editors: apricot & juurensha
Regarding barley, not only did these former slaves who had just arrived at the tribe not understand it, in fact, even those who had originally been involved in the planting and tending of the barley didn’t know much about it.
Last time, the Beast God had shown them a miracle and matured the barley in the tribe all at once. The vast majority of barley from that batch had then been used as seeds for this current batch.
Not only that, when it came to collecting barley, the priest had done it all himself.
After all, it had been a miracle!
Due to these reasons, the people of the tribe didn’t understand the barley harvesting process at all. Now that Zhou Ji told them that the barley was ready for harvest, they all gathered together, wanting to know how to collect it.
That day just happened to be a day where the hunting team didn’t go out for the collective hunt. Xiong Ye and Zhou Ji were standing side by side as they looked at a large stretch of barley in front of them, and Xiong Ye missed Zhou Ji’s flatbread quite a lot.
This barley had been brought back by Zhou Ji, so Zhou Ji’s portion would be very large… He felt that he would have many opportunities to eat flatbread, and he could perhaps even enjoy some other foods that were made from barley.
“It’s time to harvest the barley!” The priest said, “Some of the stronger people should come over and pull out the barley to bring back to the tribe!”
He had studied this before, and only picking out the stalks was too troublesome. It required cutting, and they didn’t have the tools for that, so he simply told people to bring it all back.
“We’ll pull it out!” Many people responded. Xiong Ye was one of them.
The priest picked a few people, including Xiong Ye, and then these strong individuals began to pull out the barley and pile it all up together before taking it to the place where they made pottery.
Although there was open space in the valley, there was relatively little sunlight, and this barley just so happened to need to be dried out in the sun… The priest finally chose to have it placed where the pottery was fired up, and they had even leveled out a place for it specifically.
For the people of the tribe, it was much easier to pull up barley than to dig up earth eggs, so it wasn’t long before all the barley was set out to dry in the sun.
Xiong Ye laid out all the barley properly and was about to go do some hunting for Zhou Ji when Zhou Ji called him back, “Xiong Ye, help me bring back some of the barley.”
“Alright.” Xiong Ye agreed, then carried over a wooden barrel and started filling it with a bunch of barley stalks.
It wasn’t long before he had a whole barrel full of barley.
“Xiong Ye, is Zhou Ji going to make something delicious again?” The priest saw this scene and started to become hungry.
“I don’t know, either.” Xiong Ye looked at the priest cautiously before returning back to the cave with the barrel of barley stalks.
Zhou Ji wasn’t there when he returned to the cave, so Xiong Ye placed the wooden barrel on the ground and helplessly discovered that the cave had started to feel a little small.
There were more and more things stored in their cave, and although he had expanded the cave a little, it still wasn’t enough. Not only that, there were many more things in the cave that he hadn’t noticed before.
He had been too busy these past few days to be at home often, so he didn’t even know what was in all the bowls and jars next to him.
With that in mind, Xiong Ye opened up a wooden jar that he had never seen before, and saw that inside… there was a little bear?
Xiong Ye looked at the little bear in surprise.
He could recognize the little bear as himself at a glance.
In their tribe, the only other person whose animal form was identical to his was Xiong He. This little bear that had been placed so carefully inside the wooden jar had clearly been made by Zhou Ji and couldn’t possibly be Xiong He, so it must be him!
Zhou Ji actually made such a small bear and hid it away!
Xiong Ye was indescribably happy. He knew that Zhou Ji had sculpted some things out of clay a few days ago, but hadn’t expected that Zhou Ji had made a model of him… He also wanted to make a model of Zhou Ji.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Xiong Ye: “……” How had Zhou Ji returned so quietly?
Also, he could actually have more… Xiong Ye took out a spoon and dug out a spoonful of honey to put into a bowl so that he could savor it slowly with chopsticks.
Honey was so delicious!
Xiong Ye hugged the bowl to him and asked, “Zhou Ji, what are you going to do with the barley?”
“Make barley and pumpkin porridge.” Zhou Ji showed Xiong Ye the pumpkin he had brought back.
He had brought back pumpkin when they gone out to trade for salt. Because there wasn’t much of it, the people of the tribe couldn’t have a portion of it for the time being, but he could eat it if he wanted to.
Xiong Ye had tried Zhou Ji’s barley porridge before and had also eaten pumpkin previously, so he asked, “Won’t that kind of porridge be sweet?”
“Yes. I’ll also put sugar in it.” Zhou Ji said.
Xiong Ye started to look forward to it.
Sweet things were his weakness, and he liked to eat anything that was sweet!
Zhou Ji added, “However, you have to first help me shell the barley.”
“Shell?” Xiong Ye asked.
“Remove the shell that’s covering the barley.” Zhou Ji explained.
Xiong Ye looked at the big pan of barley and was a little dazed. Barley was so small, how long would it take to peel off all the shells?
Wait, it seemed that the barley had been shelled the last time they ate it. How much time had Zhou Ji spent to peel off all the shells? Xiong Ye couldn’t help but look at Zhou Ji admiringly.
Zhou Ji explained, “Take a wooden stick and pound it gently to remove the shells.”
Xiong Ye took out a stick and tried it, but in a moment of carelessness, broke some of the barley.
Fortunately, he hadn’t used much strength and the shattered barley pieces weren’t too small.
He slowly started to study how he could improve at this.
At first, he was unable to grasp the power level that was needed and broke a lot of barley, but he slowly learned to control the force he was applying. Not only that… He found that he could control it better if he used his energy and achieve better results that way.
Xiong Ye was very attentive as he shelled the barley.
He didn’t know how long he was at it, but he knew that it was a long time before he had finally finished threshing all the barley.
A lot of barley had been broken at first, but later on, most of the barley he processed was still whole after he had removed the shells.
“I’m done.” Xiong Ye announced.
“You finished so fast, how amazing.” Zhou Ji laughed.
Xiong Ye was a little embarrassed, “A lot of it was broken, and the shells are mixed in…”
“That’s alright.” Zhou Ji said. He rubbed the barley grains with his hands, added water, then allowed all the shells to float up to the surface, scooping them up so he could toss them away before draining the water… Zhou Ji then poured the barley into a pan to start boiling.
A lot of the barley was broken, but that wouldn’t really affect the porridge.
Zhou Ji cooked slowly, waiting for the water to boil before adding the pumpkin. He then started to roast meat for Xiong Ye.
Cooking things with stone pots was really very, very slow. The porridge was only just ready by the time Zhou Ji had finished roasting meat for Xiong Ye to eat. He added some sugar to it, then handed Xiong Ye a bowl.
The porridge was sweet, and the pumpkin soft, making the cooked barley really tasty…
Xiong Ye was incredibly fond of it and felt that this porridge tasted better than the roasted meat.
However, he didn’t eat much of it; it was better to leave this porridge for Zhou Ji!
And then, as soon as he finished his bowl, Zhou Ji added more to his bowl with a wooden spoon.
Xiong Ye laughed and drank it slowly to avoid having Zhou Ji give him more as soon as he was done.
Xiong Ye left the cave after he was finished with the porridge.
He went to the place where pottery was made, then asked for a piece of clay so that he could try to shape a Zhou Ji.
He had Zhou Ji’s appearance in his mind. He had originally thought that he could do it just like how Zhou Ji had sculpted the bear and make a perfect miniature Zhou Ji, but unexpectedly, no matter how he shaped it, it just wasn’t very good.
It must be because he was making it too small, which would make it harder to shape… Xiong Ye added some clay and started again, and also found a hard, needle-like plant to help him carve out the details.
In the end, the finished product was still very ugly. No, it was even uglier than before.
Xiong Ye: “……”
While Xiong Ye was busy being depressed, Zhu Zhan who had just come back from hunting outside came over to Xiong Ye, “Xiong Ye, why didn’t you go outside to hunt today?”
They had harvested barley in the morning, so Xiong Ye should have been free in the afternoon, but for some reason, he hadn’t gone out to hunt.
“I had something to do.” Xiong Ye said.
“What kind of something? Making a mud man?” Zhu Zhan sat down by Xiong Ye’s side, then looked at the person that Xiong Ye was sculpting, revealing an expression that was difficult to describe––Xiong Ye’s crafting was too ugly!
“Yes.” Xiong Ye confirmed.
“Who is this mud man supposed to be?” Zhu Zhan asked.
“I want to make a Zhou Ji.” Xiong Ye replied. He really was too ashamed to tell Zhu Zhan that he had already made a Zhou Ji and could only say that he planned to make a Zhou Ji.
Xiong Ye wanted to make a Zhou Ji, yet as a result… He had made such an ugly doll?! Zhu Zhan felt a little helpless. He didn’t think that the ugly mud man in front of him looked anything like Zhou Ji.
However, Xiong Ye’s intentions were pretty good, “Are you making this mud man in order to coax Zhou Ji? That’s a good idea!”
Xiong Ye was able to catch someone like Zhou Ji, which meant that he had to have some ability. Zhu Zhan felt that he could learn something from him.
That way, he could coax his own woman and convince her to stop hitting him!
He, Zhu Zhan, wanted some self-respect too!
Xiong Ye didn’t know what Zhu Zhan was thinking. He shaped the mud man back into a clump of clay and couldn’t help but frown, “My sculpting ability is bad.”
“Actually, it’s not bad.” Zhu Zhan said. He felt that he wouldn’t be able to do it even as well as Xiong Ye.
“Zhou Ji’s sculpting looks perfect.” Xiong Ye said.
“He’s different from us. He is the Beast God’s messenger.” Zhu Zhan sighed. Zhou Ji was someone with real ability and not only could they not compare themselves with him, they really just shouldn’t.
“That’s true. Zhou Ji is particularly impressive.” Xiong Ye was very proud.
Zhu Zhan saw that Xiong Ye’s expression was full of delight and said, “The feelings between the two of you are really good. I hope that your feelings can always remain so.”
“Of course, we’re mates who have been blessed by the Beast God!”
“So what if you’re mates blessed by the Beast God? Mates will still separate just like anyone else.” Zhu Zhan stated.
“What nonsense are you talking about? How can mates that were blessed by the Beast God separate?!” Xiong Ye exclaimed, “After forming a mated pair, you’ll be together for the rest of your life.”
“Does something like that exist?” Zhu Zhan was a little surprised.
“Could it be that it’s not the same for you guys?” Xiong Ye asked.
“Of course not.” Zhu Zhan said. There were many people in their tribe who had mates. Basically two thirds of their tribe found mates when they reached adulthood.
Most people would live with their mates until they grew old, but not everyone was like that. There were quite a few people who eventually split up.
Using his father as an example, hadn’t he changed mates a few times already?!
“What is it like for you guys?” Xiong Ye asked.
Zhu Zhan explained the situation in his tribe, then added, “You know this already. I have a mate, and I like her very much.”
Xiong Ye didn’t notice that Zhu Zhan’s expression gentled a lot when he mentioned his mate, and only insisted, “You’re wrong. After forming a mated pair, the two can’t be separated for their entire lives!”
Zhu Zhan: “……” Was there really something like this?
Zhu Zhan had originally wanted to challenge his words, but he then thought about the fact that Zhou Ji was the Beast God’s messenger and gave up on the idea––perhaps, this was really the case?
Zhu Zhan didn’t dwell over this matter and was planning to bring up something else when Xiong Ye spoke up again, “You have to treat your mate well, and you can’t betray her. Otherwise, the Beast God will be unhappy and punish you.”
Xiong Ye and Zhu Zhan had often gone out hunting together recently, and Zhu Zhan’s relationship with Xiong Ye was now pretty good. Of course, the most important reason why their relationship had improved was because their misunderstanding had been resolved––after learning that Zhu Zhan had a mate, Xiong Ye’s hostility towards Zhu Zhan had completely disappeared.
Unexpectedly, he now learned from Zhu Zhan that they could change mates… How could that be!
Xiong Ye felt that he needed to teach Zhu Zhan properly.
“Alright.” Zhu Zhan agreed.
Xiong Ye: “What does your mate like? What kind of things do you give her?”
Zhu Zhan: “She likes to hit me and likes to eat meat. I usually give her prey or weapons.”
xiin: lol i love the way Zhu Zhan describes his wife…