Gentle Beast 8

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Having a weight suddenly jump into her arms, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu reflexively caught it and looked down, sighing in relief.
The little leopard was lying in her arms safe and sound, his eyes half closed and grey-black fur damp with dew.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu checked his rear leg and found the gauze intact and with no signs of the wound reopening.

She felt at ease and naturally scratched under his chin lightly, "Where did you go?"

She thought the two leopard beastmen from earlier that day had come to cause trouble and took him away.

Ryan did not speak and the dignity of the leopard race did not allow him to show a pleasant expression at having his chin scratched.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu saw his eyes were faint and thought he was unhappy, so she quickly took her hand away.

She had almost forgotten. No matter how harmless this leopard looked, his nature was vicious.

She was being too cocky.

While Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was reflecting on her behavior, Ryan tilted sideways and faced the direction of the wood, baring his teeth in a low growl.

Immediately, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu and Eric's attention was attracted towards the forest and they searched through the darkness.

Eric, holding a piece of firewood, took two steps forward and looked around but found nothing.

Rhode and Dole had left right after receiving Ryan's signal, so there was nothing  out of the ordinary to be found.

One human and one deer searched all around again. Having thought Ryan heard danger and ran outside, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu spoke to console him, "There is nothing here. Did you hear wrong? You should not worry, they will not find you here. Don't be afraid."

To not let a leopard be scared, Eric could not continue to listen.

It was still far from early, so Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu checked her wristwatch. It was half past ten.

This had to be the benefit of crossing worlds, being able to sleep early everyday.

Once the sky was black, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu had nothing to do and could only close her eyes and go to sleep.

She did not know if she had not had enough sleep before, but now Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought her skin and mental condition was significantly better than before she crossed over.

To speak of her skin was nothing, these days she had only been washing with water but did not feel dry or greasy all day.

As for her state of mind, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was previously only capable of taking things from her space through her backpack. This morning, though, she found she could take a piece of chocolate directly from the space. It was no longer limited to her small bag.

This appeared to be related to her psychological state. She had slept very well last night and even woke up feeling refreshed in the morning.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu decided to try and get a good night's sleep to see if there would be any new discoveries the next morning.

However, after daybreak, there was no change and her space was still the same as the day before.

This disappointed her a little.

But at the same time, she began to speculate. Was it only after accumulating a certain amount of sleep time that her space would trigger "new abilities"?

Eric had already picking wild fruits and fresh mushrooms from outside. He thought about Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu while expertly roasting the mushrooms.

Eric took salt and pepper from home, and he sprinkled them on the mushrooms as they were coming off the fire, delicious and crisp.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu originally hadn't known the baked mushrooms to be so delicious. For the time being, she forgot about the space and ate four or five in the space of a single breath.

Eric smiled and said, "Later, I can give you roasted corn and eggplant which are delicious."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thanked him and saw the leopard lying still at the side. Worried about him going hungry during the day, she put a baked mushroom on the ground before his shiny eyes and clearly stated, "Eat it. It's delicious."

Ryan opened his eyes and looked at the roasted mushroom on the ground, his expression lacking enthusiasm.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu thought he would not eat. However, he thought about it for awhile then exasperatingly slowly stood up and pulled the roasted mushroom in his mouth.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu immediately gave him another.

The leopard's expression wrinkled. He was not very interested, but he still ate them.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu discovered that it appeared in the new world, the leopards could not only eat meat but some roasted mushroom.

She fed him a series of five and next to her, Eric was stunned. Since when could the leopard race be so docile and obedient?


*

After breakfast, they left the cave.

It may have been due to the terrain being too low, but they walked all morning and Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu did not see a hint of the beastmen race.

The only group they encountered was one of hedgehogs who were carrying supplies.

The hedgehogs had not yet evolved into a human shape, and they had thick barbs on their backs pricked with nuts, mushrooms and insects that looked like food for winter.

Noticing that Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was staring at them, the hedgehogs carried their things faster and soon hid in the bushes.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu tilted her head and looked around the trees then looked up at the sky overhead.

It had only just become autumn, and they were already reserving the winter supplies?

"Ōu, what are you looking at?" Eric couldn't help but ask when he turned around and saw Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu still standing in place.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, holding Ryan, hurried to catch up with him and asked, "Eric, can't the hedgehogs take human form?"

Eric walked while talking, "No, they. . ." He had hardly begun when his antlers suddenly got caught on a vine and he had to stop and devote himself to fighting them. "Not all animals can become humanoid. Some animals have this awareness and respect, and when they desire approaching humans, they will be bent in this direction to evolve. After all, despite humans going extinct, their brains were extraordinary. An animal needs not only a strong physique but also a brain that can think independently in order to survive on this continent."

Unexpectedly, it was because of this kind of thing.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's eyes drooped down, not saying a word.

Although it may different from the world where human beings lived hundreds of years ago, as she knew that there was no place in the 21st century called the Bornia* continent, but she still felt a bit sad.

*I mistakenly removed the name of this a few chapters ago, when the Patriarch was talking to her, because it didn't make sense in context, but I will go back and edit it in, because that is apparently the actual name of the continent here.

This meant that she was the only human being on the entire continent.

She had no race, there was no one else like her.

"Ōu, can you help me?" Eric's anxious voice interrupted Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's thoughts.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu looked up and did not know how but Eric's antlers were tangled together with vines. His posture was strange, body twisted over, and his funny expression made Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu smile.

She did not think about it much and took the Swiss Army knife from her pocket. She grabbed the vines, sharply swung the blade a few seconds, and pulled Eric out.

The vines grew with barbed tips and when Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu did not watch, a barb was stabbed into her finger.

Eric glanced at the knife in her hand and his desire to speak disappeared.

Turning his line of sight, he caught sight of her fingertip overflowing with blood, and he said with chagrin, "Blame me, I ought to pay more attention when walking."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu shook her head, "It does not matter, it's just a little cut."

Probably because her parents were not at her side, when she came here, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu became a lot stronger.

The last time, her forehead was injured and the soles of her feet hurt, but she was only sad for a little while.

When she was at home, whenever her toes hit a table leg, and she wouldn't be able to help crying out in pain.

Thinking of home, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu became a little absentminded.

She did not notice the changes in the leopard she held in her arms.

The sweet scent of blood, so close in proximity, was a deadly temptation for a meat-eating animal, especially for one that hadn't eaten raw meat for days.

Ryan's expression grew darker and darker, and he licked his teeth, trying to suppress his own nature.

The girl's blood was sweet and smelled different from the grass-fed animals.

Clean and sweet, like the first nectar that he encountered as his throat was running dry.

Ryan's throat rolled. Afraid that he could not help himself, he jumped down from Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's arms without warning and went to the front.

*

"Where are you going?" Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu stepped forward to ask closely.

However, just as she took a step, she felt something cold falling on her cheek.

She was surprised for a moment and stopped, raising her hand to touch her cheek. There was a drop of water.

It was raining?

This was her first thought.

However, looking up at the sky, the weather was clear and the clouds were calm. It did not look like it was going to rain.

After a while, one after another, white specks fell from the sky and they were numerous. Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu discovered it was snowing.

Snowflakes fell on her back and before she could see clearly, they were melted.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu felt astonished. How could it be snowing? She did not feel the cold at all, and even if snow fell in autumn, there should of been a sign, shouldn't there?

Compared with Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's surprise, Eric's face became very imposing.

At the first snowflake, he climbed up a huge tree and looked into the distance, observing the reaction of lesser animals around them. Then he jumped down and told Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, "The storm is coming. We need to find a place to hide quickly."

In just five minutes, the snow was getting bigger and bigger, covering Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's cheeks and the traces of chill seeped into her skin.

The temperature dropped suddenly.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu could not understand the situation but followed Eric from behind, "What's going on? Isn't it autumn, why is it snowing?"

Eric walked forward while explaining, "After the snowstorm, it's winter."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu: ". . ."

Wasn't it after winter began there would be a blizzard?

What is this kind of argument about inverting the root and branch?

She was full of doubts and wanted to ask what happened, but looking at Eric's solemn face, she had to temporarily press down the question at hand.

Near the jungle's low lying terrain, there was no other race and it was hard to find a place to escape the snowstorm.

Eric knew that if they did not find a safe place soon, they would be buried by the sudden blizzard.

At this time, the races were ready for the winter well in advance. This time, he had left alone and completely forgot about it.

Erc was annoyed at himself while walking to the pick of the mountain.

Snowflakes were fluttering in the wind, confusing their line of sight.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu narrowed her eyes and held Ryan tightly behind Eric.

About fifteen minutes later, the snow had paved a white layer on the ground.

The wind was also growing bigger and bigger, and Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu almost could not keep a steady pace.

Finally, Eric found a dark hole in one of the many trees. He went in first to explore the inside. The tree was ice cold and the leaves were dead and messy, unlike most bear's signs of habitation.

Eric called Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu to come inside, "We should stay here and wait for the snowstorm to stop."

The wind whistled outside the tree and he had to speak in a loud voice.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was wearing only a thin baseball jacket and a vest underneath. It was not warm and her whole body was frozen stiff.

She tensed her jaw and nodded in agreement.

Eric looked around and there was nothing to make a fire except the leaves, "I will go out to get some dry firewood. I'm afraid the snow will last for several days, and we will freeze to death without fire. Ōu, wait for me here, I will be back soon."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu did not try to be brave this time. Eric had warm fur and she only had a thin jacket. She had nothing to help him with and would actually only give him trouble.

Eric walked into the wind and snow. Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, holding Ryan, shrunk in the corner.

Despite the fact that most of the wind was blocked outside the tree, a small still curled in with the snow, making her shiver with cold.

At this time, she refused to think about being found out to be human. Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu removed blankets from her space and tightly wrapped herself and the little leopard up.

Ryan was tightly wrapped up with Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, but his dark blue eyes were looking out the entrance.

Neither panicked like Eric nor dazed like Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu.

One human and one leopard waited for about half an hour but did not see Eric coming back.

Wind and snow raged outside, and she could not see the surrounding environment leaving only a vast expanse of white.

Eric still did not come back in another half an hour.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu felt somewhat faint with worry. Where had he gone to look for dry firewood? What took him so long?

Worried that Eric was in an accident, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu untied the blankets and covered Ryan's body, then walked out of the cave.

At the mouth of the cave, she discovered that the layer of snow outside had accumulated to almost past her calf.

She was shocked. With so much snow, Eric wouldn't be buried right?

She was just about to go out to look and saw a shadow of a figure coming in the distance.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu could not see his face, only the stature of his body, and it was strong, rather similar to Eric.

She thought Eric was back, and without waiting for the other party to approach, she immediately said, "Eric, how do you. . ."

The words became caught in her mouth and she swallowed them back down.

The other's limbs were stout, and he was wearing a deerskin vest. His arms and chest were covered in hair. He had dark eyes and his mouth was protruding slightly outward.

Once at the entrance of the cave, his huge body sealed the entire hole.

This was not Eric, clearly a member of the brown bear race.

End Chapter 8 of 77

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8 comments:

  1. YAY BEARS!

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

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

    Feed the kitty more mushroom! He's hungry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, and I don't think he likes those. . . But his reluctance is adorable, so feed him more anyway!

      Delete