17. Hibernation and Cultivation
After three or four days, the tiger skin was completely dry.
Although Edgar had rubbed the tiger skin with the alkaline plant ash several times, but the tiger skin was still not soft enough. To say the least, wanting to use it for clothes was not acceptable, but using it as a mattress was more than acceptable.
Shu Shu sun-dried the tiger skin and then spread it inside his bedroom. He also caressed and stroked it back and forth gently and carefully, eyes full of obsession.
Tiger skin, ah! This was indeed a tiger skin, ah!
Tigers were protected animals. How many people in this world could sleep on a tiger skin?
Those very powerful people on TV usually had a tiger skin blanket. He also had it now!
Shu Shu might dislike tigers now, but he had no prejudice against the tiger skin at all . . . . It was really nice and warm, and very comfortable too. He even wanted to strip naked and rub against it!
Shu Shu's bedroom was connected to the living room. When he went to bed at night, he blocked off the entrance, but he did not do it during the day. When Edgar caught a wild boar and returned with it, he just happened to see the little sub-beastman right in the middle of rubbing against the tiger skin.
Edgar's mood immediately became gloomy. As expected, sub-beastmen still preferred furry beastmen . . . . His birth father and father were very affectionate, but sometimes they would still avoid the very body he had inherited from his father. Fancy that they felt they could not hold a beastman who had turned into a prototype to sleep.
In the future, the little sub-beastman would meet with so many people. He should be able to reach out to the bold and powerful beastmen who also possessed handsome beast types.
No matter how things were, it was totally impossible for him to be this type of beast.
“You are back!” Seeing Edgar return, Shu Shu stuck his head out of the bedroom and smiled at Edgar.
He was still scared of the huge snake, but he did not hate it at all. He was even quite fond of the huge snake. After all, he could only socialize with the huge snake now.
Seeing the little sub-beastman’s smile, Edgar couldn't control his tail from sticking up and swinging left and right. He felt a little foolish after doing it, and the tail tip immediately rolled up.
Shu Shu noticed this scene. He thought it was quite adorable, and then he remembered that it was a snake tail. He could only make himself shift his attention to check the prey that the huge snake brought back.
"Big snake, you’ve been coming back with a prey these past few days. It made me have no time to do anything else besides making dried meat!" Shu Shu said, skipping over from the bedroom. "Also, did you discard the internal organs again? But those are good things, ah . . . ."
The wild boar's skin was not very useful; Edgar had already removed it. He just brought back the washed-clean meat and threw away the rest, which made Shu Shu feel that it was quite a pity.
You know, when those large beasts caught their preys, they all certainly liked to eat the internal organs first. It was because animal internal organs were high in calories, and also because those internal organs were good nutrition that contained several types of vitamins, including vitamin A that was good for the eyes.
The huge snake’s diet did not include vegetables, so it should eat more internal organs for supplementary vitamins!
Edgar listened attentively to Shu Shu's words. Shu Shu believed that he could not understand those words. What could he say? As a matter of fact, he could already understand many words.
The little sub-beastman was feeling bitter about the wild boar's internal organs? He felt bad about it, but he didn't want to see the little sub-beastman painstakingly deal with removing the prey’s internal organs. As for himself . . . he was a snake now, without hands and feet and depending entirely on his mouth. In addition, he really did not like to deal with those things . . . .
Edgar lied on his stomach at the side, looking as if he completely couldn't understand what was being said while watching the little sub-beastman get busy and rush around.
The foodstuff stored by the little sub-beastman was already abundant. Just another few days, and then he should leave. He was a snake, and winter was for hibernation. At that time, it would be better to get through the winter in his own cave and to distance himself a bit from the little sub-beastman.
Otherwise . . . . If he was in contact with the little sub-beastman morning and night during the whole winter, he was really uncertain whether he would make it or not.
"Such a big wild boar, ah. Big snake, you are really, really awesome! We eat half of it today, and the other half will be made into dried meat." Shu Shu said to the huge snake while cutting the meat. He originally hadn't had a knife and had handled the prey by depending on his claws alone. But Edgar had brought him a sharp thin piece of metal two days ago, and now he had a knife.
Shu Shu used the knife to cut the meat and then cook it in a stone pot. This stone pot, which was a hollowed-out stone, was also brought back by the huge snake.
Because the stone pot was very thick, the speed of cooking the meat was also very slow. Moreover, it could not be used for stir-frying. Anyway, Shu Shu’s requirements for food were not high, and Edgar currently had no human taste buds; both of them were already very satisfied.
Shu Shu ate a big piece of wild boar meat. After eating, he lay down on the tiger skin. He rubbed his belly contentedly while talking idly with the huge snake.
Previously, when he had been speaking, even if the huge snake could not speak, it had been willing to use its tail to tap the ground to respond—truly giving him face. But in the past few days, the huge snake had been very taciturn, hardly saying anything.
Seeing this scene, Shu Shu was naturally a bit glum: "Big Snake, what’s going on with you? Recently you’ve always been dispirited and downcast?"
Edgar glanced at the little sub-beastman. He knew that the little sub-beastman wanted to get a response from him, but he was really not in the mood . . . .
In the following days, Edgar was more and more spiritless, but the food he brought back was still quite a lot. It made Shu Shu have no other choice but to think of a method to expand his storeroom. Only then he could finally store all the dried meat.
“Big Snake, what the heck is going on with you, ah?” In the blink of an eye, a month had passed. After taking a look at his stored foodstuff, Shu Shu stared at the lazy Edgar in confusion; his heart was full of worries.
The huge snake obviously ate a lot, how did it suddenly . . . become dispirited like this?
Although Edgar saw the anxious look across Shu Shu’s whole face, but he still stationed himself a little far from Shu Shu. Giving Shu Shu a peep, he shook his tail.
"Are you . . . going to hibernate?" Shu Shu was lost in thought and suddenly recalled one thing.
The huge snake was a snake, ah! A snake definitely would hibernate, so the huge snake would also hibernate, right?
Snakes were cold-blooded animals; now that the weather was cold, the huge snake would certainly have no spirit, ah! As for bringing back so many preys, it was in order to fatten itself while conveniently stockpiling the foodstuff!
The more Shu Shu thought about it, the more it felt that it was indeed the case.
Edgar heard Shu Shu's words. He stared blankly for a moment, but soon after he nevertheless nodded.
Shu Shu had already taught Edgar to nod and shake his head. Between the two them, they could do some simple communication, but . . . . Shu Shu pondered for a bit; it seemed that he hasn’t taught Edgar the meaning of hibernation?
Shu Shu didn't know that Edgar had heard him say some words like ‘to get through the winter days’, ‘sleep’, and so on. Also, after hearing Shu Shu say that frogs hibernated, Edgar had already known the meaning of hibernation. Shu Shu continued to ask, "Are you going to sleep? Cold, so sleep?”
Edgar nodded again.
"I'll dig a hole for you! Dig a hole!" Shu Shu said.
Edgar was somewhat happy, but he shook his head. For now, he would return to his old cave to hibernate. Although the environment there was not good, but it was good enough for hibernating.
Thinking so, Edgar slithered out.
Shu Shu recently got a few pieces of fur. When he saw Edgar go outside, he took out a deer skin with three holes on it to cover his body. He spread the fur and draped it over his shoulders and then followed after the departing Edgar outside.
It was a little cold outside. Although the fur was thick and warm, but the wind was still seeping in; Shu Shu shrunk back from the cold. Puzzled, he asked: "Big snake, the sky is almost dark, where are you going, ah?"
Of course Edgar could not answer. After Shu Shu had asked, he remembered that Edgar could not answer the question. Then he said, "Are you going to hunt?"
Edgar shook his head.
"Are you going to relieve yourself?"
Edgar shook his head again.
Shu Shu asked several questions one after another, and Edgar shook his head every time. Shu Shu suddenly remembered the previous topic: "You're not going to sleep, are you?"
Edgar nodded briskly.
Shu Shu discovered at this time that Edgar was indeed going to his cave, and his heart immediately jumped in alarm.
During this time, he felt that it was too cold to go to the toilet outside the cave. He also didn't like to use the toilet in his cave and make his own cave dirty. In the end, he ran to the huge snake’s cave every time he wanted to go to the toilet!
He thought that the huge snake would not go back to live there. He had already considered that place as his own toilet; how could the huge snake go back there now?
"Wait!" Shu Shu stepped forward and stopped the huge snake. "You go back with me." Absolutely could not let the huge snake see that soiled cave!
Seeing that the huge snake did not respond, Shu Shu once again said: "Shu Shu, Big snake, sleep together. Go back, sleep!"
Shu Shu’s ambiguous words made Edgar's heart jump, but the little sub-beastman was pure like that. Edgar understood thoroughly that he should not think in the wrong direction . . . . He shook his head.
Shu Shu saw the huge snake shaking its head and was even more at a loss. He didn't know how to stop the huge snake until he suddenly recalled something that he had been contemplating for a long time.
Cultivation! He would teach the huge snake cultivation! He could depend on this to make the huge snake stay!
Daemon can switch between human and animal at will.
Beastman can switch between human and animal at will.
Therefore, daemon = beastman.
Work hard in cultivating, Edgar!
母 (mǔ) = mother/elderly female relative/origin/source/(of animals) female
父 (fù) = father
So I translated 母父 as birth father. Remember that beastman world is all-male world. Sub-beastman is the mother aka father who gives birth, and beastman is the biological father (sperm donor).