Ch13 – Cohabitation
“Xiong Ye! What are you trying to do!” Shi Li frowned as he looked at Xiong Ye. Xiong Ye actually invited Zhou Ji to live with him… This hadn’t happened in his previous life!
Of course nothing like this had happened in his previous life. Xiong Ye had been busy hunting and setting up their cave. He wouldn’t have had any time to pay attention to Zhou Ji, which would have made it even more impossible for him to invite Zhou Ji to live together with him.
That was the cave meant for him and Shi Li. How could he have let Zhou Ji move in?
But at this moment, Xiong Ye completely ignored Shi Li and only said to Zhou Ji, “I’ll help you move your things.”
“Thank you.” Zhou Ji was still a little distant. Of course, in the eyes of the people of the tribe, he just appeared to be a little foolish and dazed.
As soon as he finished speaking, Xiong Ye began to help him pack up.
“Xiong Ye, you’re really going to let Zhou Ji live with you? Have you gone mad?!” Shi Li tried to stop Xiong Ye.
“What does this have to do with you?” Xiong Ye retorted. Shi Li’s scent made him distance himself away from him in disgust.
He had been very heartbroken two days ago, but the dust had now settled, and he couldn’t feel anything at all. It was as though his heart was completely empty.
“You shouldn’t throw a tantrum like this.” Shi Li said.
Xiong Ye looked at Shi Li impatiently, “I’m not throwing a tantrum. Also, please move aside.”
Shi Li didn’t want to move aside, but at this moment, Xiong He called out discontentedly, “Shi Li! What are you doing!?”
Shi Li finally realized that he was in the wrong. He wanted to say something more, but Xiong Ye had already started to help Zhou Ji move his things.
Zhou Ji had a lot of belongings, so Xiong Ye used animal skins to wrap up all the miscellaneous things and climbed up to his own cave with one hand–His cave was a little high up, and it couldn’t be reached via the steps. There was a section that had to be scaled.
Zhou Ji took in the situation, picked up several items, and followed him up.
As a result, he had just made it up the steps when the items he’d been carrying in his hands were snatched away by Xiong Ye who had already come back down, “It’s dangerous going up. I’ll take them up to the cave for you.”
Xiong Ye had dug out some footholds under his cave to make it easier to climb up, but at the end of the day, it still wasn’t as convenient as having steps. It might be fine if Zhou Ji was climbing up by himself, but Xiong Ye wasn’t assured of Zhou Ji’s safety if he had to scale up the wall while carrying his things.
Since Xiong Ye had spoken up, Zhou Ji simply gave up on taking things with him and climbed up on his own, then sat down at the entrance of the cave.
He had come up to Xiong Ye’s cave last night, but it had already been dark, and he had only stayed for a short while, leaving as soon as he had given Xiong Ye the piece of meat that he had roasted with juice from plants that had a calming effect. Because of this, he hadn’t looked at the cave in detail.
Looking at it now, Zhou Ji discovered that the cave was a little bigger than the one he had lived in before and was surprisingly very clean.
He liked this cave even more now.
The cave was located very high up, and there were no messy neighbors around. It was also clean and spacious… The only drawback was that he now had a roommate that he wasn’t accustomed to having.
However, Xiong Ye was a good person, and if he wanted to live on comfortably in this tribe, it was definitely necessary for him to build up a good relationship with Xiong Ye.
Zhou Ji sat on the stone platform at the entrance to the cave and watched as Xiong Ye scrambled up and down to move things in.
Previously, the children of the tribe had all been salivating over his things, and someone had even secretly taken some of his salt, but after Xiong Ye had invited him to live together with him, nobody had made any further moves on his things.
Agreeing to live with Xiong Ye was definitely a good decision.
With that in mind, Zhou Ji went inside to examine Xiong Ye’s cave again.
The entrance to Xiong Ye’s cave was relatively narrow, but it became quite spacious further in. It was also divided into two caves–the entire cave was shaped like a Y. Of course, most likely because excavation was relatively difficult, those two caves were very shallow and were only big enough for a bed.
However, this was already much better than what he had initially imagined.
Xiong Ye soon finished moving all of Zhou Ji’s things into the cave and said, “There are two caves inside. You can live in one, and I’ll live in the other. It’s big enough for us to live separately.” He had dug out this cave several years ago; it hadn’t been as big as this when it was first allocated to him. Later on, he had spent some time digging out a second cave.
The cave was merely a place to sleep in, and the average person from the tribe wouldn’t take such care and trouble to arrange it. Xiong Ye had done so because he had taken into account the fact that he needed to hibernate during winter while Shi Li really liked to sleep and hated being disturbed.
“Thank you.” Zhou Ji said. He noticed that the slightly larger cave was covered with wood while the smaller cave had nothing inside, so he picked up his animal hides and headed towards the smaller cave, planning to use the hides to make himself a bed. He had led a rough life after the apocalypse and therefore paid a lot of attention to his quality of life after arriving here.
“You can live over there.” Xiong Ye pointed to the larger cave and said, “Wait a moment.”
Xiong Ye left the cave and went to the collective cave where the elderly and children of the tribe lived.
He had asked them to help him make two thick mats out of dinosaur leather that could be used after the mating ceremony, and they should be complete by now.
The mats were indeed done, made by the only person in the tribe whose animal form was a monkey. Xiong Ye always addressed him as Grandpa Hou.
Grandpa Hou had drilled holes in the dinosaur leather, then tied the pieces together with twisted string and stuffed soft and pliable hay in the middle to create the mats. Sleeping on these mats was both warm and comfortable, and if it was still cold in winter, they could pile more hay on top.
Xiong Ye had seen Grandpa Hou sleep on a mat like this before and liked it a lot, which was why he had given Grandpa Hou animal skins and meat and requested some mats to be made for him.
“Little Xiong Ye, are you really not going to become mates with Shi Li?” Grandpa Hou asked.
“Yes.” Xiong Ye folded up the two thick mats in the middle.
“It’s spring time. If you aren’t going to be with Shi Li, have you thought about being with someone else?” Grandpa Hou continued to ask.
“I don’t know.” Xiong Ye replied.
He really didn’t know what he should do. If he couldn’t figure out, he’d just slowly look for someone later on.
In the past, Xiong Ye was very willing to chat with Grandpa Hou and the other elderly people in the tribe, but he was in a bad mood today, so he didn’t stay long and immediately went back to the cave with the two mats.
When he returned, Zhou Ji was standing in the cave obediently waiting for him.
Xiong Ye had also had some worries after asking Zhou Ji to live with him. He had been concerned that Zhou Ji might not be easy to get along with, but looking at how well behaved he was now, Xiong Ye felt relieved.
He placed the mat he had brought back on the wood he had prepared himself and said to Zhou Ji, “You can live here.”
Before, he had constantly longed for a mate to spend his days with, which was why he had put so much effort into making this bed. Now that he wasn’t going to have a mate, he didn’t want to sleep on it anymore.
Not to mention that he had always slept in the smaller cave before and was already used to it.
With that in mind, Xiong Ye placed the other mat in the smaller cave, laying it directly on the ground.
“Thank you.” Zhou Ji thanked him once again. He was of course willing to live a little better.
However, Xiong Ye had really helped him a lot, and he should do something in return… Zhou Ji began to mull over how to repay him.
On the other hand, Xiong Ye was only concerned about hunting, “I’m going out to hunt. You can slowly tidy up by yourself.”
“Alright.” Zhou Ji agreed.
Xiong Ye turned around and went out again.
After Xiong Ye left, Zhou Ji set the mat up properly and lay down on it comfortably before sprouting a seed.
That seed belonged to a vine that soon grew longer and divided into several branches. The vines then began to sort through the clutter in the cave and neatly put things away…
Zhou Ji used his spiritual power to observe the situation outside while controlling the vines within the cave to tidy everything up. The vines finished tidying up fairly quickly, and he even copied the way the mat beneath him had been made and created a curtain for himself that he hung in front of his ‘bed’.
Of course, what he used to tie up the animal hide wasn’t string that had been twisted together, but a vine.
Zhou Ji was very satisfied with the curtain he’d made. With the curtain there, he could guarantee his privacy in the cave.
Zhou Ji finished all this and also grew himself some food to eat. He sent his spiritual powers outside as he ate and listened to the tribe’s gossip.
After he was full, he fell asleep.
While Zhou Ji was eating and sleeping, Xiong Ye was hunting outside.
He had gone out on his own this time and concealed himself for a long while, but no prey had sent itself into his arms. As for actively hunting… He wouldn’t dare to lightly make a move on the larger, horned dinosaurs, and the smaller bird-footed dinosaurs were too fast for him to catch. Finally, after tossing about for most of the day without catching anything, he could only go to the river and catch fish instead.
The river they had nearby didn’t have many fish, and he spent several hours and only caught five palm-sized fish and a snake about two fingers wide.
The sky had already turned dark. Xiong Ye killed the fish and the snake and washed them clean. Then, he used grass from the riverside to tie the fish together through the gills and carried them with him as he made his way home.
This string of fish looked like a lot of food, but there was very little meat, and fish meat didn’t stave off hunger… He might have to eat the food he had stored away for dinner today.
Xiong Ye was a bit disappointed when he returned to the tribe. The people of the tribe had lit a fire in the valley and were cooking and chatting beside it while having dinner.
Xiong Ye thought for a moment and decided to go home and eat the meat he hadn’t finished last night. He could save the fish for tomorrow.
After exchanging greetings with the people of the tribe, Xiong Ye brought the fish with him and climbed up towards his cave.
When he reached the entrance to his cave, he looked at his cave with some surprise–There was a fire lit in his cave, and he could even smell the savoury aroma of meat.
Xiong Ye went in and saw that Zhou Ji had lit a fire at the entrance to the cave. There was a stone rack on top of the fire, and a small stone pot was placed on top of the rack. Rather, it was a relatively large stone bowl, and cooking inside the bowl was meat and some other things he didn’t recognize.
This scene made him feel a little warm, and his body, which had been a little chilled from catching fish in the river, immediately warmed up.
There was no hint that the meat he had saved up had been touched, and when he had helped Zhou Ji move his things earlier, there had only been a few pieces of salted jerky. Was this Zhou Ji’s dinner?
As a child, Xiong Ye had eaten a lot of meat cooked by the tribe, but that meat hadn’t smelled as fragrant as the meat in front of him now… He looked at Zhou Ji with some astonishment. He hadn’t expected that the silly, foolish Zhou Ji would know how to cook meat.
Although he had eaten a lot last night, Xiong Ye, who hadn’t eaten anything today, was unable to keep himself from swallowing his saliva.
Zhou Ji pointed to the meat in front of him and said to Xiong Ye, “For you.”
“This is your food.” Xiong Ye shook his head.
“I’ve already eaten. This is for you, as a thank you.” Zhou Ji said. This meat was from the front leg of that unknown dinosaur that Xiong Ye had given him before. Today, when he woke up from his nap and saw that it was dark, he had gone to get some water and cooked the cured front leg along with some bamboo shoots with the intention of giving it to Xiong Ye to eat.
There was bamboo growing near the tribe, but they weren’t very big, and each stalk was only as thick as a finger. The bamboo shoots from these plants were very thin and tasted a little bitter.
However, his powers could change the bamboo shoots so that they tasted better.
Salted meat boiled with bamboo shoots would definitely taste better than that mysterious ‘dark cuisine’ soup the tribe had made with dinosaur intestines and wild vegetables.
Xiong Ye heard that Zhou Ji had already eaten and stopped his refusals, “Thank you. I’ll give you a piece of meat later.” Yesterday, Zhou Ji had given him some meat, and he was giving him some again today. If this continued, Zhou Ji would have nothing to eat!
“No need… Or you can you give me the fish instead.” Zhou Ji looked towards the fish and the snake in Xiong Ye’s hand.
He hadn’t been here for long and had only determined that dinosaur meat wasn’t tasty. He hadn’t tried eating any fish, shrimp, or the like yet.
“Okay.” Xiong Ye immediately gave Zhou Ji the fish, then lifted up the stone bowl, wanting to eat the meat inside.
But it was too hot…
Zhou Ji handed over a pair of chopsticks, “You can use this to pick up the food and eat.”
Xiong Ye accepted the two little chopsticks that Zhou Ji passed over and speared a piece of meat with the two sticks, bringing it out of the bowl to eat.
The meat had been cured, and the salty taste was very delicious. Xiong Ye ate the meat, then ignored the heat, held up the stone bowl, and began to drink the soup.
The soup was exceptionally tasty!
Xiong Ye didn’t know that soup made with cured meat could actually be so delicious!
But other than the meat and soup, there was something else inside… Xiong Ye pointed at the thin bamboo shoots and asked, “What’s this?”
“It’s a type of wild vegetable.” Zhou Ji said.
Although Xiong Ye didn’t like to eat vegetables, it didn’t mean that he couldn’t eat it. He used the two chopsticks to pull the bamboo shoots to the edge of the bowl and ate one.
This wild vegetable was actually tasty, and it became especially flavorful after it had been soaked in the meat broth!
In a short while, Xiong Ye had licked the bowl clean, but still wanted more–There hadn’t been enough meat for him to eat his fill, and it was so delicious that he wanted to eat even more….
Xiong Ye hadn’t known that he was such a gluttonous person.
Zhou Ji said, “You go get some firewood, and we’ll cook fish to eat?”
“Okay!” Xiong Ye said. The word had only just left his mouth, but he was already clambering down from the cave.
ZJ: Let me show you the world of delicious vegetables~
XY: (⑅ ‘﹃’ ) ♡ marry me!
Juurensha: Awwwww so sweeet, ZJ is the perfect husband.