Chapter 133 – Raising a Big Cat in the Apocalypse (12)
From a window on the second floor of the inpatient building, a woman with a white mask leaned out and waved desperately at the truck, “Hey, hey, hey, brat, turn off the engine, turn it off! Are you running it here in the middle of the night to show off how loud your engine is?!”
Chi Xiaochi said, “We caught a bear.”
The woman chased him away, “My place isn’t a storehouse! Go, go, go.”
Chi Xiaochi stretched out his arms and leaned on the dashboard, smiling gleefully, “I even brought you back a nurse.”
The woman’s eyes lit up, and she turned around to run outside, even forgetting to put on a coat.
As she thumped her way down the stairs, she was still wearing a mask that covered half of her face.
She pulled on the girl’s wrist in excitement, her joy overflowing, “I was just thinking about our shortage in staff. Did you really bring me back a nurse? Captain Ding, you’ve worked hard.”
Chi Xiaochi plucked off a white plum flower from the small flower bed in the courtyard and stuck it on the dashboard, “When there’s something you need, you call out Captain Ding, when there’s nothing, you call me brat.”
The woman’s smile was about to overflow from the bottom of her eyes, “Fine, fine, fine, I’m guilty of everything you say… Girl, my last name is Lu, and you can call me Sister Lu in the future. From the looks of you, you should’ve just graduated from university, right? …You’ve worked in a hospital for a year? That’s great! I’ll get you a set of clothing, and you can go and wash up. Your entire body smells like bear. … Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I literally mean that you smell like a bear, it’s all Little Ding’s fault, he doesn’t do anything properly, sticking a girl like you together with a bear––wait a minute, Little Ding! Ding Qiuyun! Don’t run! You stole my plum blossoms again!”
The Chi Xiaochi who’d been quietly sliding the truck out of the hospital entrance found that his actions had been exposed and stepped down on the accelerator, driving away with a whoosh.
The new little nurse was still in a daze, confused about everything going on around her.
After hearing Sister Lu’s words, the little nurse asked in surprise, “You guys have hot water here?”
For the little nurse, hot water was considered an absolute luxury.
For the past two years, she’d been living in a city and serving the new humans.
If a new human hadn’t tried to rape her and refused to give up unless they succeeded, she wouldn’t have run away with her boyfriend.
After getting rescued by Chi Xiaochi and the others, they’d come to an agreement with the two.
The girl would stay at the hospital first, and her little boyfriend would be sent to the power plant to familiarize himself with the environment. At noon tomorrow, they would take his boyfriend around again to let them get familiar with the town as well as explain the rules for living there.
Sister Lu pointed into the distance, “We have a cold proof boiler room. This old thing was put together by several college students who referred to diagrams from textbooks and some old materials. Don’t judge it, it’s quite useful. Everyone takes turns, and at least, we can all take a bath every two days.”
The little nurse’s tone was envious, “Old humans like us could only take a bath once every five days, and were only worthy of using lukewarm water when washing up.”
“Hey, what’s with being worthy or not,” Sister Lu said, “We’re all human.”
The little nurse really liked the talkative, motherly Sister Lu.
When walking with her towards the hospital building, the little nurse said, “There are still differences between people. The new humans never see us as human beings.”
Sister Lu replied, “I’m a new human, and I don’t think so.”
The little nurse: “……”
“Forget it, I won’t pull down my mask to avoid scaring you.” Sister Lu seemed to notice the little nurse’s embarra.s.sment, turning her head to laugh heartily, “Let me tell you in advance that there are new humans, old humans, animals, and AI who’ve come to join us. In this world, where there is bad, there is also good.”
After settling in the little nurse’s boyfriend, Chi Xiaochi took the bear’s corpse to the warehouse.
There was a special person in the warehouse who was responsible for butchering and dealing with the goods they hunted.
Three bright headlights lit up the slaughterhouse. Under the warm yellow light, the bear meat and bear skin were still steaming as they split apart.
The team members who’d partic.i.p.ated in the bear hunt had already agreed that the meat would be divided according to their merits and needs, and the rest of the meat would be stored in the public cold storage after the weight was registered.
No matter how much they harvested, it was theirs to deal with as they chose. They could keep it, or take it out and use it for trade.
Those who were fond of eating and averse to work could just sit there with their mouths open and eat nothing but cold, bitter wind.
As for stealing, robbing and looting, they could think about it, but n.o.body dared to actually do it.
After all, as long as they worked hard in this place, they would have food and would never starve to death. However, seizing other people’s goods and materials during the apocalypse was equivalent to murder, and getting caught meant death.
Chi Xiaochi took back a large piece of bear meat, planning to cook it up for his Boss Coal.
He ate a milk candy in order to suppress the gamey smell.
Amidst the light fragrance of the plum flower blossom and the warm taste of the milk candy, he made his way through the city at night and returned to the Ding Family courtyard at the east end of the city.
His parents had already gone to sleep, so Chi Xiaochi put out the fire when he was still 100 meters away from home and felt out his way with his feet against the ground, slowly sliding his way into the yard.
His Boss Coal also obediently slowed down his pace and walked with him into the yard.
Chi Xiaochi first cut the meat into two parts, then went to the small greenhouse in the courtyard to pick out some green onions and carrots before simmering the bear meat over a low fire.
Maybe because he’d been fed until his tastes changed growing up, but his Boss Coal’s tastes were very similar to that of human beings and he never ate raw meat.
Just like today, after Boss Coal had bitten off the black bear’s neck, he’d immediately gone to the river nearby, cutting through the ice to clean himself up. Then, he’d crouched down by Chi Xiaochi’s feet, gently licking his claws clean.
There had never been any need for Chi Xiaochi to worry about cleaning him up.
After stewing the meat, Chi Xiaochi went to the dressing room to change clothes.
He was halfway through taking off his turtleneck when the door opened.
The cold air leaked in, and Chi Xiaochi tried to avoid it instinctively by bending slightly and turning sideways.
His face was covered with the turtleneck, and it just so happened to be when his vision was dark.
“Who is it?” He asked.
There was no answer, but the door was closed quietly in a very considerate gesture.
Chi Xiaochi smelled the familiar scent of a cat.
Only fur that was basked in sunshine during the day would have such a unique scent.
Chi Xiaochi smiled briefly, then continued to take off his sweater.
At first, everyone had generally believed that the baby leopard was a cat.
By the time Father Ding and Mother Ding noticed that this toy’s growth wasn’t quite right, it was already too late.
They’d mentioned it to Chi Xiaochi twice that he should send the leopard away as soon as possible when the little leopard grew up and had the ability to live independently.
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After all, this was a wild animal. Even if it had grown up in a zoo, in the final a.n.a.lysis, it was still a carnivore.
It didn’t make a sound, and there was only the exhalation sound of a high-temperature flow of air reverberating in his ear, making Chi Xiaochi feel itchy all over.
Fortunately, Boss was an honest and kind leopard and didn’t tease him for too long. He obediently sat back and freed Chi Xiaochi.
Chi Xiaochi sat on its body and stroked the back of its neck, “Good leopard.”
He hadn’t finished speaking yet when the leopard turned to lick Chi Xiaochi’s right ear.
The rough barbs on its tongue brushed over his earlobe with a mildly overbearing force, almost giving Chi Xiaochi an illusion that his ears were going to be bruised.
This lick seemed to land directly on his spiritual body, making Chi Xiaochi’s legs tremble.
He made a ‘tch’ sound, “Why is praise useless with you.”
The leopard seemed to understand Chi Xiaochi’s words. In order to make up for it, it bit lightly at Chi Xiaochi’s sweater and helped him get out of his clothes, acting like his beloved partner.
The fight between Chi Xiaochi and the sweater finally ended in victory.
When he was able to see the sky again, the first thing Chi Xiaochi saw was the black leopard’s eyes.
That pair of grey blue, crystal-like eyes were looking at him with tenderness and warmth.
It rested its chin lightly on Chi Xiaochi’s collarbone and rubbed gently against him.
Holding a mobile self-propelled small heater like this and being trusted and relied on wholeheartedly made Chi Xiaochi’s heart go soft. He hugged the leopard’s head and kissed it on the ear, “Don’t mess around, I’m going to get up now.”
The black leopard was very happy, circling around Chi Xiaochi’s calves a few times before going out the door with Chi Xiaochi after he’d finished changing clothes.
Most of the bear meat in the pot belonged to a certain Boss Coal, and the meat at the bottom of the pot went to Chi Xiaochi.
He added some noodles and tofu to the fresh brown broth.
The wide noodles were flexible and strong, and chewy when they entered the mouth. The tofu had been boiled in the meat juices and could be used to eliminate the greasiness, absorbing the taste of the juice. Just stewing it in the pot was enough to make one’s tongue produce saliva and satisfy the nose even before the meal began.
Chi Xiaochi ended up covered in sweat from eating.
061 could tell from how he was eating that he’d really been hungry. He was a little distressed, “Eat a little slower.”
Chi Xiaochi exhaled a breath of hot air, “It’s alright.”
After eating for a while, he spoke to 061 again, “I’ll be going out again in two days.”
061 was surprised, “You’re not taking two days off?”
Chi Xiaochi picked up a bite of noodles with his chopsticks and blew on it twice to cool it down more quickly, “It’s about our task.”
The word ‘our’ really warmed up people’s hearts. 061’s voice also subconsciously held a smile, “Gu Xinzhi?”
Over the past two years, Chi Xiaochi had been raising leopards, cultivating farms, building up his team, and establishing a base. It was as though he’d completely forgotten about his target, Gu Xinzhi.
Only 061 knew that he hadn’t forgotten Gu Xinzhi for a single day over the past two years.
Chi Xiaochi picked up a piece of tofu with his chopsticks, smiling slyly like a little fox, “It’s time to go and test the effectiveness of my 397 dream control cards.”
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