Shao Xuan had no idea what the bird would be like after it grew up, or what habits it would have, or whether it could fly in the future. Perhaps it was something like a chicken, or perhaps it would turn out to be some kind of raptor. If it was a chicken-like bird, then there would be no other use but to eat it as food. But if it turned out to be the latter, it could be trained as a hunting falcon. Even if not for hunting, it could be used as a lookout.
Of course, it was too early for any of that now. Shao Xuan did not know the bird’s potential yet. If it was useless, other people would kill it before Shao Xuan needed to do anything himself. After all, it was not Caesar. Caesar had the Shaman’s marking plate since he was a young wolf. Even if he had lost all his instincts and became docile, no one in the tribe would dare to harm him.
There was an ice cave near the top of the mountain. A lot of people would store the unsalted meat inside the ice cave, but a part of the meat was handed in as remuneration.
Shao Xuan also stored some meat inside the ice cave. He could not cure all the meat he had brought back, for Caesar did not like the salted ones. Also, it was not good for Old Ke’s health if he kept eating the cured meat. Moreover, now he had a baby bird in his house, how could he feed them all with only salted meat?
“It’s so troublesome!” Shao Xuan sighed. He could just abandon the baby bird, or toss it to Caesar as food. However, he felt that he should at least try raising it.
Three days later, the baby bird opened its eyes.
It was much earlier than Shao Xuan’s expectation. Originally, he thought that perhaps the bird would be like most of the birds he saw in his last life, spending seven to ten days before opening their eyes. However, it only took the bird three days to open its eyes, and its body was much fluffier. But it could not walk yet. Once it felt hungry, it would open its beak wide while chirping loudly, as if it feared not being heard.
Within those same three days, Shao Xuan had been doing stone crafting work in his own cabin. Now that he had some basic tools for stone crafting, he could finish most of the normal tools by himself at home. Old Ke would occasionally drop by and check in on him. He told Shao Xuan to take a few days break, and make some tools while he had the time. Once he had replenished his stock, he could go to the training ground for more training.
It only took Shao Xuan one night’s sleep to restore his energy. During the three days, he had crafted quite a lot. Some tools could be used to set traps, while the others could be used for training. He even made a few more complicated sets to be saved for the next hunting trip. He had decided to join Mai’s hunting group for the next hunting mission.
“Ah-Xuan!” someone shouted his name outside the door.
The people who came were Tu and Jie Ba, who were currently in charge of the management of the orphan cave. They brought along four fishes for Shao Xuan. Since Shao Xuan would constantly send food and other things to the kids in the orphan cave, the kids would also bring Shao Xuan a few of their fresh catches.
Most people would never return to the cave once they came out of it. For example, Ku was managing the orphan cave before Shao Xuan, but he never came back to visit ever since. However, those who had awakened together with Shao Xuan would occasionally return. No matter whether they came back to show off their ability or kills, at the very least they did not cut their ties with the orphan cave. Of course, that was because Shao Xuan had brought along quite a few changes to the cave when he was in charge.
No matter how the others behaved after leaving the orphan cave, Shao Xuan would bring food every time after he returned from a hunting trip. He had enough food for himself anyway, so it didn’t hurt him to share with others. In return, the kids in the orphan cave were very grateful towards Shao Xuan. Their lives had changed a lot because of him, and they became much healthier.
Shao Xuan did not reject their goodwill. Although fish was far from sufficient now for Shao Xuan in regards to the amount of energy it contained, but it was not bad to change tastes once in awhile.
Every time Jie Ba and Tu came over, they could not hide their admiring gazes. It was indeed pretty awesome to have become a totem warrior. It meant owning one’s own cabin, and hunting down more food. Growing was also faster! Previously, Shao Xuan was shorter than them, but after a short period of time being a totem warrior, he was even taller than Jie Ba, who was the tallest kid in the cave.
“Don’t envy me, perhaps next year it will be your turn.” Shao Xuan handed a small chunk of salted meat to them, “As per the usual rules, every person in the cave should only have a small piece. Do not eat more, eating too much will harm you.”
Shao Xuan would give them the lowest grade animal meat, for they could not endure the high grade meat given their physiques. Also he would not give them much, for the kids could only absorb a little. In the past, the meat jerky that Mai and Lang Ga gave Shao Xuan was also made from the lowest grade meat. As for the meat from the Four-Fanged Wild Boar or the Thorn Black Wind, Shao Xuan would never let the kids in the orphan cave touch it. In the past, Shao Xuan didn’t know about the seriousness in this, but now that he knew, he would strictly regulate the quality and amount of meat given.
When Tu and Jie Ba had left, Shao Xuan lifted a fish and cut it into chunks. He tore some pieces and pressed them to the baby bird’s beak. Just a moment ago its beak was open wide, but once the fish pieces were placed in front of it, it snapped shut tightly. When the fish was replaced with animal meat, it opened its beak wide again.
“You are such a picky bastard!” Shao Xuan cursed.
Shao Xuan lifted the fish and looked at Caesar as he squatted in a corner.
Caesar looked at Shao Xuan and then at the fish he held in his hand. One moment later, he turned away and ignored both Shao Xuan and the fish in his hand.
“Shit! You both are picky bastards!”
Originally he wanted to use the fish to feed the baby bird. However, judging by the current situation, the fish was despised by those two little bastards.
On the seventh day, Shao Xuan had almost finished preparing the tools. He planned to go to the training ground with old Ke. After serious consideration, he decided to bring the baby bird along with him, as he didn’t know what it would get up to if it was left behind.
In fact, the baby bird was growing very fast and visible changes could be observed every day. Perhaps it was because the environment was special, so the bird grew quickly. Also, the bird had tenacious vitality. Shao Xuan had no experience with birds nor was he that attentive, but the bird grew healthily enough anyway. It had a good appetite, and would chirp for food after short naps.
Now, the bird would not be staying all day in the nest that Shao Xuan made for it. Once Shao Xuan ignored it, it would crawl out and walk to the table’s ends. If Caesar happened to be beside the table, the bird would just roll down from the table’s end and land on the wolf’s back. Caesar was very much annoyed by such behavior, and for a few times, it almost killed the bird with his paws.
Fortunately, Caesar knew how to follow the rules. He learnt that Shao Xuan wanted the bird to stay alive, so he tolerated the bird to behave like that. Or else it would already have become his snacks.
Shao Xuan found that the bird did not only have a tenacious vitality, it was quite bold too. It was merely a few days’ old, and now it dared to peck on Caesar’s nose hard. Don’t let it fool you by its young age, it had some strength. There were already quite a lot pecking marks on the branches that Shao Xuan used to feed it. Also, it was not afraid when landing on the wolf’s back. Instead, it would keep pecking, and quite a few times, Caesar lost some fur to the bird. No one knew whether it was brave or stupid. Once it was kicked away by Caesar, but a moment later it came back and made trouble as usual.
The baby bird was too noisy and it kept chirping all day. So Shao Xuan simply named it “Chacha”.
On the tenth day, the brown down on Chacha’s body grew denser and thicker than before. Now Chacha could stand up and walk around. However, his walking was not so steady, and once he walked faster, he would fall on the ground.
Just like the earlier days, Shao Xuan took Chacha and Caesar to Old Ke’s place, and headed down to the training ground with him.
When Shao Xuan was doing the training, Old Ke would observe from afar, while babysitting the bird. Lately, the old man enjoyed toying with Chacha using a stone worm a lot.
Chirpy had no taste for stone worms, but he liked pecking on them. Old Ke would hold a stone worm with branches and swing it in front of Chacha, while Chacha would extend his neck and lift his weak wings, so as to prepare himself into a battling mood, before he really charged forward to peck it. Soon enough, the stone worm between the branches in Old Ke’s hands would be pecked to pieces.
Shao Xuan went over there to have a rest after he had broken through a series of traps. He smiled when he saw the broken stone worm in the branches that Old Ke held.
“He’s so aggressive, perhaps he’s one of the fighting chickens, he would fight with whatever comes in front of him.” But it was good to be aggressive, for it won’t be starved to death if he got thrown out of the tribe, unless he wanted it himself.
“Fighting chicken?” Old Ke hesitated for a minute, and smiled, “It’s a good name. He would definitely be cooler than those chickens with beautiful tails in the forest!”
Shao Xuan tried to search his memory about the ostrich-like pheasants he saw in the forest. If Chacha turned out to be the same size as those pheasants, and remained to be aggressive like this, he would not be allowed to stay in the tribe. Either he would be thrown outside far away, or be killed as food. The tribe would not allow such a creature to exist within.
He should be well trained, no matter he becomes a chicken or a falcon in the future.
When he was came back in the afternoon, Shao Xuan encountered Tuo, who was on patrolling duty.
“Ah, it’s you. I did not expect to see you, therefore I was about to ask someone else to deliver the message.” Said Tuo.
“The Shaman wants you to come up the mountain tomorrow.”
“Got it, I’ll go up the mountain tomorrow.”
“There’s something good.” Tuo whispered, and he gave him a ‘knowing’ look.
The so called ‘something good’ must be about the Green Thief. Shao Xuan knew it at heart, so he left after saying thanks.
When heading back, Shao Xuan opened the animal skin bag, and took a look at the napping bird inside, wondering whether he should take it with him when he goes to the mountaintop tomorrow.
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