Mina touched the tight night clothes on her body. The fabric of the clothes were so soft that she didn’t want to move her hand away.
Mina looked around vigilantly with her eyes. She was looking for traces of beastkins’ movements from the trees, ground, and leaves.
She had been searching in the forest for a whole day already, but she still haven’t found that group of beastkins. It was already dark, and she needed to hurry back to the castle.
“It seems that there’s nothing to gain here today. I have to go back now, since I promised young master to go back tonight. I wonder what kind of porridge Aunt May¹ is making tonight.”
Mina licked her dry lips, looking at the last rays of the setting sun. She moved quickly through the forest, aiming to return to the castle before dinner. A few dozen kilometers away from Mina, Fuji was walking vigilantly. He had removed his disguise and slightly removed the traces that he left behind along the way.
This was something that Second Sis Mina had taught him. The closer that they were to their camp, the more careful they had to be. They could not be followed by humans.
“Almost there, everyone will have wheat to eat.” Fuji rubbed the catty of wheat in his arms. He thought about Lan Er, and a trace of softness flashed through his eyes.
“If only all the humans were like Lan Er. But nobles are nobles. That Liu Feng actually dared to capture Second Sis Mina.”
“I have to go back quickly, Second Sis Mina is still waiting for us to rescue her.”
Fuji increased his speed again. His eyes swept across the dark woods. If he hadn’t already been here before, he would have been lost.
Finally, he returned to his camp, which was in a cave. The door had a few strong… fine, tall and skinny beastkins guarding it. They were extremely happy when they saw Fuji come back.
“Fuji, quickly go in, Big Sis had lost her temper. She will scold us to death if you had come back later.”
“Right! Good thing you came back, so there’s one more person to share the burden.”
Fuji froze. Thinking about Big Sis Anri’s poisonous tongue, he had the urge to kneel.
“I- I’m going in.” Fuji took in a deep breath of air and walked into the cave. He only took a few steps when he heard a female voice.
“You look like a pig. If someone likes you, just smile, but you actually dislike them because they weren’t fat enough? Do you think you still weigh 300 catties like you did a few years ago?” Anri yelled.
“Uh… Big Sis, I’m a pig beastkin, I’m supposed to…” In the end, he didn’t dare to say anymore.
“What are you laughing at? The shadows of tree branches can scare you enough for you to cry for your mom and dad, are you still a bear beastkin? You are so timid that you can’t even look at people directly.”
Fuji took in a deep breath before walking in with his head high. He saw that a few friends he got along really well with were squatting and being lectured by the petite 1.5 meter Big Sis.
Fuji saw this contrast many times. That small body of their Big Sis could make people respect her from their hearts.
“Cough cough cough… Big Sis Anri, I’m back,” Fuji said cautiously. He knew that he had come back a little late today, which made his friends suffer.
Silence. Several pairs of gloating eyes were currently looking at Fuji.
“You guys go out first.” Anri’s voice was slightly weak, but was also a bit more relaxed.
“Pray for some luck,” the pig beastkin whispered, patting Fuji’s shoulders.
“Do you want some cork earplugs?” the bear beastkin asked.
The corner of Fuji’s mouth twitched, and he glared at them. He walked in front of Anri and squatted down like an obedient child.
“You’re back.” Anri panted slightly. She needs to scold them properly in order to take care of this group of beastkins. But as time passed, her tongue became a little more poisonous. “I thought that you fell into a cow dung pit again.”
“Uh… Big Sis, can you not mention that?” Fuji’s head was full of black lines.
“What? I can’t speak the truth? A few years ago, when you were twelve, Mina dug you out of a cow dung pit…”
The corner of Fuji’s mouth twitched. He couldn’t let others listen to his black history.
Anri glared at him and said, “I told you to come back in the afternoon. Going into the woods at night, do you want to die?”
Fuji lowered his head. He didn’t dared to answer. He needed to let Big Sis Anri scold him enough to calm down before he was truly safe.
He knew that it was Big Sis Anri’s way of caring for them, just that good words became vicious ones out of her mouth,
Anri was a bit week. It was a busy day for her today again. She had to appease those beastkins, or else they run around randomly, which would soon lead them to their deaths.
This place was quite close to human cities. She couldn’t not be careful. She had been exposed once before. If they hadn’t left quickly, they would have been in wooden cages now.
Big Sis, I have wheat here, I’ll get people to cook it for you to eat.” Fuji didn’t wait for Anri to respond and ran out with the wheat.
When Fuji came back with the wheat, he saw Anri laying down on beast hide, and a trace of pain flashed through his eyes.
He knew that it was because Big Sis had been starving. She gave most of the food to them and also had to manage the beastkins. She was extremely tired.
Fuji wanted to help, but he wasn’t smart enough. Big Sis was the smartest person in their group. It was also her and Second Sis who had helped them all survive to this day.
“Big Sis, get up and eat some wheat porridge,” Fuji said softly.
“So fragrant.” Anri struggled to open her eyes. She subconsciously licked her lips while looking at the wheat porridge in front of her. It had almost been 10 days since she had eaten wheat. She had ate so much wild fruits and grass roots that she was about to vomit from them.
“Does everyone have food to eat?” Anri didn’t touch the wheat porridge. “Did you eat? Where’s the wheat from?”
Fuji hurriedly stuffed the wheat porridge into Anri’s hands. He patted his chest and said, “Everyone got some wheat porridge to eat. Big Sis, eat first, I have some good news to tell you later.”
¹ May’s name is 梅伊, and the author wrote 梅姨. Their pinyins are both Mei yi. It could be a typo, but it could also be intentional.
Happy Lunar New Year y’all! Also, let’s welcome to the editor of this novel, John Smith!
You must log in to post a comment.