Gentle Beast 51

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It took Winter nearly 20 days to return.

In those twenty days, there were many big and small things happening that Winter had no idea about. He saw that there were suddenly a lot more females in the race. Most of the males going about went out in pairs, and he felt he had almost entered the wrong tribe. It wasn't until he was standing in front of Ryan's house that he was convinced that he wasn't in the wrong place.

A male beastman passing by joked with Winter:

"Winter, if you had come back a few days later, my son could have gone out hunting!"

Winter: "???"

Winter knocked on the door and waited to hear Ryan's voice from inside before pushing it open.

"Chief, I'm back."

. . .

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was still behind the mountains.

Spring had come back to the earth again and the grass was tall, and the harsh cold of winter was turning into spring warmth.

The iceberg in the distance also chipped off bit by bit and taking off its snow-coat. The colorful spring shirt had replaced it in a visible sign of warmth's arrival.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu stood between the mountains and the forest, and could feel the rapid rise of temperature all around her.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu strolled into the forest that morning and found many good things.

She put those things into her space but left some bamboo shoots in her basket, ready to take it back to make bamboo shoot soup.

However, when she thought of having to face Ryan at lunch, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's cheeks couldn't help but get hot.

Although two days had passed since that incident, she felt embarrassed every time she thought about the distressing scenes of that day.

Afterward, Ryan had brought her the things she needed for her monthly. As if to verify the authenticity of his words, he unexpectedly wanted to help her put it on. It was the first time he had touched something like it and he wouldn't give it to her. Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu flushed hotly and raised her arms to block her cheeks, but guided him on what to do in whispers.

Ryan first stuffed the cotton in the makeshift pad and laid it under her buttocks, then passed it from passed the end between her legs and folded it in front to tie the ropes on both ends to her. . .

Stop! Why was she thinking of this again?

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu shook her head twice and refused to let herself think about this matter.

On the way back, two male leopards were walking and she subconsciously avoided walking near them.

Still, the two males' conversation carried over to her ears.

"What did Winter go to the east for? That place is so far away and it's a sea of water. . ."

"I heard it was Chief's idea."

"What did the Chief mean by that? Why was the leader interested in that kind of place?"

"I don't know. You can ask yourself. Didn't Winter just get back? I saw him this morning."

. . .

The two males were walking away, and Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu stood behind an oak tree, thinking about their conversation.

Winter had come back?

Returned from the east?

Great, didn't that mean she'd be able to go home soon?

With this news, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu couldn't wait any longer and carried her basket, speeding up towards Ryan's house.

The courtyard door was opened halfway and Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu pushed it in all the way, seeing a male standing in the front room talking with Ryan.

It should be Winter.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu put down her basket and for a moment forgot all her embarrassment about Ryan and trotted into the house, blurting out——

"Did you find Pat?"

*

The conversation in the house screeched to a halt.

The air became silent all of a sudden.

Winter looked at Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, then looked at the Chief, then finally set his gaze on Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu again. He scratched his head and said frankly, "Sorry, I didn't find Pat."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's happy mood fell to the bottom and she stopped in the spot.

Winter looked at the pale-faced maiden in front of him, somewhat unable to bear, "But I did find Pat's family."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's eyes brightened again, "That. . . did they have news about Pat?"

"They did," Winter nodded.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's hope was rekindled, and she took half a step.

It was better to know news about Pat than nothing at all. She hadn't thought they'd be able to find him. If they couldn't find him now, maybe the next time she could find him.

Winter's next sentence, however, completely shattered her hopes——

"Pat's family told me that his body had been getting bad, and he died at least ten years ago."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu staggered, astonished, "What did you say?"

Winter said: "Pat is dead."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's whole body stiffened and she shook her head in disbelief, "No. . . Eric's grandfather told me that Pat was the longest-living turtle on Bornia, how could he be. . ."

"Pat was 501 years old, and no one had ever lived longer than him," Winter interrupted her.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's cheeks drained of blood quickly and her body trembled. This news had delivered her too much of a blow. She bit her pink lips and a misty layer rose up in her eyes, and her clear black eyes were coated in watery tears, a different sort of pitiful.

Despite Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu never meeting Pat, she had come this long way and his name had brought her infinite hope. As long as she had the goal of moving forward, she would have the courage and purpose to survive in this world.

But now that she was told that Pat was dead. . .

All of a sudden, she had lost her beacon of light and walked into the middle of the road. She suddenly didn't know what direction she was heading in.

Winter didn't expect this to be such a big blow to Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu and felt a bit helpless, "I tried my best. . ."

Ryan calmly asked, "Did Pat leave anything behind?"

Winter tried to remember something and rushed to find out, "Yes, there was. Pat's grandson gave me this thing. . ." As he said it, he took a thing out of a pouch and handed it over to Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu, "This is Pat's painting. His descendants do not understand the meaning of it and they gave me this thing. Do you want to look and see if it's useful to you?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu received it and looked at it closely. It was a smooth stone with four-sides and on the top was two circular objects. Between them, there was a small ripple that divided the circles into two parts.

Aside from that, nothing else.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu looked at it for a long time and shook her head slowly, ". . . I don't understand it either."

Winter was helpless, "That. . . I don't know what else."

This sentence sent Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu to death. Her shoulder's instantly collapsed and the light in her eyes vanished, gradually replaced with a dead stillness.

Ryan looked at her then said to Winter, "I know you've worked hard. Now you can go to Berson to collect your female and take a break for the next ten days."

A female that belonged to him? Weren't the females shared? When did he have the qualifications to have a female on his own?

"Chief, where there changes to the race that I don't know about?" Winter thought of the jokes this morning and could not help but ask.

Ryan propped up his chin and said a little impatiently, "Berson didn't tell you what happened?"

Winter shook his head.

Ryan said, "Go back and ask Berson. I'm not responsible for answering stupid questions.

Winter: ". . ."

. . .

. . .

While they spoke, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu quietly left the house.

*

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu went back to the mountain stream. There, she aimlessly walked with her head drooped low, occasionally kicking a stone by her feet.

Although depressed, her reason still kept her from wandering away from the leopard territory.

She walked to the edge and back again four or five times and was finally tired, so she sat down to rest against a tree.

After sitting for a while, Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu heard a lot of noise.

She raised her head and saw geese flying north. Rows of spotted geese neatly crossed the sky in their seasonal migration.

The cries she just heard were from their mouths.

There were many other birds flying northward. There were swiftlets and bar-headed geese, and many others. The sounds they made were mixed together and the sky was used to compose such a beautiful piece of music.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu raised her hands to her cheeks and unknowingly became a bit obsessed.

She couldn't help but think. If she was was as good as these birds, she could go wherever she wanted and could go and from home. What annoyances would get in her way?

She didn't know how long she watched them, but her neck became sore and she rubbed her neck, standing up.

She was planning to go back and turned to see a figure standing right behind her.

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu quickly retreated and looked up and up, finally recognizing Ryan, "You. . . when did you get here?"

He hadn't made a sound at all, did he want to scare her?

"Same as you." Ryan's voice was unaffected.

In other words, he got there at the same time she did? Had he been following her?

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu facial expression shifted and she explained, "I felt bad, and wanted to come out and walk. I didn't mean anything else. . ."

Ryan stepped forward one at a time, "You aren't in a good mood?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu was silent then said truthfully, "Bad."

"When will your mood be good?"

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu raised her head. She didn't know when Ryan had come to stand in front of her. Now, she looked directly at him and thought for a moment. She then asked without warning, "Ryan, do you have parents?"

Ryan was silent a long time, "No."

Most leopards grew up alone. He was abandoned by his parents at three months old and had grown alone until now.

Before becoming an adult, he had always been alone in the race. That sort of affection, he had never experienced and never needed.

It was something that only the weak would desire.

". . . but I do," Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu's eyelashes trembled slightly and her voice fell slowly, "I have parents and a family. They don't know where I am, and if I don't hurry back, they'll worry about me. I have always wanted to go back to them, and Eric's grandfather told me Pat might know the way back, so I just wanted to find Pat. . ."

Speaking of that now, the girl's voice choked and slowly fell into grievance, "I have always wanted to find Pat. . ."

But why was Pat dead?

Where else could she go? What was she going to do?

"Ryan, I can't go home again. . ."

The girl looked at him with tears in her eyes. Her lips were shut and her shoulders hanging down. She finally realized that she was all alone.

Ryan stepped forward and picked her up, holding her on his arm and outstretched the other to press her face into his neck, softly touching her hair, "You will have a home."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu moved, her wet eyelashes tickling his rough skin.

"If you want to go home, then go home to the house I built for you."

Jǐ Xiǎo Ōu buried her face in Ryan's neck and didn't respond. After a long time, she reached around Ryan's neck, very, very slowly, and inexplicably hummed, "En."

End Chapter 51 of 77

7 comments:

  1. Awwww poor Ou </3

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

    Awww.. she's heart broken.. good job Ryan! You should never leave a girl who's depressed alone..

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  3. Woohooo! Now she commits.
    Well that Taotao.
    Thank you for this update

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  4. Omg!! She agreed to stay! Too bad she couldn’t find a way home though..
    Also, thanks for this chapter!

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  5. The feeling when you can't go back is heartbreaking
    Thanks for the chapter

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  6. Ryan is indeed a gentle beast, and indeed a patient beast.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Maybe there's something with the painting.

    ReplyDelete