Xiao Anchun had been quite comfortable the past few days.
The eastern forest had become forbidden land for the Bayan tribe, but he was still able to freely enter and exit. Of course, he always sneaked out, not daring to let the tribe notice.
These days, the most popular topic in the Bayan tribe was the beast tide. They didn’t understand why the beasts had joined hands to attack the beastkin, moreover, they only attacked the beastkin of the Bayan tribe. They wanted answers from the old shaman, but the old shaman just hemmed and hawed, never giving them a clear answer. So, everyone felt distressed, thinking that it must be a punishment from the beast god.
Xiao Anchun smiled secretly, because he was the only one who knew the truth. What punishment from the beast god, this was punishment from the Beast King. They’d offended the golden lion, so naturally they could no longer hunt in his territory.
Yes, the other side of the creek was the golden lion’s territory. Xiao Anchun often saw him marking along the creek, leaving his potent scent along the edge of his territory. All the other beasts in the forest didn’t dare act arrogantly in his site, not to mention an insignificant beastkin tribe.
Although it was a just punishment, whenever he saw a beast child crying from hungry, he felt great heartache, and thought about pleading to the male god to see if they could reach a compromise.
But just as this idea formed, another big event occurred in the tribe, seizing his attention.
A few warriors had traveled to the north forest to negotiate with the Dada tribe, but on the way back they were ambushed by a group of giant porcupines. Several people died, and more were seriously injured and needed to be carried back.
Among the wounded warriors was the male who’d rescued Xiao Anchun, and had brought him to the tribe after he’d crossed over. His name was Kuhn, and he belonged to the same ash-gray wolf clan as the chief. He was very strong, already a 5th-level warrior and ranked second in the tribe. He’d always wanted to become Addie’s mate, and Addie also seemed to be fond of him. He’d already hinted that he would choose him to become one of his mates, the two just needed to make it official.
Perhaps because of imprinting, Xiao Anchun was very conscious of Kuhn. He couldn’t call it love, but he had a crazy good impression of him. When he found out that he was courting Addie, he’d sulked for days. Now that he heard that Kuhn was seriously injured, he forgot all those unpleasant feelings. He slid down the rope ladder to the lowest level, and walked to the cave where Kuhn lived.
The cliff was very tall, the elderly and the strong warriors lived on the ground floor for easy mobility and defense. The females with children lived on the second level, and the single females lived at the top. Xiao Anchun climbed down five layers and finally reached the ground floor where he found crowds in front of each injured male’s cave.
After squeezing through the crowd, he saw Addie smearing a dark brown paste on Kuhn’s ravaged legs. His left leg had been torn open by a giant porcupine’s wicked sharp fangs, and his bones were cracked. Fortunately, the bones hadn’t snapped or been terribly dislocated.
Xiao Anchun looked at the dark brown paste in Addie’s hand, and looked at Kuhn’s mutilated legs, his face suddenly turning green.
A female behind him whispered enviously: “Kuhn’s so fortunate to have Addie, otherwise he’d be toast.”
Someone agreed: “Oh yes, not everyone can be blessed with this divine medicine, especially so much at once.”
“Addie’s so kind, no wonder so many warriors like him.”
All kinds of flattering words were drilled into Xiao Anchun’s eardrum, making him feel slightly sick.
But Addie was awfully pleased with himself, covering the wounds with paste and putting aside the remainder, looking longingly at Kuhn before leaving.
Xiao Anchun waited for the crowds to scatter before quietly walking into the cave.
Kuhn laid on the cold stone bed, even though he was unconscious, his brows were furrowed and he seemed to be feeling very uncomfortable.
How could he be comfortable? After suffering such a heavy injury, he also had this paste smeared all over him, this was purely inviting death.
Xiao Anchun pushed the tortoise shell containing the dark brown paste away, the foul, rotten smell still lingering in his nose.
To the beastkin, this paste was a divine medicine, but in his opinion, it was worse than night soil.
The tribe had a statue of the beast god that they worshiped. Whenever the tribe celebrated the great harvest, the old shaman would pour the blood of the first prey over the statue, and invite the beast god to enjoy the harvest with them.
The Bayan tribe has existed for many, many years, and every year, blood was poured onto the statue. The previous layer dried and a fresh layer joined it. Over time, the area around the statue just became layer after thick layer of putrid smelling blood mud. How much bacteria it contained, Xiao Anchun didn’t dare think about it. Whenever it was his turn to clean the cave dedicated to the beast god, he always used soft moss to block his nostrils in order to withstand the stench, and didn’t dare get within three meters of the statue.
However, the old shaman felt that this layer of blood mud contained divine power, and he loved to bestow it on the tribe members in order to awe them. If anyone fell seriously ill, their biggest desire was to be gifted the dark brown “Divine Medicine”.
They firmly believed that consuming the ” divine medicine” meant a second chance at life.
Xiao Anchun doesn’t know how this rumor spread, how could that sewage be good to drink? Fortunately, he had a low status in the tribe, and never received the old shaman’s favor, otherwise, he really would’ve preferred to be quickly put out of his misery.
Now, Addie had applied the bacteria infested blood paste all over Kuhn’s wound, and infection was practically inevitable. Xiao Anchun was very anxious. He didn’t want to helplessly stand by as Kuhn died. So, he tore open the leaves wrapping the wound, wanting to clean away the paste.
He chipped away at the mud cocoon using a thin wood chip sterilized in boiling water. The severe pain caused Kuhn to wake up from his coma. He whispered weakly: “What are you doing?”
“I, I want to examine your wound.” Xiao Anchun stammered.
Kuhn felt like his brain was a volcano about to erupt. He held his forehead and said: “You don’t have to examine it. This is no big deal. Addie already requested the divine blood for me. I’ll be healed in a few days.”
How could you be healed! Xiao Anchun inwardly refuted, but his expression remained calm. Seeing Kuhn’s sweat drenched body and flushed cheeks, obviously suffering from a dangerously high fever, he immediately laid him back down.
The decayed blood was a hotbed for all kinds of deadly bacteria, the toxicity of this blood paste far exceeded Xiao Anchun’s expectations. He was only exposed to it for a few minutes, but Kuhn’s wounds were already infected. If he didn’t sterilize it as soon as possible, Kuhn would be at risk for amputation. Even worse, the tribe never supported males. Once they lost their ability to hunt, they would be thrown into the forest to fend for themselves. This would be a death sentence for Kuhn.
Xiao Anchun was anxious to the point of tears. Seeing that Kuhn had completely lost consciousness, he quickly washed his wounds with boiling water, wrapped it with layers of leaves containing a hemostatic, then ran out to collect medicine.
He would’ve liked to find a person to hold a cold compress to Kuhn, so he wouldn’t burn-up from his fever, but who would follow his request? To this tribe, Xiao Anchun had no other skills besides confusing them with strange words and strange behaviors. Maybe they’d see Kuhn’s clean wounds and immediately reapply the blood paste while scolding him for being naïve and ungrateful.
Xiao Anchun had no choice but to leave the unconscious Kuhn and enter the depths of the forest alone. Fortunately, he often hung around the male god, and his body carried the golden lion’s scent, the beasts in the forest wouldn’t dare attack him.
After searching for a whole day, he finally found the required medicine. But after rushing back to the tribe, he found Addie blocking the entrance, his expression gloomy. He leaned forward, demanding: “Who permitted you to wash away the divine blood on Kuhn’s wounds? Don’t you know that you almost killed him?”
Shit, f#ck! A thief who cries ‘thief’! And so self-righteously too!
The resentment at Addie hidden in Xiao Anchun’s heart broke out at this moment. He inwardly cursed Addie for being a hopeless moron, but he didn’t want to go back and forth with him, afraid of delaying Kuhn’s treatment. He walked around the road block and entered the cave, almost fainting after seeing the wound re-wrapped with blood paste.
“This thing is poisonous, you can’t spread it on a wound!” He completely lost his composure, dashing over to quickly clean Kuhn’s wounds, tossing away the blood paste as he scraped.
This kind of behavior was equal to blaspheming the beast god. Addie also exploded in rage, he furiously yelled that Xiao Anchun had committed heresy, ordering that he be dragged out and burned alive. He also grabbed the herbs that Xiao Anchun had painstakingly collected and crushed them under his feet.
“You dare compare these weeds to the divine blood! The beast god is almighty! No wonder he abandoned the Bayan tribe and won’t allow our warriors to hunt in the forest, we’re sheltering a faith-less heretic! Come! Arrest him!” Addie’s shrill voice stirred up all the nearby beastkin.
Kuhn was already awake, sitting up on the stone bed, his expression livid. He was very unhappy with Xiao Anchun’s outrageous behavior, washing away the divine blood while he was unconscious. Everyone knew how difficult it was to receive divine blood. Addie brought out so much just for him, this was equivalent to giving him a second life. But why did Xiao Anchun, who he’d once saved, not know how to be grateful, instead trying to kill him?
Xiao Anchun didn’t care about Addie’s misunderstanding. In his opinion, the other man was a beautiful but empty-headed moron. But Kuhn’s angry eyes deeply hurt him. His patience, fortitude, and optimism all shattered at this moment. He suddenly grabbed Addie’s shoulder-length hair and ruthlessly slammed his head against the rock wall, then, while he was still dazed, kneed him in the crotch with all his strength.
Addie was at least 190cm tall, awfully big, and well-toned. If he didn’t use these underhanded means, he’d have no shot at winning. And to be completely honest, he’d tolerated Addie for long enough. If he didn’t antagonize him all the time, picking fights with him whenever he was bored, his days with the Bayan tribe wouldn’t have been so miserable.
Addie grabbed his crotch and fell to the ground, screaming in agony, his cracked forehead dripping blood. He looked particularly tragic.
Kuhn wanted to jump out of bed to help his sweetheart, but every muscle in his body seemed to be paralyzed, and he couldn’t find the strength to move. He could only glare at Xiao Anchun with blood shot eyes, his teeth creaking.
Xiao Anchun smiled self-deprecatingly and walked over to continue scraping away the blood paste with the wood chip. He whispered: “I don’t care if you believe it or not, but I’m actually trying to save you. This blood paste is not a gift from god, it’s just pure filth. If you put it on your wounds, the wound will get infected, and then you’ll die.”
He paused, then explained in detail: “Do you know what ‘infection’ is? The red flesh turns into a yellow pus, which gradually dissolves and spreads until all the flesh in your leg completely rots. Only the bones are left. At that time, the only way to save you is to cut out the rotted parts. But there’s an even more terrible outcome, that’s when even cutting out the rotted bits can’t stop the pus from spreading through your blood, and soon, your whole body slowly rots until the bones are exposed and you die a very painful death.”
Kuhn obviously thought that he was trying to scare him, his eyes revealing ridicule and hatred.
Xiao Anchun suddenly felt very, very tired. When the tribesmen came and tied him up, he didn’t have the strength to resist. There was a whistle around his neck, a gift from the male god, who’d said that as long as he blew it, they would immediately come rescue him.
How ironic, the friend who’s only known him for two months genuinely cared about him and gave him an unparalleled sense of security. While the Bayan tribesmen who’ve known him for two whole years still treated him as a suspicious outsider.
He didn’t know if it was something about him, or if they were the ones with the problem, but finding out the cause no longer held any meaning. As long as he thought about having such a reliable friend like the male god, he feared nothing.
He was bound tightly and imprisoned in the lowest level cave; the bamboo whistle hung around his neck. As long as he bowed his head, he could drag it into his mouth.
Xiao Anchun was still struggling to grip the whistle when another bound female was thrown into the cave. It was Muhl, who lived in the cave next door to him. He was extraordinarily beautiful, especially his silky blond hair that seemed to glow under the sunlight. He was mated to one of the tribe’s warriors, and the two were exceptionally lovey-dovey. He’d heard that their official mating ceremony was soon.
“Why were you captured too?” Xiao Anchun was shocked.
He’d ruined the divine blood and assaulted the old shaman’s son. The old shaman had judged him guilty of heresy and he’d probably be burned to death tomorrow. But Muhl was a well-known honest man, how could he be treated the same way as a heretic?
Muhl lowered his head, indignant growls continuously leaking from between his clenched teeth. He thrashed about for a long time, until he tired out and eventually calmed down. He answered in a low voice: “We’re being sent to the Dada tribe tomorrow, as goods in exchange for the right to hunt in their territory.”
Xiao Anchun didn’t expect to still have this type of value. As soon as he heard this, he immediately gave up trying to blow the whistle. He should blow it when they were on the road tomorrow, so the escape would be more covert and convenient. He squirmed like a caterpillar and finally managed to prop himself up against the rock wall, inquiring: “How could they send you ah. You and Mo are practically mated, right? Isn’t your ceremony next month?” “
Muhl sneered: “Addie has always liked Mo, of course he would choose to send me away. This Bayan tribe doesn’t belong to the beast god, it belongs to the shaman and Addie. They get to choose who lives or dies.” This sentence was full of rage and mockery. Before, he never felt it was wrong for Addie to humiliate and ostracize Xiao Anchun, but now that it was his turn, he finally knew how terrible it felt.
Xiao Anchun nodded and asked: “What about Mo? He won’t come save you?”
Muhl’s smile grew even colder: “He agreed to become Addie’s mate, he’ll perform the ceremony next month, together with Kuhn.” After saying those words, he glanced at Xiao Anchun. Everyone in the tribe knew that Xiao Anchun was infatuated with Kuhn. There were so many males in the tribe, but he was only willing to talk to Kuhn.
Thinking of Kuhn’s wounds, Xiao Anchun fell silent. After a long while, he sighed: “No, Kuhn won’t live for that long. Addie will kill him.” He’d desperately wanted to save Kuhn, but Kuhn didn’t believe him. He can’t do anything about it now.
Muhl thought that he was cursing Kuhn for never returning his love, so he nodded approvingly.
The two men, one lying down, one sitting, expressionlessly awaited the dawn.
Muhl- It’s Mu in the raws, but that’s not a name. Btw, Kuhn is Kun in the raws.