Ch2 – Shi Li
Although Shi Li’s actions were very strange, Xiong Ye didn’t take it seriously. They had only just fought side by side this morning. As for just now… Shi Li probably had a nightmare?
Xiong Ye continued up the steps and soon came to the entrance to a cave. He shouted, “Aunt Ying!”
This cave was where Shi Li and his family lived. The cave wasn’t big, and it’s location wasn’t very good. The entrance was covered by a door that was made up of pieces of wood tied together by vines and plastered with mud, but it was still extremely thick and solid.
Xiong Ye had prepared this for them last year before the onset of winter.
With a lot of children to raise, Xiong Ye’s mother had never had time to concern herself with him. He had spent most of his childhood with the elderly and children of the tribe and had learned many crafts.
The door opened, and a middle-aged woman who was as thin and weak as a reedy bamboo came out. The area around her eyes and forehead was covered in wrinkles.
This woman was Yang Ying, Shi Li’s mother. She saw Xiong Ye and pulled a long face, “What did you come here for?”
Yang Ying didn’t want Shi Li and Xiong Ye to be together, and her attitude towards Xiong Ye had plummeted ever since Xiong Ye and Shi Li had decided to become mates.
Xiong Ye couldn’t really understand this. He was very strong, so for Yang Ying, him mating with Shi Li should clearly be a good thing, right?
As for being unable to have children… The tribe had so many children, so many orphans. If they wanted children, they could definitely bring a few of them back to their cave to raise… And even if they didn’t have children, what did it have to do with Yang Ying?
However, the person in front of him was Shi Li’s mother, and Shi Li still attached a lot of importance to her, so Xiong Ye’s attitude was always very good whenever he dealt with Yang Ying, “Aunt Ying, I brought down a Lesothosaurus and wanted to send some of it over to you.”
Only then did Yang Ying notice that Xiong Ye was carrying prey in his hand. Her eyes became glued to the Lesothosaurus as she reached out to take it.
But Xiong Ye didn’t give it to her.
Xiong Ye stretched out his hand and tore the Lesothosaurus into two, handing over the larger half that contained the internal organs to Yang Ying, “Aunt Ying, here you go.”
The Lesothosaurus had been dead for some time, so no blood dripped out when Xiong Ye tore it in half. Even so, the scene was bloody enough to stun Yang Ying, her disgust plain on her face as her hands stilled. She no longer tried to accept it immediately.
Xiong Ye saw that Yang Ying wasn’t reaching out to take it anymore and placed half of the Lesothosaurus on the stone platform beside the door. He nodded to Yang Ying and left.
In their tribe, children would leave their mothers after reaching adulthood, and most children left even before then and would no longer live with their mother from then on. At most, when the food that was portioned out to the elderly was insufficient, they would offer some extra food to the mother who had raised them—if their father had also taken on the responsibility to raise them, they would also give their fathers a share.
In their tribe, the relationship between parents and their children was not very close, and everyone was already used to it.
Xiong Ye treated Yang Ying well only because Yang Ying was Shi Li’s mother, but it was impossible to expect him to assiduously take care of Yang Ying.
After departing from Shi Li’s home, Xiong Ye hadn’t taken more than a few steps when he noticed a white-skinned young man sitting on the ground in front of another cave entrance. The man was chewing on what was most likely was a plant stalk while staring at him… or was he staring at the meat in his hands?
Xiong Ye stopped and frowned as he looked at the young man.
The youth in front of him was called ‘Zhou’, and was two years older than him. In the tribe, they could be considered to be of the same generation, but they had never played together because Zhou was very dumb and hardly ever left his cave when he was a child.
If this kind of child had been born in anyone else’s home, they would definitely have been abandoned, but Zhou’s mother was different and had always raised Zhou well.
Zhou’s mother was very strong. Nearly a third of the people in their tribe would awaken some sort of bear form or another, and a third of those who had done so would have relatively high fighting power after awakening. Zhou’s mother had been like that.
Mother bears who were raising children were not to be trifled with, and Zhou’s mother was not easy to push around. She had always taken care of Zhou, and even if Zhou never managed to learn how to hunt and basically didn’t know how to communicate with others, she had never let Zhou go hungry.
Until her death.
Two months ago, Zhou’s mother had gone out hunting alone and never came back.
Everyone knew that his mother must have died outside.
During the first few days, the people in the tribe who had a good relationship with Zhou’s mother would still go and visit Zhou, but gradually, people stopped caring about him—people from the tribe died every year, and nobody stayed immersed in pain over their deaths.
Then… Zhou almost starved to death.
He had probably been too dumb and hadn’t even come out to obtain his share of food whenever it was distributed amongst the tribe. Meanwhile, everyone else had believed that his mother had stockpiled food for him inside their home, and had never thought to worry about him.
Xiong Ye thought to this point and sighed.
A month and a half ago, when he came here to look for Shi Li, he had noticed Zhou climbing out of the cave where he was staying. Only then had he discovered that Zhou had actually almost starved to death.
He had given Zhou some food back then, and Zhou had lived on. Perhaps because he had walked along the line of life and death, Zhou changed a lot and was finally willing to come out of his cave.
But Zhou had not awakened any animal form despite having already reached adulthood. He also couldn’t be trained… It would be harmful for him to join in on the hunts, and he could only follow the gathering team and forage nearby.
Everyone in the gathering team was either elderly, a child, or a disabled member of the tribe. Zhou was the only youth there who had fully functioning arms and legs, but even so, rumors said that when Zhou went out to forage, he was often distracted, and he collected even less than some of the children.
Perhaps Zhou’s brain wasn’t whole yet.
“Zhou!” Xiong Ye called out.
“Ah?” Zhou turned towards Xiong Ye. His skin was pale, and the hides he was wearing were clean.
Xiong Ye ripped a foreleg off his half of the Lesothosaurus and gave it to Zhou, then patted Zhou on the shoulder, “Eat a bit more and exercise well so that you can strive to join the hunting team!” Since Zhou was like this… when the tribe divided up food for him, his portion would be the same as what the elderly and children obtained. How could such a small amount be enough for a mature youth to eat? Zhou must be going hungry every day.
Xiong Ye had starved once as a child, watching with wide eyes as Zhou’s mother had given him something to eat after bringing back prey of her own, so he didn’t mind giving Zhou a bit of his catch.
Xiong Ye finished talking and left.
Zhou looked at his retreating figure, then looked at the foreleg, and his brows wrinkled slightly.
At that moment, a twelve or thirteen-year-old boy suddenly ran out from the side and reached out to snatch the foreleg.
Seeing that this foreleg was about to be snatched away by the boy, Zhou suddenly reached out his hand, picked up the foreleg before the child could, and quickly hurried back to his cave, closing the door behind him.
“Bah!” The boy spat at Zhou’s door, then ran into the cave beside it, which was where Yang Ying lived.
By this time, Xiong Ye had arrived at a cave in the north side of the valley. The fire in this cave burned all year round.
The cave he lived in was very basic, and there was no fire in it, so whenever he caught prey, he would always come to the cave where the tribe kept their fire in order to roast his meat.
After giving more than half of the Lesothosaurus to Yang Ying and splitting a bit of the remainder with Zhou, there was only 3-4kg left of the original 15kg dinosaur. Xiong Ye roasted it over the fire for a bit, then gnawed and ate the bones along with the meat.
While Xiong Ye was eating meat, Shi Li had arrived at a mountain top near the tribe and turned back into his human form.
He found leaves to wrap around his waist, then looked down and felt that his appearance was a little disgraceful.
He currently didn’t even have a single piece of clothing. He could only wrap a leather skirt around himself!
But at the same time, Shi Li was also a little blank.
He ran around, then carefully looked over this mountain top that had been blurred by time in his memories several times, then bit his arm again before finally determining one thing—he had traveled back in time by a hundred years.
His road had been strenuous and difficult, but he had finally become the Beast King and gradually aged from his prime towards old age. When he thought he was about to die and would return to the embrace of Mother Earth, he had instead discovered that he once again had a youthful body and had returned to the time of his youth…
Emerging from his confusion, Shi Li became speechless with happiness. He finally raised his head to the sky and roared loud and long, startling the birds who were nested in the trees nearby. One of the birds flew by in a panic and sprinkled a round of bird droppings on his head.
Shi Li was furious and reached out to crush the bird to death, but the bird had already flown away…
Based on the strength he had prior to his death, seizing and crushing a bird like that would be an incredibly simple matter, but now, he had no such ability at all.
The him from this time period was not the powerful Beast King, but an ordinary person who had awakened a pretty good animal form.
Shi Li’s thoughts suddenly cleared up, and he looked down the mountain.
The Beast God had blessed him and given him the opportunity to start over. What should he do?
After just one round of running, Shi Li had basically figured out where on the timeline he was—he had reached adulthood not long ago and hadn’t mated with Xiong Ye yet.
In his previous life, after he and Xiong Ye became mates, several powerful dinosaurs had come near the tribe. The current chief, Xiong Ye’s uncle, had died in the battle against those dinosaurs, and Xiong Ye had become the chief of the tribe.
Later, their tribe was attacked by other tribes, and they were driven out of the valley. He and Xiong Ye had led the remaining survivors from their tribe and had begun their life of nomadic wandering.
That period of wandering had been very arduous, and it was not until he and Xiong Ye had accidentally discovered a set of cultivation methods hidden in a cave that they finally saw some hope.
He and Xiong Ye cultivated and fought as they travelled, getting stronger and stronger, until they finally became Beast Kings together.
They had only been in their fifties.
Later, after being coronated by the High Priest of the Beast God Temple, they were given a vast stretch of forest in which their clan could thrive happily, and the other tribes who lived in the forest had to pay tribute to them.
In his youth, that kind of life had been beyond his imagination.
By the time of his death, he had already been a Beast King for fifty years, but he hadn’t been happy. In the final reckoning, the reason for that was all because of Xiong Ye.
When he was a child, he had almost starved to death. It was Xiong Ye who had saved him, and it had been Xiong Ye who had asked the tribe to let him, his mother, and his younger brother who had been wandering around aimlessly take shelter with the tribe.
Afterwards, Xiong Ye continued to help him a lot, so he and Xiong Ye became mates with the Beast God as witness.
They would always be tied together.
Therefore, even though he became the Beast King, he was unlike the other Beast Kings who were surrounded by many beauties, and he couldn’t even have children of his own.
It wasn’t until later, after Xiong Ye’s death, that he finally lived the life he wanted to live. But by then, he had already been old, and his strength did not match up to his expectations…
In this life…
Shi Li took a deep breath.
He didn’t want to be tied to Xiong Ye anymore.
This tribe knew nothing about the outside world, but he knew how vast and boundless the sky was outside, and he also knew how to become stronger.
He would become the strongest!
In addition, he also wanted to try everything he hadn’t had a chance to try before, and wanted to have a few children of his own.
Shi Li thought about a lot, and his stomach rumbled.
It had been a long time since he’d ever felt hungry… Shi Li turned into his animal form and ran towards his cave.
Although everything in front of him was already very strange and new, he could still remember his own scent and was able to find his own place.
Very quickly, Shi Li reached his own cave and let out a deep lion roar, immediately squeezing in as soon as Yang Ying opened the door.
Yang Ying was a little dissatisfied, “Why did you turn into a lion? Little Su will be scared.”
Shi Li kept his back to Yang Ying as he changed back into his human form and quickly got dressed.
Yang Ying continued, “Xiong Ye came by just now. He’s too stingy. It was such a small Lesothosaurus, and he unexpectedly only gave me half. There are three of us, while there’s just one of him.”
Shi Li frowned in annoyance. In fact, he couldn’t remember his own mother very clearly anymore.
In his previous life, his mother had died when their tribe was attacked by other tribes, and he had missed her very much over the years. Yet now, when he saw that the other party was so concerned about such a tiny little Lesothosaurus, he felt a bit ashamed.
It had been many years since he’d eaten something like this!
“Elder brother, I saw Xiong Ye giving Zhou meat! Is he going to do something that’ll disrespect you?!” At this point, Shi Li’s younger brother, Yang Su, also spoke up.
Yang Su was thirteen years old and had already awakened.
What kind of animal a person would awaken was related to their own physical condition, the animal form their parents had taken, and the animal forms of the people around them, as well as what they had eaten prior to their awakening.
The powerful people that Shi Li met later on would try to feed their children dinosaur meat filled with powerful energy while they were still young in order to ensure that they would awaken into powerful animals.
He had been able to awaken as a lion because prior to him, his younger brother, and his mother leaving their previous tribe, they had lived a good life, and his family had always had enough to eat.
However, it was different for his younger brother. His younger brother had often gone hungry during the years before he had awakened. He hadn’t been able to eat dinosaur more than a few times a year, and so he had finally awoken a very weak sheep form, like their mother.
In his previous life, Yang Su survived the tribal catastrophe and had always lived with him. Although he would occasionally bring him some trouble, the feelings between the two brothers had always been good.
In those years, Yang Su really liked to speak ill of Xiong Ye.
Shi Li knew that this was a bad habit of his and didn’t believe his words. He just spent a moment to recall who ‘Zhou’ was, and after he remembered, he said, “Yang Su, stop talking nonsense! Xiong Ye and Zhou have nothing to do with each other. You don’t need to worry about this!”
Shi Li actually had some impression of this person named Zhou.
He was nothing but a piece of waste in the tribe, but this waste not only had a mother who raised him to adulthood, he also had a particularly powerful father.
He remembered that in a few months, Zhou’s father would come to find Zhou, and Zhou would leave the tribe with his father.
At the time, he had been unable to express the envy he felt for Zhou, because Zhou’s father had been a Beast King with his own territory.
Of course, he no longer felt that envy now.
A few years after Zhou left with his father, his father, that powerful Beast King, died, and there was no more news regarding Zhou after that… Presumably, he had died without his father’s protection.
Shi Li didn’t take Zhou or even Zhou’s father seriously, but he also knew that he was still very weak right now and could not afford to become enemies with Zhou.
“You only know how to speak up for Xiong Ye!” Yang Su spoke unhappily.
Yang Ying also spoke up, “You’re looking down on us for having no ability, and don’t want to take care of us now that you have a promising future, right?”
Shi Li was a little annoyed, “You guys should relax. I won’t leave you.”
Yang Ying was relieved after she heard Shi Li’s words, “Li, we can only rely on you… You can’t leave us behind.”
Shi Li nodded. This was his mother and younger brother; of course he wouldn’t leave them behind.
In this life, he must not let his mother die early… It hadn’t been easy on her either. He’ll definitely let her live a good life!
While Shi Li was thinking this, he noticed the Lesothosaurus half that Yang Ying had cooked.
Yang Ying’s cooking skills were poor, and looking at her meals made people lose their appetite, but he was really hungry at the moment.
Shi Li ate the Lesothosaurus in a few bites, then said, “I’m going to sleep. Don’t make any noise and wake me up.” He wanted to start cultivating earlier!
Yang Ying and Yang Su nodded one after the other.
xiin: i realized that shi li never washed the bird poop off his head before he went to sleep
juu: … yeah that’s pretty gross