8. Following Him Home
Although the giant tiger’s remains were only skin and bones, but the bones still had some meat, so they were still a bit too heavy for Shu Shu. He dragged the tiger by its tail as he walked a long way, and he couldn't help but pant.
Seeing that he had already walked a long way, he reckoned that the huge snake over there would not be affected by the tiger skin anymore. He hurriedly threw the tiger skin into a corner and happily went to the river bank.
Edgar was following closely behind, and seeing this scene, he could not help but feel a bit dumbfounded.
The little sub-beastman knew how hard it was to collect weeds, so how could he throw away such a thick and warm tiger skin? He guessed the little sub-beastman did not know how to treat the tiger skin. As a matter of fact, it was not surprising if he didn’t know....
Although his body was full of wounds now, but Edgar had liked to fight since childhood and often gotten injured. As a result, he felt that everything at the moment was still tolerable. At most, he was only unable to move freely because some of his scales were missing and because he had eaten too much, that’s all.
Picking up the tiger skin—discarded by the little sub-beastman—with his mouth, Edgar once again smelled the scent of the little sub-beastman and followed him closely.
Shu Shu walked all the way and finally arrived at the only place nearby with a water source. It was a small lake that was formed due to the convergence of a few brooks. He did not dare to do as he wished and go into the water. Once he had followed his owner and watched The Animal World together. The experience made him quite afraid of lake and such because alligators would suddenly spring out of the water. He just scooped out some water from the lake and washed his hands and feet.
The lake water was ice-cold; Shu Shu kept trembling while he was washing up. Done washing, he kept hopping around beside the puddle, hoping to warm himself up.
He cherished the memory of his former life more and more. All along, there had been people who had raised him. Not to mention about having no worry about food and clothing, he had also had fur to protect him against the cold, and his owner had specially prepared a warm little nest for him. He totally had not need to go hungry or freeze. Although his scope of activities had only been inside the cage—which had been a bit small—but he really had not minded.
Moreover… he had been able to open the cage’s door, so he had often left the cage to go for a walk when the owner had not been at home or had been sleeping.
Thinking of the past, Shu Shu could not help but sigh. At this moment, he heard the sound of a snake slithering behind him and also smelled the familiar scent.
The kind person! Huge snake! Snake!
Instantly rigid from his body’s general conditioned reflex, Shu Shu turned his head and saw the huge snake that previously looked as if he had been dying holding the tiger skin with his mouth and coming over to him.
The huge snake's wounds still looked alarming, and the medicinal herbs he had chewed were still smeared on the top, but it looked like its wounds did not matter one bit; it just slithered around like usual. It swung its head and tossed the heavy tiger skin into the small lake.
This strength, it was comparable to his for the most part.... Shu Shu had been a little ignorant.
After tossing the tiger skin into the lake, Edgar turned his head toward the little sub-beastman and saw him suddenly jump up and then run away without looking back.
How many times had his family’s little beastie run away from him today? Edgar wanted to calculate it but suddenly found that he couldn’t do it.
This little sub-beastman had run back and forth, wasn’t he tired?
Edgar glanced at the tiger skin that had finally gotten soaked in the lake. Then he turned his body and slithered in the direction of the fleeing little sub-beastman.
Animal fur would harden and stink without treatment. There was simply no way to use it then. The little sub-beastman was most likely unable to deal with it…. Anyway, the little sub-beastman could not deal with it, but he actually could.
The first step in handling a fur was to scrape clean every particle of fat and flesh from the fur. Then it needed to be soaked in water for several days. He planned to do these things at the same time.
When he had woken up in this place, it had been in this lake. Now, all the dangerous living creatures in the lake had already been eaten by him, leaving only some small fishes and shrimps. Those small fishes and shrimps could gobble up every particle of flesh on the tiger skin, but they could not damage the tiger skin. By chance, he thus could employ them to remove the fat from the tiger skin.
Shu Shu did not know Edgar's way of thinking. At this moment, he had the nerve to feel that he had been taken in by the snake’s deceit.
He had thought that the huge snake had suffered serious injuries. What good did worrying do when the result was this? The huge snake absolutely had not feel a thing. It had still been able to follow him while holding the heavy tiger skin with its mouth!
Shu Shu clenched his teeth in indignation. After seeing his own cave, he promptly went in and, at the same time, throw his plan to change the huge snake’s medicine tomorrow far, far away.
The huge snake was very vigorous; it was unnecessary for him to go and change its medicine!
After suffering such heavy injuries, it actually still ran around all over the place!
Going out to collect some weeds but not bringing back anything in the end, Shu Shu’s mood was not so good, and his belly was even growling in hunger.
It was already very late now. He did not go to the cellar he had dug out himself to look for food. Instead, he just squeezed into his sleeping nest and pushed on his cheeks with his hands. From the inside of his food pouches, he took out some chestnuts and dried meat to eat.
Baked dried meat without any moisture content was very hard; it just so happened that he had molars. Shu Shy slowly ate, gnawing on the dried meat for a while and then spitting out a few chestnut to nibble. Later, he even spat out some egg-sized fruits and gnawed on them.
"Crunch, crunch, crunch…." Gnawing on the food, Shu Shu was joyful and his mood also became better and better. Right at this time, he suddenly heard the sound of activities from the outside.
It seemed that... someone had opened the “door” at the cave mouth?
Shu Shu stopped gnawing the fruit, climbed out of his bed in the "bedroom" and went out to check his "living room."
As a hamster, he had a very good night vision, and plus he could smell the scent....
A familiar scent lingering on the tip of his nose, Shu Shu finally saw the huge monster in his living room—a huge snake.
When the snake had not appeared before, he had dared to complain about it. He rationally knew that the snake would not eat him; it had even been quite friendly to him. Therefore, he didn’t feel afraid of living in the same territory with the snake. But seeing it now, Shu Shu once again felt his scalp go numb, his limbs weaken, and his heartbeat speed up.
This was an instinct he couldn't control.
Lying on his stomach at the doorway to his "bedroom," Shu Shu was rigid from head to toe and unable to make any single movement. He could only look on helplessly as the huge snake settled down in his spacious living room. In the darkness, the huge snake’s eyes that were looking at him seemed like they’re glowing.
Shu Shu's hair on his body and the fur on his ears were all upright. His whole body was shivering with cold, and his mind was blank.... Fortunately, the huge snake did not make any other movement after coiling its body and lying down. After a long time, he slowly recovered his body.
He liked to bore holes, and he also liked to dig out small holes. This hole was really small; he could barely sit up straight. There was also nothing at all inside the hole that he could count on to make him a bit relaxed....
If there was a running wheel, he could now run for four hours without stopping!
Shu Shu sat upright amid the weeds for a while and eventually piled up all the weeds at the cave mouth. Then he came to the other side of the cave and extended his claws to dig!
Digging and digging, digging and digging, digging and digging.
Shu Shu did not eat or sleep and began to brandish his claws to dig a hole. There wasn’t much of this mountain to dig out, and his spirit would not rest until he could bore through the mountain.
Soil was swirling in the air and, once in a while, stone was dug up. Shu Shu’s claws hurt so much, but he still did not give up and continue to dig a hole, burying himself in work.
After seeing the huge snake, he could not control himself from being afraid of his living room. Knowing that the snake was next to him made him even more afraid. Now that he was being occupied by work, he could finally stop thinking about it.
The more he dug, the deeper the hole was. Behind his body, the soil piled up and became an obstacle. It afforded him a sense of security, and he even began to feel proud of himself.
Humph, someone had taken possession of his cave? He could dig another at any time!
All along, there had been scattered and fragmented sound of activity from the cave where the little sub-beastman lived in, but Edgar did not have any vigor left to care about it.
The little sub-beastman’s cave was quite spacious and very warm. After he lay down in the living room, he couldn't help but feel exhausted. He wanted to have a good night's sleep.... Smelling the little sub-beastman’s scent, Edgar soon fell asleep. And he slept for an abnormally long time. In a wink, it’s already early morning.
On the other side, Shu Shu who had worked hard for a whole night—digging and digging—felt his claws descend into an empty space ahead!
He had dug to the end!
He could leave that scary snake!
Looking at the very small air vent that appeared in front of him, Shu Shu once again felt tangled up.
Digging to the end, what then? Could it be that he was going to run away?
Not to mention that he did not even know where he could run to, his food was in the cave, and he couldn’t bear to give it up. Furthermore, the huge snake.... Though he had felt that the huge snake had deceived him, but in fact he clearly knew that the huge snake really suffered serious injuries….
After he ran away, would the snake meet any danger?
Shu Shu couldn’t help being tangled up, but his hands were still digging, unwittingly digging through the wall in front of him.
He smelled the familiar scent again. Shu Shu's expression was suddenly wooden. When he had dug the tunnel, he had gone round a curve because he wanted to dig out an exit sideways to the dirt slope. And now…, could it be that he had dug and dug and dug back into his own hole?
No, it shouldn't be like this.... Shu Shu sniffed and sniffed, only to find that there was only the scent of the huge snake and none of his.
So…, it's not his cave, but the huge snake’s cave?
Shu Shu was instantly curious about everything; he started to squint forward.
Shu Shu: I will know so many of snake’s secrets!
Edgar: Little sub-beastman is very enthusiastic. To go as far as to dig and connect our house throughout the night.
Living together officially begins.