Chapter 195: Let’s Run, Fox (XI)
The food problem was basically solved, and the tribe swept away the previous depressed atmosphere and began to actively prepare for the winter.
Shang Ke managed the garden during the day. He pickled vegetables, brewed fruit wine and sew animal pelt. Mutu gave all his private property to Shang Ke, including food, animal pelt, precious metals and rare minerals, regarding him as his internal helper. After winter, he intended to formally apply to the elders to log in to the directory to establish a family.
Even though it was rare for a Lion King to establish a family with a male partner, in this era, beastmen still approved of the marriage between males. After all, the title of Lion King was not hereditary. Anyone could challenge the Lion King if they had the courage and strength.
“Fox!” Mutu came into the room wearing a furry coat and strode to Shang Ke, laughing like a thief.
Shang Ke gave him a strange look.
Mutu took something out of his arms and shook his tail, “For you.”
He was holding a pendant in his hand. It was shaped like a small gourd and was bone white, looking small and lovely.
Shang Ke took it and looked at it carefully. He found that it was a gudi flute carved from animal bones. Although the shape was simple, it was hand-made, smooth and delicate. It was obviously made with great effort.
“This is a bone flute I made myself. If you want to call me, play this flute. I will definitely come immediately.” Mutu pounded his chest as he talked.
Shang Ke was silent: This is the first time I met a big guy (the dog) who made a flute (dog whistle) for me (the dog’s owner) and made it so naturally and unpretentiously…
SnowTime TL: This is a hard to explain joke kinda thing. I tried to reword it in a way without too much hassle. The joke works the other way around as well, it’s double meaning because foxes are also part of the Canidae family which is basically the dog’s cousin. Aka Shang Ke (the dog) got a flute (dog whistle) from Mutu (the owner) is the alt meaning.
He happily accepted the gift, hung it around his neck, and looked up to see someone looking at him with a shining face and his tail wagging very joyfully.
Shang Ke smiled, hugged his neck and passionately rewarded him a kiss.
Mutu was satisfied. His fur stretched smoothly like a big cat that received stroking.
In half a month, the lions got a lot of catches in the ice lake. The weather became colder and colder. They discussed and decided to net for fish one more time before they end the fishing and hunting for this season.
A group of people came to the ice lake with joy, looking for the positions they put their nets in, and began to pull up the net skillfully.
Shang Ke didn’t go and help. Instead, he searched nearby for available materials or minerals. There were many novel substances in this world, such as snow rock trees that could produce salt crystals. This kind of tree grew in the valley and absorbed the nutrients of the underground salt river. It had no flowers and leaves on its branches. As long as it didn’t rain for three days, it would condense out white salt crystals. Nothing grew around it, only silvery white, which was very strange.
There was also a kind of berry and its juice was thick and sticky. If oil is added, it becomes like flour and could be used to make berry flatbread, steamed bread, buns, dumplings and other foods with unique flavor.
There are also many other foods just like this. All were natural ingredients and are nutritious and clean.
While searching, he suddenly heard a cry of horror in the distance. Shang Ke looked around and saw a stunning scene across the lake. A large forest was frozen, freezing into layers of silvery white ice and was quickly spreading to this side.
“It’s the ice tornado!” The beastmen dropped their tools and fled in the opposite direction in panic.
Mutu yelled at Shang Ke, who was still in a daze, while running wildly, “Fox, run!”
Shang Ke understood and immediately turned and fled. The two people were separated by the lake. They each went their way according to the side they were at and soon ran in different directions.
The ice tornado moved to this side at an extremely fast speed, and whirlwinds like ice blades made howling sounds like a sharp blade cutting through the air. Wherever it passed, the ice flashed and the chill was oppressing.
Mutu watched helplessly as the fox disappeared from his sight. He felt anxious but couldn’t do anything. However, after a long time, something even more frightening happened. The ice tornado swept across the lake and circled to the direction the fox had escaped to.
Those who stood on one side with Mutu were out of danger, but Shang Ke and a few who fled to the other side were in a crisis.
Shang Ke ran so fast that he didn’t even dare to look back. The fields were empty, and it seemed that he was the only one left on earth. He could only hear his own rapid pants and the howling sound behind him which was getting closer.
Strong winds were invisible and unavoidable. Even if there was only one gap, it could still get in, not to mention there was no place here to hide from the wind .
Shang Ke felt a chill on his back, and his death was just one step away. At the moment of crisis, a fast-flowing river suddenly appeared ahead. His eyes lit up and he jumped without thinking.
When his body left the ground, a layer of frost had already formed on the tip of his tail. A plopping sound was heard, and the ice of death whizzed past the river. freezing the water wave that just splashed into the air. Like a blooming ice flower, it flashed a cold light in the winter.
The rushing river was also frozen into an ice stream, trapping Shang Ke under the ice.
Shang Ke held his breath, holding the aquatic plants in one hand while hammering the ice above his head with the other. Although the ice was not very thick, Shang Ke, whose body was underwater and stiff due to the cold, couldn’t exert enough energy. His brain seems to have lost its thinking ability, his fingers were numb, and his heart seemed as if it would stop beating any moment.
The sealed and cold glacier was full of despair and fear. While he was in a daze, a familiar figure seemed to have appeared in front of him, and the memories of the past were coming to him like a flood, happy, painful, sad and beautiful …
No, I can’t die!
Shang Ke’s spirit was reinvigorated. He bit his teeth, pulled out his dagger from his waist with difficulty, and thrust backhandedly at the ice above his head with every last of his strength. With a cracking sound, a crack appeared in the ice.
Shang Ke chiseled again and again, and finally broke through the ice layer successfully before he lost his strength.
He quickly rushed out of the ice and stabbed the dagger deep into the snow. He kept his figure fixed to that spot with a dagger so as not to slip back into the water.
After all this, he didn’t have any more energy. He gasped wearily. Thick white mist exhaled from his mouth. A cold wind blew, bringing snowflakes. His hair, eyelashes, eyes, arms and upper body soon formed a thin layer of frost.
It was white all around, and there was no voice. Shang Ke leaned half of his body against the shore, and the other half still underwater, unable to move. He couldn’t speak, couldn’t ask for help. He could only feebly pick lay on the shore accumulating snow and shiver in the cold.
Was it coming to an end? Shang Ke was unwilling. If he could, he didn’t want to experience such a baffling death. In the past, he only regarded the completion of his missions as a way to survive. Now, he felt that every life was his own life and should be decided by himself.
Motherfucking system, do I have to die if you ask me to? Then I insist on living for you to see!
Anger restored some of Shang Ke’s strength. He groped around with his spare hands to find a way to get out of this trouble. Just then, his finger touched an object, and when he looked down, it turned out to be the bone flute that Mutu gave him not long ago.
Shang Ke’s eyes suddenly burst with life. He put the bone flute against his mouth while trembling, and blew it hard. A crisp and long flute sound immediately came out of the bone flute, echoing through the surroundings, and travelled into the distance in circles.
Mutu had been following the track of ice to trace Shang Ke. The ice tornado spreaded very widely, and was divided into several strands from time to time and spread around. In addition, the cold climate had seriously affected his sense of smell. Mutu couldn’t make an accurate judgment at once, and could only look for clues along the way.
As time went on, Mutu’s mood became more and more irritable. The longer it took, the more hopeless it meant, but as long as Shang Ke’s body was not seen, he would not give up.
At this moment, suddenly there was a flute sound in the distance. It was like a beacon light, instantly lighting up Mutu’s world.
His heart was beating violently. With eyes full of excitement, he ran like the wind was born under his feet, in the direction of the flute sound.
Fox, fox! He kept calling his name in his heart.
However, when Mutu rushed out of the woods, the flute sound suddenly disappeared. He came to a small river, where the rushing river was frozen.
Mutu’s heart was tight, and he searched downstream along the glacier.
After a while, he stopped. An aquatic flower that has frozen into ice appeared in his sight. Following the flower to the shore, he saw a figure lying on the snow, covered by a thin layer of frost and snow, as if he were dead.
Mutu’s pupil suddenly contracted. He quickly rushed to Shang Ke’s side, kneeling on his knees. With trembling hands, he gently leaned forward to feel his breath.
Although weak, he was still alive!
Mutu almost wanted to shout to the sky to vent his joy.
He did his best to suppress his excitement as he carefully lifted Shang Ke out of the river.
Seeing the ice hole on the river, Mutu could probably guess what the fox had experienced. Under such circumstances, he still survived strongly. Mutu thought his fox was really amazing!
The body in his arms was cold and stiff, his breathing faint. His originally pale white skin looked even more icy at the moment. Soft hair had lost its former fluffy luster, and was now frozen with a layer of frost. With a little pat, bits of snow would fall.
Mutu was distressed and caught a glimpse of Shang Ke holding a dagger in his left hand. He tried to pry it out, but was stopped by a cold hand. Looking down, he found that Shang Ke, who was unconscious, had suddenly woken up.
“Fox, you woke up! Great, I’ll take you home right away. ” Mutu happily took him into his arms and warmed him with his own body temperature.
Shang Ke greedily absorbed his body heat and listened to his heartbeat. He felt the joy of being reborn again.
“I’ll take the dagger off for you first.” Mutu said, and was going to get the dagger again.
Shang Ke avoided it and shook his head.
Mutu was puzzled at first, and immediately found that the dagger had been glued to Shang Ke’s hand. If it was forced to break, it might tear off his flesh.
He wrapped the stiff hand with his own hand, his eyes were hot and his heart lurched.
This feeling of distress was not the first time. It seemed like he’d experienced it a long time ago and kept repeating.
Shang Ke seemed to perceive Mutu’s emotions as he shook his tail with great effort, gently sweeping his cheek with the tip of his tail seemingly comforting him.
Mutu stared at him deeply with repressed pain in his eyes.
Shang Ke opened his mouth and said a few words silently: Take me home.
Mutu eyes softened. He picked him up from the waist and strode toward the tribe.
Back at the tribe, all the lions immediately surrounded him in pleasant surprise and asked about Shang Ke.
Mutu didn’t have time to deal with them. He asked for hot water to be sent and carefully took off Shang Ke’s clothes. He then warmed his body with a hot towel. After all the ice on him melted, he was put into warm water.
Shang Ke’s skin was frostbitten in many places, and the wounds that healed before cracked. However, there was no pain seen on his face. He wore a shallow smile from beginning to end.
“Fox, I’m sorry.” Mutu touched his wet hair and said with distress, “If only I could have found you earlier.”
The fox was alone in the cold river for at least two hours, and there was no way to ask for help. He didn’t know how desperate he’d been at that time. He was not only his own person, but also his own lover, and yet he always couldn’t protect him.
Shang Ke slowly picked up the bone flute hanging around his neck and put it on his lips to kiss. Then he raised his head and kissed Mutu’s lips and looked at him with clear eyes: Thank you, Mutu, the bone flute you gave me saved my life. So, don’t blame yourself.
Shang Ke had a feeling that fate’s control over them had become weaker and weaker. Sooner or later, they would be able to truly control their own lives and wouldn’t have to experience the pain of being left behind again.
Sarah: ahh shang ke don’t die yet TT__TT https://ko-fi.com/sarah_min
SnowTime: Gotta thank Resonance for TLCing this for me, so all I had to do was fix a joke lol.