Chapter 28: Anri Who Wants to Save the Catgirl

Drip drip drip…

It was a dark cave, and water was constantly dripping from the top. There was a bonfire in the cave, and about a dozen people crowded around the fire, looking at a person in front of them respectfully.

The shadow of the person kept changing under the light of the fire. There was a pair of pointed bumps on top of the shadow.

Anri¹ was a fox beastkin. She was the leader and the spiritual pillar of this group of beastkins.

She was extremely tired and hungry and had only eaten once for 6 days. She had been in a very bad mood ever since Mina, the co-leader of this group, left to find food.

Anri rubbed her stomach to deal with her hunger. She didn’t know how long it had been since she had eaten a full meal. Was it a year ago? Or was it 2 years ago?

She remembered the only day she had been full. It was 3 years ago² during the winter. On that day, she went out to find food in the snow. Her hands were freezing and went numb, but she kept digging through the snow in hopes of finding a wild fruit or grassroots.

However, she couldn’t dig through the snow that was a meter thick as she was only 1.5 meters tall. She looked like 12 or 13 years old, but she was actually already 16 years old. She sunk into the snow and two-thirds of her body was buried.

When she had given up and was prepared to die, her body was suddenly lifted up and out of the snow. She would never forget the exquisite and beautiful face and the pair of cat ears.

Mina carried Anri in her embrace into a tree hole. Those days in the tree hole were the happiest days of her life.

Every day, Anri would gnaw on the nuts that Mina had stored, drink the water from melted snow, and eat some dried meat that Mina occasionally “borrowed”.

Afterwards, the two people, a cat beastkin and a fox beastkin, depended on each other.

Anri was the person behind the scenes, helping to cover up the holes in Mina’s actions. Even though the two were often hungry, the days were happy.

But all that changed 2 years ago, when Mina brought back a small beastkin. Their group increased from 2 people, to 3, to 4…. all the way to the 18 people they now have in their group.

Hunger was always with them. There were 18 mouths to feed, and Mina and Anri worried about food all the time.

Mina would come back with injuries every time she went out to borrow something. However, she came back with fewer and fewer injuries every time, which shows that Mina had been getting stronger.

Anri had pulled off dozens of her hair from worrying all the time. Her intelligence had made her the leader of the group, and Mina’s strength and courage made her the co-leader.

Mina went out to find food 6 days ago and said what she had always said to Anri for the past 3 years.

“Anri, if I don’t come back in 2 days, then take the beastkins to the South. The winter is much warmer over there and everyone can at least survive by eating grassroots and wild fruits. Also, do not trust humans. They are extremely hypocritical and deceitful. Once you are caught to be enslaved, then everything would be over.”

Mina would say these words very seriously every time. Anri could say that she had memorized these words and could even say them backwards. She was two years older than Mina.

Perhaps the years of malnutrition had slowed An Li’s growth and development. She was currently only 1.5 meters and was very skinny, just like a little girl that couldn’t grow up.

Anri agreed seriously every time, but she had never taken them to heart because she believed that Mina would come back.

But… this time, 6 days had passed, and there had been no message from Mina. That was unprecedented. At the latest, Mina would be back two days later.

Anri imagined many bad things. Did Mina get caught by the nobles? Was she going to be hanged? Or was she going to be sold as a slave?

No, no way, Anri thought. Mina was the best warrior she had ever seen. She was even a few times stronger than the noble knights. There was no way she could be caught.

Anri grew more and more anxious with each passing day. She didn’t have a sense of security right now. She didn’t have any appetite and would find it difficult to eat without Mina.

Anri had been thinking about whether she should go to the South or not. Mina believed that she would take the beastkins to the South, but she wasn’t willing to. A place without Mina was colder than the winter here.

“Big sister Anri, are we really going to the South?”

The person who had spoken was a boy going through puberty. The boy had bull horns and was a bull beastkin.

Anri She looked at the skinny boy in front of her. He was a small beastkin Mina had brought back some time ago. His name was Fuji, and he was 15 years old.

Usually, a bull beastkin who was 15 years old would be 1.8 meters tall and become a strong warrior.

Fuji was only 1.6 meters tall right now, a shortie. He was also extremely skinny. Even if he was as strong as the 1.8 meters tall bull warrior, he was still starving.

Anri was silent and didn’t say anything. Seeing this, Fuji couldn’t help but yell anxiously, “Big sister Anri, we don’t want to go to the South. I heard that the humans over there really hate us. They would catch every beastkin they see and make them slaves.”

“Also, second big sister Mina hasn’t come back yet. I miss her.”

From the day Mina and Anri rescued him, he had considered them his saviors and big sisters. He didn’t dare to be disrespectful and would even give up his life for them. But now, it had already been 6 days and Mina hadn’t come back yet.

“Fuji, we won’t go to the South. We’ll go find Mina. She’s waiting for us to rescue her.” Anri showed a smile as pure as a lily.³

“En! We’re going to save second big sister Mina!”

“Mina should have gone to Xi Yang City 6 days ago. Everyone should go and pack up. We’ll leave tonight. It should take about a day or 2 to get there.”

Translator’s Notes:

¹ So I looked at the manga briefly to check what they use for Anri. I found 2 results, Anri and Elly. I might be wrong and that Elly was someone else since I did only look briefly and skimmed over a few chapters. I decided to use Anri because it’s much closer to how it’s pronounced in Chinese.

² I’m the translator, not the author, so don’t pester me about the inconsistency. And no, it’s not a typo.

³ It’s a pun, which comes from the fact that lily symbolizes purity.

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