Chapter 16 Speculation
editors: apricot & juurensha
The three of them were a little far from the tribe, and the area was quite dangerous, so they didn’t dare to linger there any longer. After Xiong Ye finished slathering his wound with mud, he did the same for the elephant bird to prevent the bloody smell from spreading before transforming back into his animal form and running back to the tribe with the elephant bird on his back.
At four to five hundred kilograms, this elephant bird weighed as much as Xiong Ye. Xiong Ye was completely exhausted from running with it on his back, but they had really gone a bit far, so he only arrived in the vicinity of the tribe two hours later.
“It’s safe here. Let’s wash up by the river and split up the elephant bird before continuing on.” Hu Yue suggested.
Xiong Ye nodded in approval–He was really having a hard time carrying the whole bird any further.
The three came to the edge of the stream and divided the elephant bird among them.
The skin, along with the fur on the outside, was given to Hu Yue who wanted to make a warm nest. As for the meat inside, Xiong Ye took four tenths of it, including a large bird leg, while Hu Yue and Xiong Bai took three tenths each.
Xiong Ye had contributed the most when they were hunting the elephant bird earlier, and he was the one who had carried it all the way back, so the internal organs also went to him.
After the three of them had split everything up, Xiong Ye carried the large bird leg with him and headed towards the valley.
His share of the elephant bird, including the internal organs, added up to about one hundred kilograms of pure meat and was enough for him to eat for twenty days.
However, he didn’t have enough salt on hand. It wouldn’t be easy to preserve that much meat… And they didn’t know when the salt team would return.
The three of them attracted a crowd of onlookers as soon as they entered the valley, and each and every member of the crowd was decidedly envious.
“Xiong Ye is so fierce. He took down some prey again!”
“So much meat!”
“Xiong Ye is hunting with Hu Yue now. He really broke up with Shi Li?”
“Speaking of Shi Li, he basically didn’t do anything at all when we went out hunting these past few days. He doesn’t seem to be as strong as everyone said…”
“Shi Li knows a lot. He’s taught us quite a bit.”
“What’s the use of just talking?”
“You should stop criticizing Shi Li. You haven’t contributed as much as he has!”
Although Shi Li had attended the recent hunts, he hadn’t contributed much, which led to complaints from some people in the tribe.
However, others didn’t think much of it–Shi Li had taught them a lot of things, and in fact, Shi Li was still very powerful.
Towards the end, everyone switched to envying Zhou Ji, “Zhou Ji and Xiong Ye are living together. Even if he’s unable to get meat to eat, there’s still the bones! His luck is really good!”
Zhou Ji heard these words as soon as he came back.
He very much agreed with them; his luck was pretty good. Xiong Ye was a good person to get along with.
However, were these people saying these things because Xiong Ye had taken down another large prey again?
Zhou Ji was carrying some plant branches on his back and some vegetables in his hands as he leisurely climbed up to Xiong Ye’s cave.
“You’re back!” Xiong Ye’s voice rang out, and then he helped take the things Zhou Ji was carrying out of his hands. “Where have you been?”
“I picked some wild vegetables from nearby.” Zhou Ji replied as he climbed onto the platform in front of the cave.
And then, he was startled–He noticed an oversized chicken leg!
Even the mutated chickens during the apocalypse didn’t have such big legs. This leg really looked quite tasty…
“What is this?”Zhou Ji asked.
“This is the elephant bird that I took down. Do you want to try it?” Xiong Ye said, “This bird’s meat tastes better than dinosaur meat.”
Zhou Ji was left slightly stunned by Xiong Ye’s words. He finally said, “Thank you.” After thanking him, Zhou Ji frowned and looked closely at Xiong Ye, “You’re hurt?”
“It’s nothing. Just a small wound.” Xiong Ye said.
Xiong Ye had been in his animal form when the elephant bird scratched him with its claws, so the wound wasn’t deep. His stomach currently had a relatively long and deep cut and two slightly shallower ones beside it.
Those two shallow cuts were really nothing, but the deeper wound looked pretty dreadful. The meat inside the cut was visible, and because Xiong Ye had washed up in the river earlier, the edges of the wound were white.
Zhou Ji would already have considered a wound like this to be very serious even before the apocalypse, and after the apocalypse, it was even more critical–Zombies’ bodies were full of viruses, and a wound this big was most likely fatal!
“You think such a big wound is small?” Zhou Ji looked at Xiong Ye discontentedly, “I brought back some healing herbs. You can use them.”
Zhou Ji rummaged through the vegetables he had brought back as he spoke, and taking advantage of a moment when Xiong Ye wasn’t paying attention, sprouted a plant that had healing properties.
As a plant ability user, he would naturally know what kind of effect plants would have when he came into contact with them.
Of course, this herb was something he recognized only because he had seen pictures of it back on Earth.
“It’s sanqi. How did you know that it can stop bleeding? Did your mother tell you that?” Xiong Ye looked at Zhou Ji curiously, then added, “Give it to me, then.”
Zhou Ji gave the sanqi plant to Xiong Ye, then watched as he chewed up the plant and applied the chewed up pulp to his wound.
This process should be very painful, but from beginning to end, Xiong Ye’s expression didn’t change at all.
Xiong Ye’s hair color was similar to the fur of his animal form, a slightly darker shade of brown, and his eyes were black, his eyebrows thick.
Thick eyebrows, large eyes, wheat-colored skin. Overall, Xiong Ye was very good looking.
To the people in the tribe, his shoulders weren’t broad enough, and his body wasn’t thick enough since he had reached adulthood not long ago, but it had to be said that his figure with very much in line Zhou Ji’s modern man aesthetic.
This was a very handsome eighteen-year-old boy.
Xiong Ye was beside him, so it wasn’t convenient for Zhou Ji to use his spiritual powers to control the vines to do chores for him, so he picked up a knife and prepared to cut up the meat.
Yet it turned out that Xiong Ye spoke up even before he could start, “I’ll cut it! How do you want it cut?” Zhou Ji’s hands didn’t have a single callus on them. He felt awkward making Zhou Ji work!
Zhou Ji saw that Xiong Ye was still able to jump around despite being injured and handed him the knife. He asked him to cut the elephant bird meat up into pieces; a portion of it was cut into large pieces, and the remainder was cut into small pieces.
The small pieces of meat were dumped into the water and boiled, while the larger pieces were sprinkled with salt. He then chopped up some of the ‘grass’ that he’d brought back and mixed it into the marinade.
Some of this ‘grass’ added flavor, while others were good for Xiong Ye. For example, there were calming herbs and plants filled with energy.
The stone pot cooked very slowly. It took a very long time before the water boiled, and then… There was a layer of foam in the pot.
Zhou Ji took out a wooden spatula and removed the foam, then let it continue to boil as he prepared to roast the meat.
While the meat was roasting, he also gave Xiong Ye the stems from several of the plants he had brought back, “You can try chewing on these.”
“Why chew?” Xiong Ye pinched the hard plant stems that Zhou Ji had given him and asked in a puzzled tone.
“It’s sweet.” Zhou Ji said. This thing was a little similar to sugarcane, but it wasn’t as thick. The juice that came out when it was chewed was very sweet.
Sweet was a flavor that the people of the Big Bear Tribe really enjoyed, but they weren’t able to taste it often–Although some fruits were sweet, those kinds of fruit were often already eaten by dinosaurs or birds before they were able to pick them.
Xiong Ye really liked sweet things, so when he heard Zhou Ji say that it was sweet, he picked one up and immediately began to chew.
It really was sweet! Xiong Ye chewed repeatedly, then swallowed the chewed up fiber pulp into his stomach.
“Spit out the pulp after you’re finished chewing.” Zhou Ji reminded him.
“Oh…” Xiong Ye replied. When he ate another one, he remembered to spit out the chewed up fibers. “This thing is so good. Where does it grow?”
“I find it occasionally, it’s relatively rare.” Zhou Ji replied.
Xiong Ye thought that it was a bit of a pity when he heard this, then continued, “Zhou Ji, you really know a lot.”
“My mother taught me.” Zhou Ji was spouting nonsense. He didn’t have any memories from the original owner of this body, but he had heard from other people’s conversations that he had had a very loving mother.
Xiong Ye didn’t doubt him. Zhou Ji’s mother had been very strong and had always spent a lot of time outside. She had even spent two years wandering around in her youth, so it was quite normal for her to recognize a lot of plants.
Didn’t Grandpa Priest recognize a lot of plants? According to Grandpa Priest, what he knew couldn’t be considered a lot–The previous priest hadn’t had time to teach everything he knew to Grandpa Priest.
However, Xiong Ye felt that Zhou Ji’s current actions weren’t very good, “You should interact with people more and give these things to people from the gathering team. They’ll definitely be willing to look out for you after that.” Zhou Ji was too unsociable, and people like that weren’t very well-liked in the tribe.
“I’m only giving it to you.” Zhou Ji said. In fact, he didn’t feel much towards this tribe and even felt that he was out of place.
The people in the tribe had taken care of him somewhat, but he had already returned the favor by sprouting up more plants in the area in thanks.
Additionally, he didn’t want to be too involved with the people in this tribe, nor did he want to destroy their way of life.
He just wanted to live quietly by himself.
Only Xiong Ye was an exception–Xiong Ye had saved him, and he should repay him for his kindness.
Zhou Ji hadn’t thought too much about it when he said these words, but Xiong Ye froze for a moment and suddenly thought of something.
In the tribe, giving food was generally done to express interest. People would give food to the people they were attracted to.
He had been very happy to give Shi Li food because he had liked Shi Li.
Zhou Ji gave him things, and Zhou Ji didn’t eat the meat that he had given him, giving it back to him to eat instead. Could it be that he… liked him?
When he thought of this, he felt that Zhou Ji’s previous comment about not wanting to eat dinosaur meat because it wasn’t delicious might not be true… Back then, Zhou Ji’s mother had brought home all kinds of dinosaur meat, saying that her son’s appetite was especially good. It was impossible for her to have been lying!
And while Zhou Ji’s mother had still been alive, although Zhou Ji didn’t leave the cave often, he would still go out to sit on the stone platform near the entrance. Xiong Ye had clearly seen Zhou Ji eating meat there before.
Xiong Ye glanced at Zhou Ji and felt a little complicated. He was concerned that he might have mistaken Zhou Ji’s meaning, and he was also worried that Zhou Ji might have misunderstood him.
He had given Zhou Ji meat out of sympathy and invited Zhou Ji to live with him… He hadn’t thought about it much before, but when he considered it now, it did make it seem like he was interested in Zhou Ji.
While Xiong Ye was still caught up in his thoughts, Zhou Ji said, “There’s no more water.”
“I’ll go get water.” Xiong Ye took a stone bowl with him to get water and began to think about other matters.
He hadn’t cooked in his cave before, so he hadn’t needed to keep water inside his cave. Filling up a stone bowl with water had already been enough, but if he was going to keep cooking in the future, this stone bowl wasn’t going to be sufficient.
Should he hollow out a piece of wood and make a bucket?
But a wooden bucket would quickly become mouldy after being filled with water again and again, and the black mould looked very unpleasant…
Xiong Ye thought about it, and soon brought back some water for Zhou Ji to use.
Zhou Ji spent a lot of time boiling and roasting the meat. He was especially careful when it came to roasting the meat, coating the pieces with grease and honey repeatedly while slowly roasting them. It was quite time-consuming.
However, meat that had been roasted like this was exceptionally delicious.
Zhou Ji had to admit that this elephant bird was the best tasting meat he’d eaten since he came to this world. It was a little tougher than chicken but was tenderer than dinosaur meat and didn’t have any strange lingering aftertaste. There was also Xiong Ye gorging himself in front of him… He ended up eating too much in a moment of carelessness.
Xiong Ye saw that Zhou Ji had eaten over five kilograms of meat in one go and was rather startled–Zhou Ji’s appetite turned out to be this big?!
Did that mean that he had always gone hungry before this?
xiin: all these misunderstandings and inadvertent taking care of each other >///<
Juurensha: Awwww they’re so sweet, just wanting the best for each other.