Chapter 27.1 – Little fox
translator: baumkuchen editor: ellabells
The little fox lay limply on the ground, its eyes tightly shut. Lu Qingjiu, afraid of something happening to it, quickly took it into his arms. The fox was tiny, no bigger than the size of his palm. Its puffy fur was fluffy and soft. When clasped in this hands, it felt incredible to the touch.
Carefully cradling it in his arms, Lu Qingjiu hurried home. Upon entering the door, he started yelling, “Bai Yuehu!! Bai Yuehu!!! Is this your son??”
Bai Yuehu had just finished washing the dishes. Hands still wet, he came out of the kitchen. As soon as he came out, he saw Lu Qingjiu and the little fox kit in his arms. His eyes instantly sharpened, “Where did that fox come from?”
Lu Qingjiu said, “I picked it up by the roadside.” He described what had just happened and asked suspiciously, “Did someone purposefully dump it outside our house?” As he said this, he gave Bai Yuehu a thoughtful look.
The only fox spirit in their family was Bai Yuehu. This fox kit had to have something to do with him. Dumping it at the door like this was a little in line with the plot of a woman who had been discarded after being made use of, had to raise the child alone and finally, resentfully dumped the child at the heartless man’s doorstep… But that said, Lu Qingjiu remembered seeing that foxes were monogamous animals on Animal Planet, even if one died, the other wouldn’t look for a new partner.
Could it be that after becoming a spirit, this kind of trait would also change? Just as Lu Qingjiu was coming up with a big dogblood plot, he saw Bai Yuehu walk over with wrinkled brows and reach out and pick up the fox kit in one smooth motion.
Originally, due to hitting its head against a rock and becoming dazed, the fox kit had stopped moving. But the moment Bai Yuehu’s hand touched it, the fox kit’s eyes opened. It was just that its eyes were filled with panic, and it started crying out “ji ji ji ji” nonstop, trying to struggle out of Bai Yuehu’s hold.
Seeing it like this, Lu Qingjiu’s heart melted, hurriedly saying, “Don’t hold it like that, you’re hurting it.”
Hearing this, Bai Yuehu stretched out his hand, tossing the fox kit into Lu Qingjiu’s arms.
“How could this be my son.” Bai Yuehu directly denied Lu Qingjiu’s question, and even with a tone carrying a hint of distaste.
“It’s really not your son?” Upon entering Lu Qingjiu’s arms, the little fox kit had immediately stopped crying, and even stared at Lu Qingjiu with wide, watery eyes, arched into his chest, with none of the agitation it had displayed when in Bai Yuehu’s hold.
“It’s not.” Bai Yuehu spat out the two words with great certainty.
“Even if it’s not your son, it’s your clansman, right?” Lu Qingjiu asked, “Or is this just an ordinary fox?” He remembered that foxes were only white in winter in order to blend in with their surroundings to hunt. But it was about to become summer right now, even the foxes on the mountains wouldn’t be white. And looking at how clean the fox was, no dirt at all on its body, it didn’t really seem like it was wild.
Bai Yuehu heard Lu Qingjiu’s question, but didn’t directly answer, instead, he looked at the fox thoughtfully, as if considering something.
Lu Qingjiu waited for a while by his side, before hearing him utter a sentence, “Yes, it’s one of my clansmen.”
“Really?” Knowing that he had a little fox spirit in his arms, Lu Qingjiu instantly perked up, “Can it turn into a human?”
“It’s too young, it can’t turn into a human, and it’s also not very tasty.” Bai Yuehu said.
In any case, no matter what it was, Bai Yuehu would always judge it like it was a recipe, so Lu Qingjiu didn’t pay it any mind. He asked, “It can’t turn into a human?”
Bai Yuehu replied, “Still needs to grow up a little.”
“Then what does it eat? When will its parents come to pick it up?” Lu Qingjiu was a little happy. Actually, he really liked these kinds of furry animals. Because back when he was still working, his home wasn’t right for raising a pet, he could only just think about it. Even though his family’s Xiao Hei and Xiao Hua were incredibly cute, but the facts couldn’t be changed; piggies didn’t have any fur, they couldn’t satisfy the craving of this closet fluff-con: Lu Qingjiu.
Bai Yuehu asked, “Pick up?”
Lu Qingjiu replied, “Could it be they aren’t going to pick it up? They’re just leaving it at our home to raise?”
Bai Yuehu, “I actually think we can raise it until it’s bigger and then…”
Before he could complete his sentence, Lu Qingjiu understood what he meant, and exclaimed, alarmed, “Holy shit, you’re not thinking of eating it after it gets big enough, are you? It’s your clansman, even though it can’t change form, it’s still one of your kind!”
Bai Yuehu fell silent. In his eyes, Lu Qingjiu could see the three words “in a dilemma”, as if he was considering whether or not to give up on this meal before him. In the end, under Lu Qingjiu’s wide-eyed, shock-filled gaze, he eventually reluctantly gave up on his inner thoughts, saying mulishly, “We’ll raise it for the time being, then.”
Lu Qingjiu replied, “Okay!” He direct ignored the four words “for the time being” from Bai Yuehu’s mouth. Even though Bai Yuehu was usually cold, after knowing him for a while, Lu Qingjiu felt like actually, he had a nice personality. He would discuss everything with him first, rarely acting on his own.
The little fox trembled in Lu Qingjiu’s arms, simply wanting to burrow into Lu Qingjiu’s clothes, just leaving a small, white, furry butt and a long fluffy tail outside.
“Holy shit, Lu Qingjiu what is that you have in your arms?” After helping Bai Yuehu with the dishes, Yin Xun had gone to the toilet. So, after coming back, he saw the pitiful little with lump huddled in Lu Qingjiu’s arms and he walked closer to take a look, “A fox? Where did you get it from?”
Lu Qingjiu replied, “I picked it up off the roadside.”
“You can find foxes by the side of the road?! Aiyo, this pitiful little guy, it’s still shivering.” As he said this, he reached out and happily stroked the little fox’s soft fur. After the little fox grew up, its fur would become coarse and would feel less nice to the touch. It was just that the one in Lu Qingjiu’s arms was clearly still young, it hadn’t yet gone through a moult. When stroked, it practically felt like one of those fluffy soft toys from a toy shop, those that had their own warmth.
“What does it eat?” Lu Qingjiu once again asked Bai Yuehu.
Bai Yuehu furrowed his brows, thinking for a moment, “Don’t all foxes eat chickens.”
Lu Qingjiu, “…” He felt like his family’s fox spirit seemed a little unprofessional, he didn’t even know what his own kind ate.
The little fox was indeed hungry, it took Lu Qingjiu’s fingers in his mouth and began to suck, looking at Lu Qingjiu with watery eyes, its expression both pitiful and cute.
Lu Qingjiu made a decision, “I’ll just try it out first.” He and Yin Xun went to the kitchen and decided to make the little fox some minced meat. As the two of them turned to leave, they naturally didn’t notice the look of unadulterated distaste in Bai Yuehu’s eyes.
Lu Qingjiu cooked the meat until it was soft, minced it, then placed it before the little fox. The little fox sniffed with its pointy snout, then cheerfully began eating. It seemed like it was a fox kit that had already been weaned, or else Lu Qingjiu really didn’t know where he could go find it milk to drink at this time of night.
The little fox ate very happily, however, after eating a few mouthfuls, it gave Lu Qingjiu a cautious look, as if worried Lu Qingjiu would take its food away at any time. Its little gaze made Lu Qingjiu’s heart melt. He reached out a hand and stroked its little head, saying, “Eat, eat, just stop when you’re full. No one will take it away.”
The little fox seemed like it could understand human speech. Upon hearing Lu Qingjiu say this, it buried its head in the bowl and continued to scarf the food down, eating until both sides of its mouth were entirely covered in bits of meat.
Their home now suddenly had this little cutie, Lu Qingjiu was really happy. After letting it eat its fill, he even made it a little nest in his own bedroom. The little fox seemed to be a little tired too, obediently curling up in the nest and dozing off right away. Lu Qingjiu and Yin Xun watched from the side, the smile of a kindly father on their faces.
“I used to want a dog, too,” Yin Xun said, “But thinking that I can’t even raise myself properly, I gave up on that.”
Lu Qingjiu said, “That’s alright. Now, we can raise a fox.”
Yin Xun, happy tears falling from his eyes, firmly clasped hands with Lu Qingjiu in bliss.
That night, after Yin Xun left, Lu Qingjiu went off to quickly wash up. But just as he was preparing to go back to his room and rest, he heard the sound of a conversation coming from the courtyard. The voices didn’t sound like Xiao Hua and Xiao Hei, instead more like Bai Yuehu was talking with someone. Lu Qingjiu felt a little curious and looked out the window.
At this time, the sky was already darkening. He could only vaguely make out Bai Yuehu’s blurry figure and hear some faint sounds.
Bai Yuehu seemed to be having an argument with someone, he said, “Quickly come over, I swear I won’t eat you, just take him away—”
The other person said something. Bai Yuehu then said, “Scared? What are you scared of, didn’t I say I wouldn’t eat you? I’ll give you three days, if you don’t come, just wait for death, then…”
As he spoke, he walked towards the entrance to the courtyard. As for what he said after that, Lu Qingjiu couldn’t quite make it out anymore, but Bai Yuehu’s impatience was very obvious. Lu Qingjiu also didn’t know who he was talking to.
Lu Qingjiu glanced over at the little fox and stroked its soft fur before he laid back onto the bed with satisfaction in his heart and drifted off.
The next morning, the first thing Lu Qingjiu did upon awakening from his dream was look at the little fox next to his bed. However, what he’d never expected was that the little fox was missing. The door was opened a crack. Clearly, the little fox had left the room through the crack last night. Seeing this scene, Lu Qingjiu panicked. Not even taking the time to change out of his pajamas, he ran out of the house in a frenzy.
“Little fox, little fox??” Calling the little fox’s name, Lu Qingjiu searched around all four corners of the courtyard. To tell the truth, he was a little scared that Bai Yuehu might have just swallowed the little fox down in one gulp. After all, his family’s fox spirit had never refused any kind of food. If it could be eaten, he’d eat it.
Not seeing any traces of the little fox in the outer courtyard, Lu Qingjiu headed to the inner courtyard. But before he could go in, he saw that the well in the inner courtyard had a new addition of a little mini animal. The fur on the animal had bristled up, making it look as round as a ball. Upon hearing his voice, it stumbled over to him, from its mouth, a familiar call of “ji ji ji ji”.