Gentle Beast 7

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Eric staggered back with alarm, "Leopard, leopard race?"

Because of dread, his antlers also trembled.

The weak are innately afraid of the strong, to say nothing of the many examples of leopards preying on deer every year. Even if the other was seemingly passive, the little leopard could not be underestimated.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu propped up the leopard's hind legs, trying not to not touch his would as much as possible, and paused to awkwardly explain, "He probably won't hurt anyone. . ."
Unfortunately, her hesitance was unable to even persuade herself.

On second thought, she had met the leopard three times. Twice she was guarded against him but nothing ever happened, and the third time he had even saved her.

He should not be dangerous, right?

Eric steadied his mind and summoned his courage to ask, "How can you be with it*?"

*Pretty sure everyone's familiar with how pronouns are used in Chinese, but I'm going to keep the "it" when Eric refers to the leopard to help signify just how uncomfortable he is.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu only just meet the leopard herself and saved him. But, she said it again with emphasis, trying to get Eric to change his opinion of the little leopard. "Two of the leopard race attacked me just now and he saved me."

However, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu had thought too simply.

The predatory relationship between carnivores and herbivores had existed for thousands of years, how could it change overnight?

Eric examined the leopard cub then looked at Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu and swallowed hard, "Do you intend to take it with you on the road?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu nodded and said frankly, "He was also separated from his race. I plan to help him find them."

Seeing Eric's panicked face, she thought for a moment and said considerately, "If you cannot accept it, we can split up."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought Eric would nod, because the fear on his face was very real.

Unexpectedly, he shook his head and said while staring at the little leopard, "No, I want to go with you. . . if things get dangerous, I can protect you."

It went without saying who "dangerous" referred to.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu could not refuse his good intentions so she went with him.

The time was not early, if they did not hurry, they might not even get past this mountain today.

Before Eric called out to her, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu had put the compass back into her bag.

Fortunately, she had already decided on a good direction and she could walk straight ahead.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu walked in front and Eric walked behind.

On the road, Eric paid close attention to the leopard at Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's chest. Whenever the cub moved, he would tense from antler to toe.

The leopard only raised his paw to scratch at his ears, and Eric recoiled several steps, his deer eyes full of caution.

The cub glanced at him in taciturn silence then lowered his paw and languidly yawned.

He did not even put Eric in his eye.

One person, one leopard, and one deer walked for over three hours and finally found a suitable cave around five in the afternoon.

The entrance was very low, and Eric's tall stature had to bend over to get in.

Inside was very spacious and the cavern was deep. There was nothing at all inside, and it didn't look like a bear's territory.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu calmed herself and went outside to move dry hay and spread it in the cave. She then set the leopard on top.

Eric was responsible for the fire and the flames rose high, the cave suddenly became much brighter. He did not stay idle and quickly turned to leave the cave.

A moment later, he came back with wild fruit. "There is not much to eat around here, I could only pick some fruit. Today, we'll just have to get by on this. If there are any mushrooms on the way tomorrow, we can bake some."

The little leopard opened his eyes and heaved out a breath though his nose.

Eric immediately looked towards him nervously.

The leopard rolled over and ignored him with disdain.

Herbivores never pursued anything. A little roasted mushrooms would satisfy them.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu did not take note of the violent undercurrent between the two beastmen and reached out to peel a fruit.

This fruit was ugly and bumpy on the outside, and Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu would not usually pick it, but after skinning it, the inside was white. Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu gently bit into it and the fragrant and sweet taste of coconut filled her mouth.

She thought it was pretty good, so she stripped another and turned to the leopard, "Will you eat?"

The leopard merely glanced at her then moved his gaze away.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu: ". . ."

Well, he was a carnivore.

Taking advantage of Eric falling asleep after dark, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu secretly took two cartons of milk from her space.

One carton was sliced open and placed in front of the leopard with a bag of jerky, and the other carton she took for herself.

This, the leopard did not refuse and promptly buried his face in the box to drink. The jerky was eaten clean.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu could not resist pinching his round ears, mumbling, "I didn't expect you to be so picky about food. . ."

The leopard's drooped his head and didn't resist.

Once he was done, she packed away the carton and threw it into a corner of her space before laying down to sleep.

But, unbeknownst to her, after laying down, the leopard in the corner slowly opened his eyes and turned to watch the girl's curled up sleeping posture.

Shortly afterward, he turned around and walked out of the cave.

*

Within the darkness, a nimble silhouette ran through the woods on flying feet.

Behind it, two figures of similar agility followed.

In the depths of the forest, Ryan stooped and turned to his back, "Rhode, Dole, who gave you permission to follow?"

His voice was indifferent and imposing.

Ever since Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu escaped with him, these two were following him the entire way.

Rhode stepped forward, eyes wide, and asked in incredulity, "Ryan? It's really you!"

Immediately followed, "How did you become like. . . this?"

"Like a demon," those three words, in the face of Ryan's expression, were quickly swallowed back down.

Ryan turned to look at them. He and they were different, and his form was that of a child's.

His four limbs were spotted in dark grey and just standing there casually, he had an innate leadership.

Because of this upright posture, Rhode and Dole were stupefied.

Ryan was originally very tall and a strong, adult leopard. Even when he turned into his beastman form, he was the strongest and most powerful member of the leopard race.

How could he become such a tiny thing?

Dole was the first to regain his composure and asked, "Leader, what is going on?"

The leopard race had tried to find him for three days but could not find any news whatsoever.

In light of Ryan's ability, he was either severely injured or dead, or deliberately not letting them find him. . . yesterday had ruled out the possibility of the first.

So he was deliberately evading the clan's efforts?

Dole looked at this "infant" Ryan with dark, probing eyes and asked, "Where have you been all this time? You're not going back to the race?"

Ryan's tone was flat as he told a half-truth, "Go look at the wolf race."

The stupid wolves thought he was dead and were already having a bonfire to celebrate.

Dole asked again, "Since you are alive, why didn't you let us know? The clan thinks you're dead. These few days, the clan has become very insecure and Laurence even encouraged everyone to select a new leader."

Dole looked him in the eye, "If you do not return, I fear there will be civil unrest."

The leopard race had never been docile animals capable of being controlled by another.

Ryan had become their leader because he had the absolute advantage.

Powerful, fierce, wise, and above all leopards, the entire race yielded to his command.

Because of this, Ryan could not let the clan know of his becoming smaller.

Including Rhode and Dole.

Yes, Ryan had been trapped in this tiny body since he was injured.

He could not return to his adult form, or take his humanoid shape.

At first, he thought it was because of the wolves. They were cunning and crafty, and often showed of tricks no fit to be seen.

However, he found out it had nothing to do with the wolf race.

The wolves were only luckily able to hurt one of his legs and the wound gradually began to heal, but he still could not change back to his original appearance.

Like he was confined to this form.

The leopard race were all very ambitious, and they were all dishonest. When he had his body, it was no problem.

If they were to find out he was stuck in this tiny form of a child, how could he return?

"I will not go back for the time being," Ryan said calmly.

Dole was surprised, "What did you say?"

The night was silent, leaving only Ryan's slow voice, "I have another thing to take care of right now."

There was a flash of while light at the entrance of the cave followed by a slender girl stepping outside.

The girl was holding a flashlight and shining it around, but could not see anything, so she called out gently, "Hey, where are you?"

The glaring beam swept towards the tree in front of Ryan and he stepped back, eyes fixed on the girl.

Rhode and Dole followed.

Rhode recognized in a glance that she was the girl from earlier that day, and he stared.

Dole withdrew his gaze, "Is this female that 'other thing'?"

Ryan did not deny it, "Is."

Earlier that morning, he had passed by the reindeer village and heard Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu talking to the patriarch. He knew she was headed for the east to find a turtle called Pat.

He had heard the turtle had lived for nearly eight hundred years and was very experienced and knowledgeable.

Perhaps enough to help him get his original body back.

Dole's complexion became queer as he obviously misunderstood something.

This girl's hair was not long and she looked like a minor. How could the leader fancy a thing like this?

Ryan did not explain, watching Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu walk a circle outside the cave then walk inside to waake the reindeer. He stood up and strode forward to go back.

"If you leave, what about the race?" Dole asked at last.

"Go back to them." Ryan threw the sentence at them then made several jumps, leaving Rhode and Dole behind, "Tell them that anyone who has the ability can take the leadership from me. If they have no skill, let them know the law of the jungle applies equally across all races."

At the edge of the forest, a girl and a deer were approaching then.

Eric seemed relieved and quickly placated Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, "Maybe it found the road boring and left. Maybe it went to find its tripe. Ōu, since it wanted to leave, let it go. . ."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu held the flashlight and did not know what to think.

Ryan's eyes light up as he lifted his injured leg.

When an animal was injured, the footsteps became uneven and the light step became more pronounced.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu heard the sound and followed it.

At the same time, Ryan lowered his body and jumped into Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's arms.

End Chapter 7 of 77

16 comments:

  1. Kyaannn~ He's so cute~ I can't imagine him being scary at all~~ .. and every type of felines and their cubs are my favorites, so *nosebleed*

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    1. I know right?! A person after my own heart. Baby anything gets me cooing, but baby felines? You'd better hope your eardrums are still intact after my squealing o(^w^)o

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  2. So much cuteness! I'm really liking this so far, and I'm super happy that it's a relatively short novel. :) Thank you for picking it up.

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    1. I'm glad you like it! You're very welcome. This is my first time translating, but it's been fun for me too. I think this was one of the best choices for a first time, hehe. Cute kitty, non-annoying female lead, whole new world, and all the animals a person could want! I cry when I think about how I'm supposed to select my next project T^T

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    2. *Quietly whispers at the translator's ear*... why don't you pick "I'm not shouldering this blame"? Or cultivating to become a great celestial?

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    3. Do you have a link to the raws? I'm kind of creating a pool of possibles for now, and I may kind of do a roulette type selection.

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

    So cute~ but bossy like a real cat
    I wonder if they still like to play with a ball of yarn even after their evolution

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  4. Is this the wizard of Oz? The girl thrown in another world, the heartless and the coward companion, looking for a way to solve their problems.....
    Aiyo! Such cute little boss~
    I want to take him home~
    Thanks for your hard work!

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    1. Tehehehe. Yep, yep. I actually never noticed that? And I wanna take him home too. (>w<)

      You're welcome, and thank you for reading!

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  5. YAY BEARS!

    Thank you very much for all your hard work! ! !

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    1. You're welcome! (I gotta do a better job at checking what the system thinks is a spam comment. . .)

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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