along too. Don't worry, we'll carry our share of things."
Arash was silent for a second. He honestly forgot that others might have to carry their own stuff too, including his own helpers. Now he was wondering whether he made the right decision to let his boss dismissed the other bodyguards.
The three bodyguards started to unload Alan's stuff efficiently.
A large 60-Liter hiking bag. This, Arash understood. He also brought a 50-Liter backpack at the moment. It was normal for kayangan people to have more things.
Four five-liter water bottles. At this point, Arash already sweated. With the added four five-liter bottles, how were they going to carry the rice bags?
Several metal beams... Correction, a lot of metal beams!
A large roll of white canvas tarp.
Several large rolls of loose cloth.
A small generator.
A 5-Liter bottle of diesel.
Insect repellent UV-light.
Extensive camping cooking utensils.
A ten-liter cooler box!
A bundle of LED string fairy lights!
A chandelier! A real chandelier! Arash, Rob, and the two other helpers were seriously speechless this time and made a blank face. O___O
"Wait, wait! Alan! What are these things for?! Are you really going to bring all these along?!"
For the first time ever, Alan blushed a little.
"I thought this was a simple excursion. Was hoping for a nice glamping session2glamor meets camping = glamping haha. A lot of vacation spot offers glamping session nowadays. We once went to Phuket to experience it. A camping feel, but with all the necessary facilities and splendor. Even the camp was decorated lavishly with rattan furniture inside, fairy lights, and a chandelier. It was really nice haha somewhere within the woods tonight. It was not wrong to be prepared. However, the extra things are Miles' fault. I only made sure we have an ample amount of food and water."
"Then, what are those?!" Arash pointed towards several large briefcases-like things. There were more than five over there!
Miles walked towards the briefcases and removed one of the hinges from one. The briefcase morphed into a camping table with attached four chairs in an instant!
Miles unhinged the second briefcase. That briefcase turned into a lounge chair cum bed with an extension to attach an umbrella!
Miles unhinged the third one, and it turned into a squarish holder with a hammock attached!
"Stop! Stop! No more! Uncle, please."
This time, Arash gave Alan a deep stare for one whole minute.
Alan sighed shortly after, "Alright, I'll ask Miles to trim off some stuff. We will carry all your things first. After all, it is for humanitarian purposes. I'm a big-hearted person. If there is additional space, we'll carry as much of our things together too."
Arash gave his Boss a thumb's up. "This is my Boss!"
1) Ngam = clicked well as in a kindred spirit
2) glamping session = quite a popular term nowadays; glamor meets camping = glamping haha. A lot of vacation spot offers glamping session nowadays. We once went to Phuket to experience it. A camping feel, but with all the necessary facilities and splendor. Even the camp was decorated lavishly with rattan furniture inside, fairy lights, and a chandelier. It was really nice haha