Gentle Beast 23

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修 - Repair

The panther was tall, taller than the threshold of the cabin, but he leaned over to peer at Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu with bright yellow eyes.

From this angle, she could only see his slim chin and his facial features were hidden by back light, his posture tense with accumulated power.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu held her head high, her smile not slipping away, but her eyes wet with surprise.

Shortly after, she hesitated to ask, "May I ask. . . who are you looking for?"

The panther turned his gaze and didn't reply to her words, stepping into the house on his two long legs.

The house was small and could be seen in a single glance. Behind the shabby wooden table was a humble bed with many colorful "blankets" on the bed. A beech cabinet stood by the bedside, and a few chipped pottery pots and bowls were stacked inside.

Aside from this, there was nothing else.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu followed after him, but there wasn't enough time to stop him, "Who are you looking for?"

"Where's Ryan?" the panther's throat rolled downward, his voice cold and monotonous.

". . ."

This was the second time since Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu came to this world that she heard that name.

The last time, it was at Eric's village, there the two leopards took her without explanation and questioned her on the whereabouts of some Ryan.

She had no idea who "Ryan" was, why would they ask her about his location?

Was it possible that. . . the former owner of this house was called Ryan?

This actually explained why the house was abandoned.

Aware of this issue, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu quickly explained, "I don't know where he is. . . I found this house yesterday, and the people here were already gone. If he was the owner, I'm sorry I used his house without permission. Are you his friend? If you see him, can you help pass on . . ."

The girl chattered on endlessly.

The panther dropped his gaze for the first time since the door to look at her.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu wore a loose autumn sweater and it was loose on her, so it hung off a shoulder, like a child wearing her parent's clothes.

She hid her two hands in the sleeves, exposing only the tips of her fingers where they pinched the hem of her clothes, feeling ill at ease.

The panther shifted his line of sight slightly from Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's pretty face, but did not acknowledge her remarks, neither admitting or denying anything.

Not only was his voice cold, but so were his eyes.

His gaze fell on Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's body and she felt a frosty chill up her spine.

"Who do you live with?" he spoke again, plainly and straightforwardly.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu stared blankly, but she still thought this was someone else's property. And to take liberty to stay in someone else's house, she ought to have some kind of explanation, so she said, "No one, just me."

She paused, thinking that Táo Táo couldn't be considered human, right. . . ?

The panther didn't speak again, but he also didn't leave.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu stood at the door, hesitating for a moment with her hands behind her back, "Forgive me taking the liberty to ask. . . but who are you?"

He paused, yellow pupils reflecting Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu silhouette.

After a while, he said without shifting his tone either up or down, "Laurence."

Having said that, he retracted his gaze and left without another word.

"Wait a minute. . ." Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu quickly called out to stop him, standing on the doorstep, looking after his distant figure, "May I continue to stay here?"

Laurence's footsteps didn't stop and he did not give her any response.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu: ". . ."

This guy was so strange.

Appeared inexplicably and went inexplicably.

*

After the panther beastman left, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu returned to the room and discovered the little leopard wasn't in the bed.

It went over to the window for a moment, then jumped over to crouch by the fireplace, staring profoundly at the doorway.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu did not take it to heart, and around 8:30, Eric appeared in the door with his tools.

He brought a stone axe and hammer, some room and several other tools.

"Ōu, I'll help build a cabin next to this hut, and a stove so you can cook in it and water will be much easier than now," Eric enthusiastically planned.

If this was still yesterday, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu would have been very happy to hear it, but now, she thoguht of the morning encounter with the panther and said to Eric.

". . . I am worried the other of this cabin will come back at any time, and he might be angry if we changed the house at will. Forget it. . . Eric, thanks for your kindness, but I can cook and boil water here."

Even though she was staying in this cabin, she hadn't greeted the owner. . .

Eric listened, his focus on an entirely different point from Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's, "The owner of this hut is a leopard?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu nodded. That person looked like a panther, and his friend Ryan. . . should be a leopard, right?

Eric was visibly frightened and when he looked at the cabin, there was something a bit wrong with his eyes.

He stopped mentioning the kitchen and began to repair the desk, door and floor without distraction.

The table and door were not very good and the door had started to rot from the inside, so it was fragile to the touch.

He had no choice but to replace it with new planks.

Eric took the stone axe out back in the forest and cut down a few trees. He was strong and his arms easily hefted the heavy axe. He soon cut down seven or eight pieces of wood.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu watched on from the side, wanting to help but unable. She finally picked up the broken branches falling to the ground and took it back to be burned.

Eric compared the size of the door frame with the table and made two square-shaped planks in one morning.

Without lamination, there was no way to stitch the planks together without a trace, but Eric used the simplest method of connecting them with ropes. Four grooves were cut into the boards and the four legs of the table were fitted into them. The other plank were put together in the form of two slot and tab structures, then mounted into the frame.

Having tried them separately, they were both very strong.

At noon, they ate the corn cakes that Eric brought with him.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu could not take the stove and gas cans out in front of Eric, and there was no stove. . . of course, even if there had been one, she might not have been able to use it.

After lunch, Eric began to repair the floor.

There were two holes, one under the bed and the other beside the fireplace.

The hole under the bed was small, and not even an hour later, Eric had changed out the wood and there wasn't a trace of difference.

As for the other place. . . Eric looked down at the motionless leopard lying next to it, unsure whether he was asleep or not.

"Cough. . ." Eric stood a distance away and cautiously coughed.

He did not dare move forward, even more afraid to ask it to move elsewhere. . . especially after having seen Ryan's true colors.

Ryan continued to lie still, even his expression not giving a twitch.

*

Ryan was thinking about something else.

Yesterday, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu shut him into her space again, and as he expected, that exhausted feeling hit him fast.

It wasn't long before he fell unconscious.

But, unlike expected, he didn't return to his adult form.

——Instead, the wounds on his back leg rapidly healed.

Although the beastmen body was strong, it wasn't as Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu had guessed. They could only small internal injuries.

So the source of this rapid growth could only be Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's space.

Ryan deliberately observed yesterday, and found that there were many fresh ingredients such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables in that space.

If he wasn't mistaken, they had been stored inside for a long time.

They probably hadn't rotted because the time flowed slowly there.

It really wasn't static, Ryan could feel the time moving very slowly.

What did that have to do with his body going back to normal and his wound healing?

Ever since seeing Laurence that morning, Ryan was even more impatient to get his body back as soon as possible.

As for why Laurence was here. . .

The answer was not difficult to find.

It had come from either Rhode or Dole.

Those two probably guessed something then told Laurence.

In other words, one of the two was already obeying Laurence——

Laurence had become the new leopard patriarch.

Ryan's tongue lashed against his teeth, exposing his fangs, and his eyes fierce.

Eric was right in front of him and though he had provoked the leopard, so his face turned white and he retreated back in a flurry.

His back hit the table with a "bang" and it was tossed upside down.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was too anxious to continue watching, worried that Eric wouldn't be able to work, so she stepped forward and took Ryan in her arms. Then she pursed the corners of her mouth and felt slightly embarrassed, "I. . . I'll take Táo Táo out for a walk."

She saw Eric sitting up on the ground letting out a long sigh.

Immediately, his face reddened, feeling somewhat annoyed that he always seemed to show himself in disgrace in front of Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu.

Walking out of the hut, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu carried Ryan out to the woods behind the cabin.

While eating the corn cakes at noon, she had tried to break one in half and feed it to him but he just looked at it with his two eyes and did not eat a single mouthful.

Yesterday her stomach had ached so badly, so she hadn't fed him properly. If he didn't eat, she was worried he would starve.

Picking a hidden spot, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu hide behind a tree and took a slice of beef from her space.

His woulds were healed up pretty well, so he wouldn't need to drink milk daily anymore. But eating some meat should help his physical recovery.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu squatted on the ground in front of the little leopard, hand holding her cheek as she watched him eat with single-hearted devotion.

Suddenly, a slender shadow stretched atop her.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu looked up, stunned.

She saw the black panther from that morning standing in front of her, eyes slightly drooped, hanging over her as he stared at the little leopard.

A moment later, he kicked out his long leg and the meat in front of the leopard flew off.

Laurence bent to the ground and lifted the cub by the back of his neck, easily hefting him up into the air. His mouth curled into a cold, cynical smile.

End Chapter 23 of 77

12 comments:

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

    Hahaha.. hiding in the fireplace just to avoid an acquaintance..so cute..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurence seems to be somewhat of a donkey, so I don't blame him. (-_-); Then again, I do that every time someone comes over. . .

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    2. You hide in a fire place too?!
      Lol

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    3. Well, maybe not in a fireplace. . . but I do have a cocoon of at least eight blankets I tend to hide in.

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  2. Uh oh.. the new clan leader Laurence is going to bully Tao Tao. Her space is strange.. last time he was able to escape from it automatically. But this time he fell unconscious. Curious and curiouser.

    Anyways, thanks for the chapter twix!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll see about that~! Tao Tao has a way of making Xiao Ou's protective instincts go haywire. Fufufufufu~!

      You're welcome! o(>w<)o

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  3. Replies
    1. Believe me, I face-palmed more than once. And you're welcome!

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  4. thanks!
    laurence, how dare you! let go of ryan! uwaaah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome!
      Oh he will. . . though things might not turn out quite how anyone expects \(>w<)/

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