Cub Raising Association

酒矣

Chapter 17

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Into his arms

More than half a month later, the northern part of Gaia Star was still in the grip of winter and the temperature had only gotten lower. In some areas snow had even fallen and colored the ground white.

The Yunbao branch was slightly better off and had managed to escape the snow so far, however to Xie Tao, who was not used to cold, the low temperature was enough to make him shudder.

(T/N: (╥﹏╥) …I feel so betrayed by this part. I’m from northern Sweden, snow is already covering the ground, so when he described the horrible cold in the past chapters, I thought that it must at least be -20 to -30 C and that the snow at the roadside was at minimum knee deep… )

Compared to the other staff members in the club who were only wearing thin clothes, Xie Tao really stood out with his layered and thick clothing. After the temperature dropped further in the last few days, the layers had even increased, but no matter how much clothes Xie Tao put on, he was somehow still not able to retain heat.

When he went to sleep at night, he would even unconsciously hold the fluffy Knox close to his body in order to feel his heat and warm himself.

“Ah Tao, do you really feel that cold?” Everyone else in the branch were not bothered by this temperature and certainly would not describe it was cold. So after observing the human youth’s behavior these past days as he wrapped himself up even more and occasionally s.h.i.+vered, Xia Qi could not help but curiously ask this.

Hearing her question, the few people who were busily working nearby paused their actions and looked over at Xie Tao, they had all been wondering the same thing.

Gaia Star was very far from the Earth Federation and although this was a trading planet, not many humans would visit it. The inhabitants therefore knew very little about the human race and most of their knowledge was very vague.

They only knew that after being separated from their weapons and equipment, human beings were generally very weak. However they were not sure as to which extent this vulnerability reached. But after seeing Xie Tao’s behavior…

Was it really true that he would freeze to death if he did not coc.o.o.n himself in clothes?

With their own and most others’ physiques being far better than humans’, they had a hard time comprehending this. The only time their races felt cold and needed protection from it was when they were still newborns or inside an egg.

Faced with everyone’s questioning eyes, Xie Tao could only helplessly nod.

All the thick clothes he was now wearing had been brought from his original world by using the rule. Since the other races seemed to not be affected by the cold, there was no demand for winter clothes. Because of this there was no market for it and not even a single shop on Gaia Star sold thick clothes.

Xie Tao had accepted that adults of other races were not afraid of the cold, but when it came to the cubs, he was still worried. He was especially concerned about the mermaid cub who, during the winter months, continued living outside in the pool.

“Won’t the water temperature be too cold?” Xie Tao squatted down and reached out to test the water’s temperature. As soon as he came in contact with it, he couldn’t help but frown.

Even though the buildings were poorly insulated, it was much colder outside, and by just touching the surface with his fingers, Xie Tao could feel that the water was ice cold.

When Xie Tao had walked closer, a small head with golden hair had emerged and swum closer. Although the small delicate face did not show any emotion, one could read his mood just by looking at the ice blue tail that was excitingly swaying in the water.

“Ah…” Hearing Xie Tao’s words, the little mermaid made a low-pitched sound and shook his head. Even though the cub knew that he could not speak, he still tried to answer him with sounds as well as gestures.

Xie Tao had read in the “Cub Encyclopedia” that the mermaid race preferred the water temperature to be 18 ° C. After learning this, he had directly gone onto the Star Network and brought a device that could regulate the water temperature.

When he had gone onto the Star Network, he had of course first looked at the different prices and taken the club’s economy into consideration. However, since the pool was not very big, they lucky only needed a small device which was not too expensive. He had therefore bought it without hesitation.

But the package had unfortunately somehow been delayed and not yet arrived. Under normal circ.u.mstances, he would not have been bothered by this, however with the temperature dropping even further this week, Xie Tao felt a bit frustrated.

He had read that even though the mermaid race preferred 18 ° C, lower temperatures would not harm them. But despite knowing that the mermaid race had extremely high tolerance for cold, he still felt uneasy.

Xie Tao reached out and gently touched the mermaid cub’s smooth hair. Feeling the touch, the little mermaid gave a faint sigh and leaned against the pools edge. There was no way to get closer, he could only look up and reach out to touch Xie Tao’s knee.

The cub’s hands were wet, but Xie Tao did not care about this and instead wondered about the meaning behind the cub’s actions.

“..ah..pa…” The mermaid cub looked up at Xie Tao and as their eyes met, he said this. If listening closely, one would be able to tell that the second syllable was slightly harder than the first one. However the difference was too small and Xie Tao, who was not prepared, was not able to detect it.

The cub did not remove his hand after touching Xie Tao’s knee and instead held on tighter as he continued to silently gaze up at him.

Xie Tao finally realized that the mermaid cub seemed to want to be closer. However the fact remained that the cub could not leave the water… Thinking about this, he decided to first try lifting the cub up. He did it very slowly and was prepared to put the cub back down if he showed any reluctance.

The cub wanted to be close to the youth, however he had once almost died from dehydration when he had been abandoned in that field, and the fear from that trauma was still strong. Against his will, he therefore instinctively shook his tail when he was lifted up from the pool.

The tail did not move as wildly as it had when Xie Tao had first met the cub and lifted him out of the bucket in order to change the water. But Xie Tao had made up his mind that if the cub showed any sign of distress or resistance, he would stop and he therefore started lowering him back down. However, when the cub, that was already halfway up, realized this, he stretched out his arms and grabbed onto Xie Tao’s s.h.i.+rt. He didn’t want to be put down.

Seeing the cub’s action, Xie Tao first felt a bit helpless, but he then quickly thought it through and decided to do as the cub wished.

As he lifted him up, the fishtail’s ice-blue scales. .h.i.t Xie Tao’s body and covered him with water. However, Xie Tao did not let go of him and instead continued to hold him as he repeatedly stroked his soft hair and comforted him. “Baby, don’t be afraid, everything’s okay, everything’s okay…”

Because of the fact that this cub had a physical defect and could not speak, the parents had abandoned him and let him experience such a horrible thing… Why would someone do something like that, how could they throw away the cub as if he was a thing?

Both Xie Tao and Xia Qi had been enraged by this, but at the same time they were also glad that the cub had found his way here and did not have to grow up with those awful parents.

“This is your home, no one can hurt you here. I won’t let them.” Xie Tao looked the cub in his eyes as he slowly said this, he then glanced at the pool next to them, he would soon make the living environment even better for the cub and not let him swim in ice cold water. Maybe they would later even be able to buy a bigger pool.

The tail’s movements gradually eased. Although he had been separated from the water, the sense of security and warmth coming from the youth made his fear decrease. The instinctive horror he always felt finally regressed, and as the cub relaxed and sunk into Xie Tao’s arms, the only sound that could be heard was his small breaths that were strained from his earlier struggle.

The small fishtail did no longer sway, the cub only moved slightly as he made himself more comfortable in his arms, he then looked up at Xie Tao and weakly called out to him. “Pa…”

Pa?

Xie Tao had for a while now felt that this sound had a certain meaning, but he still couldn’t figure out what it was. He could therefore only touch the cub’s hair and hug him close as he in a soft voice said. “Baby.”

Hearing him answer in a soft tone, the cub lightly swayed his tail in joy and leaned in closer to lay his head against Xie Tao’s chest. He then rubbed his head against him and tried harder to properly say the word. “Pa-“

But he did not manage to say the entire word, he could only make this one syllable a little clearer, it was currently the limit of what he could do…

Confirming that the pool’s temperature did not harm the mermaid cub, Xie Tao rejected the idea of temporarily bringing the cub back indoors. Being in the small bucket would probably be more harmful for the cub than the cold. Xie Tao looked down at the cub in his arms. He would certainly not force him back there just because of his own irrational worries.

Stroking back the little mermaid’s wet hair, he planted a kiss on his forehead and said goodbye as he put the cub back in the water. Xie Tao then went back to his room in order to change his wet coat and then walked to the building where the cubs lived.

As soon as he closed the door behind him and turned around, his arms got occupied by a white little fluffball with two small horns on his head.

The work that Xie Tao had arranged for Ya Yi this time was to tidy up the courtyard, however this had only taken a few minutes with his powers. When Zarad had gotten to know this, his expression had been a bit complicated.

The silver haired Knox had shown himself to have very powerful abilities, and those powerful abilities had actually been used to organize a courtyard…

When the Knox did not have anything left that he needed to do, he would change back into the cub form and run to Xie Tao in order warm his hands.

None of the cubs in their club were affected by the cold and even though Xie Tao was relieved by that, he could not help but also feel a bit envious.

His hands were cold from being outside and it made Xie Tao unconsciously want to touch the fluffy white Knox in his arms.

“Meah.” Ya Yi looked up at Xie Tao who was stroking his back. He wanted to properly warm both of his hand. He therefore called out to him and moved to pushed Xie Tao’s other hand under him as well.

The Knox’s belly was so fluffy and warm that Xie Tao felt a little unwilling to pull his hands out despite the fact that work was calling.

Several other caretakers in the room had already begun preparing food for the cubs and Xie Tao had planned to join in. However when he s.h.i.+fted his gaze to the side, he caught sight of the Kuhti cub, who was practicing flying together with his two new best friends.

In addition to the previous half month, the Kuhti cub had now independently been working hard to fly for a half month. He had managed to go from not being able to fly at all, to ground flying, to now being able to fly upward to a certain height.

However, he could still not fly very far and it didn’t take long before he landed after each takeoff. Xie Tao observed for a while and then concluded that the cub always flew about two meters before needing to land.

Each time was the same, two meters, no more, no less, and this made Xie Tao feel that something was wrong.

During those two meters, the cub’s flight posture was very good, but after the two meter mark it was as if the cub retreated and landed on his own.

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Xie Tao temporarily put the warm fluffy Knox down and approached the Kuhti cub who was vigorously practicing flying. “Baby.”

But it only meant that he got to eat them all by himself!

After stuffing himself to the point that his belly became a table, he digested it by chilling in the rare autumn sun.

But he couldn’t let himself get fat now could he?

The caretakers were always commenting on how chubby he was.. well they also called him cute, but he couldn’t let it continue this way!

After training for ten minutes, he stopped and flexed his muscles, sunbathing in his own awesomeness.

Because he had exercised, he felt that he had now worked off the cupcakes and carrots and he felt quite good about himself. As a reward, he allowed himself to indulge his cravings…

So much energy!!!

He couldn’t sit still, he was a bunny hyped up on sugar and he needed to release that energy. Looking around he found his victim, an oblivious daydreaming Knox cub.

The Takila cub attacked with lightning-fast speed. The daydreaming Knox never saw it coming and only realized what was going on after it was already too late.

Knox: “…”

Innocent looking Takila: “Play with me.”

Knox: “No.”

Takila cub: ” I need a partner… Play. With. Me.”

Knox: “……..” ( ̄ー ̄ )

Ya Yi knew that he could still crush the little cub who was threatening him, but since Xie Tao might be upset with him if he did it, he decided to yield and play with him. Unexpectedly, he got really into it and actually had fun, however he would never admit this to the Takila cub.

They played until midnight and then stop as one of their opponents, the panda, fell asleep. Halloween was technically over, but the Takila did not want it to end just yet and went to search for coffee in order to reload his energy-less body.

He then dragged the Knox cub with him to his corner and showed him his books.

The Knox was skeptic, he couldn’t understand what was so good about a few scribbles on a paper and he really wanted to go to Xie Tao’s room and just sleep in his embrace. However the Takila cub was pressistent and demanded that he got to know the magic of books.

After listening to the Takila cub’s explanation, the Knox got curious and flipped open a book. However, before he started reading he noticed one of Xie Tao’s scarfs that had fallen off the rack and was laying on the floor. Walking over, he picked up the scarf and wrapped the soft fabric around himself. Inhaling Xie Tao’s scent, he relaxed and made himself comfortable as he began the story.

The Takila’s eyes soon started to get heavy, but he refused to sleep, he had just been given a new book by the caretakers and he needed to finish it! He needed to know what would happen! What was the limit of Juliette’s power?! Was she going to choose Warner or Adam?!!!

The Knox cub had gotten pretty into the new series that the Takila cub showed him. He really sympathized with how Juliette had been shunned and mistreated because of her powers, something that she was born with and had not chosen.

However he really needed to get back to Xie Tao, he wanted to at least be there when he woke up in the morning.

But he was at a cliffhanger, the last he had read was that some people had stormed into her cell and violently knocked her unconscious! What was happening?! He needed to know…

Hearing Ya Yi tiredly mumbling this sentence, the Takila cub felt warm in his heart, he had finally gotten a friend that liked the same things as he did.

But he of course did not say this, no it would be too embarra.s.sing…

The Knox, who had almost fallen asleep, lazily opened one eye and jokingly mumbled.

Never knowing how true his words actually were or the impact they had.

The End

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