Gentle Beast 10

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Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu though about the scene from the night before, the brown bear had fell sleep leaving only an emptied glass jaw of honey.

Did that bear steal her backpack?

Realizing this, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu quickly closed her eyes to examine her space.

Fortunately, everything else was still in the space.

Only the things she had left in her backpack for easy access—the compass, flashlight and cellphone—were missing.

Although she could now directly access the space without having to go through her backpack, the cellphone was her only contact in the other world, the compass was to identify direction, and the flashlight was used to illuminate the night. Each was very important.

What was that bear doing with her bag?

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu remained puzzled, looking towards the entrance of the cave.

The snowstorm was over, revealing the circumstances of the outside world.

The whole forest was covered in a layer of white, a thick pile of snow had accumulated on the tree, and the snow had even broken some branches.

Silver and white adorned everything in sight, the snow boundless.

The snow had yet to stop and cold wind floated snowflakes into the cave, making her tremble all over from cold.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu ate two pieces of chocolate to supplement heat but also took a men's windbreaker from the space to drape over her. The large coat was a bit wide on her and almost reached her ankles, but it wrapped around her entire body and blocked most of the cold.

Because their trip was during autumn, only a few of the class had brought thicker clothes. This coat belonged to Liù Qí Chāng.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu had also asked, "What's with the windbreaker, is it really necessary?"

Liù Qí Chāng, while reading a book, faintly replied, "The mountains are cold at night, just in case."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu now thought it was necessary, very necessary.

At her side, the little leopard's voice interrupted her train of thought.

She did not know when he had woken up and walked over to her. But he had his two forelegs on her feet and was lifting his head to look at her with faint blue eyes.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought he was hungry, considered it no more, and directly pulled a carton of milk from her space. She took out a pair of scissors and cut it open to place in front of him.

After finishing this series of actions, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's movement became rigid, realizing that she had just done something wrong.

Just now, she didn't have her backpack to cover it up??

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu: ". . ."*

*I seriously like to think of these moments as her deadpanning with those anime-lines on her face, like "oh sh*t, did that just happen?"

Although she was not as cautious in front of the leopard as she was with Eric, she still deliberately hid everything in her backpack and didn't take things out from her space brazenly.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's huge, black and white, eyes were staring nervously at the little leopard. He wouldn't notice that, right?

Ryan was also attentively staring at her, his eyes never turning from her.

For a long time, he slowly turned to continue staring, but at the carton of milk instead.

He abruptly turned to the entrance of the cave and jumped, his hind leg kicking the carton all over the ground.

"Pa——"*

*This is supposedly "Ai", an interjection of regret/disapproval but I figured this would work better for this sound.

The milk splashed all over the place and half splattered onto Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's shoes.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was a little annoyed. Did he find something wrong with?

But, she did not mean to scare it. . .

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu watched the milk slowly seep into the ground, a little distressed.

Her space was limited in supplies, and milk was so precious in this place that she could not bear to drink it herself. But she had given it to him for him to heal as soon as possible.

How could he not appreciate it?

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu advanced and pinched the leopard's two round ears, squished his cheeks, and said, "How can you waste food? Do you know where these things come from? You do not have it here, and I brought it with me . ."

She chattered on: "The next time you waste your food, I will not give you anything to eat or take you on the road."

It was said in the tone of a cat teasing a dog.

Ryan watched the girl's glossy eyes, her collar was covered by the windbreaker, exposing only a small face, her cheeks white with cold and slightly red.

"Did you hear me?" Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu asked.

Ryan moved his gaze away, his claws unconsciously scratching at the ground, but did not respond.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu wanted to say something more, but suddenly heard a voice.

Because of the heavy snow and wind, it wasn't very clear——

"Ōu. . . Ōu. . ."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's eyes opened wide and she looked into the distance.

In the fast expanse of white, a wooden cart came plowing through the snow, a muscular reindeer running in the front splashing snowflakes all over.

The reindeer quickly pulled the cart to the front of the cave and a familiar voice sounded, "Ōu, are you alright?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was pleasantly surprised, "Eric?"

*

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu drew Ryan to sit on the cart and covered Eric with the goose down blanket, curiously asking. "Eric, where did you go yesterday? Why didn't you come back? We were waiting the entire night, I though. . ."

Eric ran along the snow as he said guiltily, "I'm sorry, Ōu. I was looking for firewood but the snow got too heavy and quickly buried me under it. My friend Ruth saved me, but I was drowsy all night. . . I'm sorry I'm so late to pick you up," he apologized again.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu learned he was buried by the snow and asked him how he was, but he said, "The deer race is very strong. This amount of snow is nothing."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought about what he just said and asked, "Who is your friend?"

Eric shouted back, "He's called Ruth. He lives in the Ferris village. He is of the bear race."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought about last night with the capriciousness of the brown bear race and instinctively felt a bit scared.

Eric sensed her dread and comforted, "Ruth is very gentle and kind. Don't be afraid, he will be very friendly to you."

They soon arrived at the Ferris village.

Before reaching the village, she saw all kinds of beastmen coming and going.

A study bear beastman, a snake man with a coiling tail gliding alone, a butterfly with moon colored wings on his back. . .

Despite Eric just describing the village where many races lived together, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was still surprised when she saw it with her own eyes.

Further still, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was amazed to find there were not just herbivorous species around. There were also carnivores?

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu saw a lion beastman walked past, and she gaped.

"Eric, you. . . are you not afraid?"

Eric shifted into his humanoid shape and walked to her side, "This is a peaceful village. The grass-eating and meat-eating races have reached a consensus coexist peacefully. Disputes rarely happen here, and if a carnivorous race was to act recklessly, they would cause public outrage."

Unexpectedly. . . there was such a place?

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu remained shocked, holding onto the little leopard, and she followed behind to enter the village.

Walking for a while, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu felt that something was fishy and she asked Eric, "Why are most beastmen male?"

Eric spoke doubtfully, "Your race's patriarch did not explain? . . . Whether it is the deer or the bear or any of the other races, the females are very frail. After all the changes to the continent, females became rare and much more precious." Then, Eric said with an ordinary expression, "In order to continue the race, some clans have females mate with a number of males frequently."

Eric's nature was that of the beast, in his eyes, this was rather normal.

But, it sounded very awkward in Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's ear. No wonder she had not seen any female beastmen.

When she was in Eric's village, all she saw were male reindeer.

The Ferris village had low wooden houses on either side and occasionally one or two stone houses.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu could see huts placed in front arranged like vendor's boothes. Some had odd items, others had bows and arrows, axes, rattan mats and fire mirrors. . .

"Ferris village is the most prosperous on the Bornia mainland. One of the people here invented a boat. The ferry leaves everyday to various villages." Eric said while he walked, "Ōu, there's a boat going to the Elk village tomorrow afternoon, and I intend to take it. The ship is heading east, would you like to come with me?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought for a moment, then nodded, hearing lively voices from up ahead.

Several beastmen surrounded a booth and they were intensely discussing something.

"What is this?"

"It's hard and isn't warm, and there's a thorn. . ."

"What can this one do? How much corn can you put in it?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu subconsciously looked over at the beastmen and caught sight of a red corner.

Her heart stopped. She didn't bother replying to Eric and walked to the front.

Most of the beastmen were tall, and she was small. Bending over, she held the leopard close and easily made her way to the front.

Looking up, there in the middle was her red backpack, the zipper wide open and inside was the compass, flashlight and cellphone set up side by side.

End Chapter 10 of 77

9 comments:

  1. Meatbun Delivery~
    Thank you for the chapter ( ●w●)

    I know that she use the flashlight and compas pretty often.. but why her cellphone is still there? Also, since he has everybody on the bus's belonging does their phones not included as well?

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    Replies
    1. From the sound of it, she keeps the flashlight because of light, the compass for direction, and the cellphone because she might find her way back and it's her only form of communication.

      You'll get your answer to the second question in the upcoming chapters~ Her space is a mysterious thing. Fufu.

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  2. Thank you very much for the chapters. Sounds like a sweet story. I'll definitely keep on reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm glad to have you on board, thank you for reading!

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