Chapter 194: Let’s Run, Fox (X)
The following time, Mutu personally attended to Shang Ke’s every need. Changing his bandages, cleaning, massage. How Shang Ke had taken care of Mutu when he was injured, was how he was treated in return as Mutu followed his example.
When Shang Ke healed up a bit more, he started to use the sand plate to draw and teach Mutu various herbs. Mutu then used those herbs to treat the other beastmen. Many of those that had participated in the battle with the avanis had not completely healed up.
As for that witch doctor that tried to kill Shang Ke, Mutu had planned to exile him from the tribe so that he could perish in the wilderness. For a rather elderly beastmen, to be exiled from a tribe in winter was purely a death sentence. But the witch doctor’s children pleaded with him. Plus with his prestige within the tribe, Mutu decided to imprison him for the time being and carefully interrogate why he had tried to kill Shang Ke.
Shang Ke found out later that it was because the witch doctor’s daughter Muqi was liked by Xite. So he decided to help him become the Chief and had even urged him to collude with the avanis. Afterwards, Shang Ke’s appearance caused his plan to fail and the tribe was almost damned. The witch doctor figured Xite had no more chances, so he wanted to play matchmaker with Muqi and Mutu. But Mutu had his entire heart devoted to Shang Ke and disregarded Muqi, so he decided to kill Shang Ke.
After that thorough investigation, the members of the lion tribe were filled with indignation. Their respect and excuses for the witch doctor turned into loathing. Because of their selfishness, dozens of tribesmen had died in vain. Their homes have been burnt and the food they worked hard to stockpile had been burned by half. Without enough food, many more would die this season.
Their actions were simply unforgivable. Afterwards, under everyone’s condemned, Mutu broke a single arm from every person involved, then exiled them. Amongst them were the witch doctor Qiaohuo, his son Qiaoge, his daughter Muqi, and Xite and his subordinates. All together, it was eight people.
As for their end, no one in the lion tribe had any sympathy for them. In relative to this, Shang Ke’s prestige within the tribe gradually rose. Everyone had been friendly to him because he was favored by Mutu, but now they sincerely felt respect for him.
He was willing to risk life and limb for the tribe and did not ask for anything in return. Although he could not speak, he used actions to prove his value and ability.
A month in winter, Shang Ke managed to walk with some difficulty. However, the tribe had not stocked enough food. Comparing what they had this year and last, the food they stored probably wouldn’t even last two months. The winter of Kaloch lasts four months. Hunting was still possible the first two months, but other wild animals were already doing it before them.
That day, a worried Mutu came to Shang Ke’s residence and saw him writing something on the sand plate with a branch. He went closer to take a look and saw him writing names and numbers. Every member of the tribe was written, and behind the name was a number.
Mutu carefully observed the list and it dawned on him what it all meant. Shang Ke was counting up what remained of their food supply and rationing out what everyone could have each day.
In consideration to the tribes’ literature level, Shang Ke used the simplest way to classify and divide up the food. He calculated the bare minimum everyone needed to live, then distributed it to limit their waste and raise their chances of survival. Aside from the basic shares, pregnant women and hunters would be able to get an extra share each day.
According to Shang Ke’s distribution, they managed to stretch out the food supply for another month. Although they would only be half full, it was bearable than starving.
Mutu used shining eyes to look at Shang Ke as he huffed proudly, “I am truly wise and strong, to pick a fox at random and picked such a smart one.”
With those words spoken, he hugged Shang Ke and gave him a strong kiss. He was careful to not touch his healing wounds. He had still not realized at this time that he had also been greatly influenced by Shang Ke. Being careful, steady and calm in face of alarm along with simple administration methods.
Soon after, Mutu gave management rights of the storehouse to Shang Ke, bestowing him the title the first ‘Storehouse Manager’. There were no protests from the other beastmen in light of this, because Mutu had publiclized Shang Ke’s distribution methods to make them understand their current situations better beforehand.
But one thing everyone still understood was that although their food problem had been delayed, it was not settled. If they can’t find more food these two months, then the last month of winter would be the tribe’s hardest time.
Mutu mobilized all the beastmen in their prime to search for food on a large scale. Even edible tree roots were not overlooked.
Shang Ke remained in the tribe to recuperate as he pondered how to gather more food. The meat that had been burned had all been turned into jerky after the surface charcoal was peeled away. Vegetables and fruits that had been burned could not be salvaged.
The fields that Shang Ke planted were just to improve his meals and stockpile some seeds so that he could plant the next seasons. They could not be counted on for this winter. Although there were one or two types of vegetables that could be planted immediately and have short harvest time, vegetables were just padding for the lions, it can’t fill their bellies.
If they really can’t hunt any land animals, then they can only go for those in the water.
Fishes and shrimps in the water did not need to worry about the ice tornadoes. Although they would be less active in the cold, they still had rather sizable numbers compared to land animals.
To the southeast of the tribe was a very large lake. Ice had already formed over it, but they could break a gap and get a net in. Within a day or two they would have some harvest.
The lion tribe had never used a net to fish before, so Shang Ke did not bother explaining to them. He went ahead and weaved the net, then went to the lake with Mutu.
“Fox, can you really catch fish this way?” Mutu crouched by the frozen lake as he curiously looked at the fishing net placed in the hole broken in the ice.
Shang Ke nodded.
“I ate fish before, but it’s really fishy. A lot of lions don’t like to eat it.” Mutu wrinkled his nose.
Shang Ke glanced at him: When people are starving to death, they will still worry if it’s fishy or not? Plus, I have the means to make it not fishy.
After settling the net, Shang Ke waved at Mutu to return.
“That’s all? You don’t need someone to watch it?” Mutu tugged Shang Ke’s tail and blindly followed him.
Shang Ke shook his head, showing there was no need for that.
“What if our fish is stolen by someone?” Mutu was deeply worried.
Then I’ll throw you down as fish bait. I guarantee no one will dare to steal anything. Shang Ke silently thought.
“Fox, are you cold?” Mutu lightly tugged on his fluffy tail some more.
No. Shang Ke continued to walk forward.
Mutu skipped forward and tugged both the tail and person into his arms, “I know you’re cold, let’s hug.”
Shang Ke: “……”
With their closeness, Shang Ke could clearly feel the changes going on down there behind him. Ever since his injury, they have not done anything. Looks like a certain lion was rather pent up.
In order to take care of him while he was injured, his lion really had tired himself out. Hunting in the daytime, dealing with tribe matters after that, then returning at night to help him change bandages, freshen up, massage and finally sleep by his side when it was late in the night. He continued this schedule for over half a month and never complained. He would only occasionally ask to be pampered and bend down to be stroked.
Shang Ke felt that his injuries were pretty healed by this point, perhaps they can go for a slow round tonight.
That night, after food and bath, Shang Ke laid naked on the animal fur blanket. His white hair was spread out like a fan as his fluffy tail flicked lazily. His peach-blossom eyes were half lid, displaying his loveliness to the maximum.
The Mutu who came home to this scene was completely struck dumb as he internally howled: Don’t provoke me, I will go berserk! You even dare to stretch, is stretching something you can do as you wish?! Put down that pillow, I will give you my chest to rub! Ahhhhhh, the tail is on my leg, so fluffy, I really want to rub it!
He can’t do it. Mutu admitted to himself that he was not someone who could hold back against enticement. After enduring with all his might for three seconds, he turned into a beast.
Mutu pounced like a ferocious beast onto that fair and tender white fox then started to diligently work on his body. To prevent himself from making any injuries worse, Mutu held him and entered him in a sitting position. This position made him go deeper and was even tighter, it made people unable to stop. After one round, Mutu turned him around so that Shang Ke was sitting on him with his back to him and went in from behind. After a couple other positions, the injuries on his back remained untouched while they enjoyed all sorts of pleasure.
A lion that had been abstinent for nearly a month, on that night displayed his full potential of positions and power…
Two days later, Shang Ke and Mutu led a couple tribesmen to the frozen lake to collect their net.
When the net was pulled out, everyone was shocked speechless by the haul. Hundreds of fishes and shrimps of varying size flopped about in the net, giving rise to a lot of wet splattering noises. There were two large fishes that were especially conspicuous. They were over two meters long, their silver-white scales flickered in the world of ice and snow.
Everyone was beyond happy. If they had this kind of harvest every time, then they don’t need to worry about food anymore. Although they were a bit fishy, it was far better at alleviating their hunger than fruits and vegetables.
When they brought the catch back to the tribe, everyone was alarmed and came to catch a view.
“So much fish!”
“Haha, this is great, we have something to eat this winter.”
It’s not that the lions haven’t caught fish before, but most of them go straight into the water to catch fish and have never used any fishing gear. Seeing how Shang Ke could use a large net and catch so many, they were full of admiration and appreciation. They know that meat was not a high necessity for Shang Ke. He had planted vegetables and fruits, he was completely fine surviving off of those. To take so much time to weave a net and catch fish, it was clearly to help the rest of the tribe.
That night, Shang Ke made a seafood feast. He invited a couple beastment with prestige in the tribe to taste a bit of his work. The delicious fish soup, fresh shrimp, crab and roasted fish made the people eating them beam with delight. It thoroughly ignited their desire to mobilize and catch fish.
After the feast, Mutu had returned and looked at his messy courtyard. He scented the remaining delicious fish soup in the air as gloom filled him.
He rubbed his empty stomach and dispiritedly entered Shang Ke’s house.
“Fox, don’t bother cleaning up anymore. I’ll have someone come by tomorrow morning to clean this up.” Mutu felt pained as he watched the busy Shang Ke.
Shang Ke turned back and smiled at him. From behind, he took out two fish buns and handed them over.
The two of them sat by the fire, one bun for each of them as they ate the food that only belonged to them with warm hearts.