Learning how to fly
Fuya had been worried about once again leaving her cub in a new place that he was not accustomed to. So seeing that he was willing to speak after being held by the youth was a very pleasant surprise.
The cub was normally very quiet when she took him to nursing clubs. It didn’t matter if he had been there before or if it was a new club, he was still extremely silent, especially after the caretakers took him from her arms.
Many of the caretakers didn’t think it was a big problem but as a parent, Fuya was very distressed about this. However she still had no choice but to leave him there.
But now he had actually called out to the young man carrying him..
To others this might not mean anything, but to Fuya, this was a huge progress and an indication that she had made the right choice in sending him here.
“Then I entrust my child to you.” Fuya smiled and nodded goodbye to the staff, she then gave her cub one last look before walking away.
The Kuhti cub in Xie Tao’s arms followed his mother with his eyes as she left. Knowing that the cub had just left his mother and had yet to adapt to this new environment, Xie Tao was extra gentle and soothed him by lightly stroking his back. He then lifted him up a bit higher, and meeting those deep dark eyes, he said. “Baby, I will take you to meet the other cubs in the club that you will be living with, okay?”
Although the cub did not like nursing clubs, he made no move to refuse Xie Tao plans, he only continued to stare at Xie Tao’s face. Since there was no response and the Kuhti cub was still willing to let Xie Tao hold him, Xie Tao took it as if he agreed to it.
When Xie Tao introduced the Kuhti cub to the other cubs, they showed no obvious emotions. Most of them were only a bit curious when they first saw him but then quickly adapted to this new cub’s presence.
Originally, the cub had quivered and shrunken down into a ball when Xie Tao released him. He had not approached the other cubs and instead only peeped at them through his fluff-fort. But seeing that they did not show any aggression or other forms of rejection, the cub put down his guard a bit and stood up.
However, he only took a couple of steps forward before stopping again. He was still a bit afraid but as he was hesitating, he suddenly felt a light tap on his back and looked back. Xie Tao had noticed the cub’s hesitation and therefore gently nudged him forward. When the cub looked back, Xie Tao met those deep eyes and softly encouraged him. “It’s okay, I’m here if you need me.”
The Kuhti cub looked at the other cubs and then looked back at Xie Tao before lightly fluttering his wings and bravely walked over to the other cubs.
“Tiuh.” His last steps faltered a bit at the end, but when he finally made it to the other cubs, he straightened his back, and excitingly turned around to call out to Xie Tao.
What did the cub’s actions mean?
The other people in the room only saw it as a sign that the cub had adapted to the new environment and did not think too much about it, but Xie Tao understood.
“Good job.” Walking over, Xie Tao crouched down and stretched out his index finger to gently pat and stroke the cub’s head.
The cub had been brave and done as Xie Tao had said, so of course he wanted to be praised for doing it.
Xie Tao understood this and felt that as long as they gave him enough encouragement, the cub would try to reach out more and would be able to adapt to this new environment. The only thing he needed was some self esteem.
“Tiuh!” Hearing the praise, the Kuhti cub proudly raised his chest and called out to him as if agreeing.
[T/N: Lol, imagine a high pitched voice proudly saying, “Yeah, I did good, didn’t I!”]
In addition to the Kuhti cub, there were two more cubs in the club that, in Xie Tao’s opinion, had beast forms similar to that of birds. One was from the Cotto race and the other was from the Kuwei. The Cotto had soft feathers in different shades of grey and the Kuwei had shiny yellow feathers similar to that of a baby goose.
Although the Kuhti cub was tense around other cubs, Xie Tao though that the cub would be more comfortable if he was around more similar cubs that were the same size as him. Xie Tao therefore put the three together in hopes that it would be the first step towards the Kuhti cub’s integration.
Xie Tao had only good intentions, however when he brought the two other cubs to the Kuhti cub, he found that the cub did not get as comfortable as he had expected.
In fact, the small chest that had been raised after being praised, shrunk back, and the cub awkwardly moved his wings as he slightly lowered his head.
“Baby?” His mother had not said anything about his situation in the other nursing clubs or at home. But after observing the cub’s reactions, Xie Tao felt that the cub must have experienced something traumatic that made him act the way he did.
Looking at the Kuhti cub’s current state, Xie Tao heart ached, and after thinking about it, he picked the cub up. Gazing down at the cub in his arms, he lightly touched his soft red feathers and whispered. “Don’t be afraid, the other cubs are very well-behaved and nice, they won’t bully you, I promise.”
This was the first time that someone was being so patient with him and although being treated this way felt a bit weird and foreign, the cub liked this new warm sensation.
The cub looked at Xie Tao for a while and then turned his head to the two cubs he just met before skeptically looking back at Xie Tao. “Tiuuh?”
In the previous nursing clubs, the caretakers had never been this patient. The one teaching him would start frowning after a while and then shake their head and sigh.
This cub simply must not have the ability to fly…
The cub had been to several nursing clubs and this was the sentence he repeatedly heard the caretakers say. But it still wasn’t worse then when they finally gave up..
We have tried our best. If the cub still can’t fly when the parents visit then they can’t blame us, there is something wrong with the cub…
When cubs similar to him got to know that he could not fly, they usually stayed far away from him. Even though other cubs who did not have the ability to fly, did not deliberately avoid him, they still thought of him as stupid and ignored him.
After hearing the cub’s questioning tone, Xie Tao nodded and tenderly touched the Kuhti cub’s back feathers.
While comforting him, Xie Tao slowly moved his hand to one of the cub’s wings. The cub got a little tense but still permitted him to gently spread out his wing.
Xie Tao lightly moved his fingertips along one of the wings’ feathers. Although the rest of the cub’s body was covered with soft fluff-feathers, his wings had long and robust feathers that felt powerful enough to carry him.
The Kuhti cub in Xie Tao’s arms quietly looked up at Xie Tao as he examined his wings. Since Xie Tao had never done anything to hurt him and shown him kindness, the cub did not struggle and obediently sat still, even though he really hated anything related to his wings.
The cub’s mother had said that the cub was healthy, his wings were neither injured nor stunted, however Xie Tao wanted to see for himself.
Xie Tao therefore gently lifted the left wing and mimicked the movement of flying. As he did this he carefully observed the cub in order to see if the cub showed any signs of pain or discomfort.
It was not that Xie Tao did not trust the parent’s words, but he felt that such an important matter should also be confirmed personally. After all, what if there was some kind of injury that they had missed?
He knew that medical treatment in this world was much more advanced than in his world. But, even if it was a one in ten thousand possibility that it would be missed, Xie Tao felt that it was necessary to see with his own eyes. After all, if something happened to be missed, then it would be he himself who caused the cub pain when forcing him to train.
The Kuhti cub remain motionless when Xie Tao moved his left wing and did not show any signs of pain. Seeing this, Xie Tao felt a bit relieved, but he still made sure to throughly check the wing by putting a small amount of pressure on different places on the wing. He then used the same method to check the right wing.
Xie Tao determined that his wings seemed fine, the cub would be able to learn how to fly, he only needed the right guidance.
A Kuhti cub that can’t fly, unlike Xie Tao who lacked common sense, the other caretakers in the Yunbao branch were not as optimistic about this situation. Especially so after reading the check-in information filled out by the mother which contained every previous club the cub had stayed at…
Even the clubs ranked first, third and tenth couldn’t get the cub to fly, so how could they, a low grade club, possibly do it?
Those clubs, whether it was the facilities or the caretakers, were better than at their club, so it was really hard to believe that they would be able to do it.
The first few days they worked to integrate the Kuhti cub into the new environment and by Xie Tao’s considerate care, the cub managed to adapt to life in the club.
Although the cub could not fly, he could still walk, and whenever that little fluff ball moved, the cute sound of his claws against the wooden floor could be heard.
The Kuhti cub really liked living in the Yunbao branch, because here, even if he couldn’t fly and had to walk everywhere, the other cubs would not avoid him. The caretakers in club also didn’t sign or shake their heads, neither did they always look disappointed at him. So after adapting, the cub became much more happy and energetic than he had ever been at any of the other clubs.
“Tiuh-tiuh.” Seeing Xie Tao entering the building, the Kuhti cub called out to him and ran over to greet him.
Xie Tao picked up the cub and touched his soft red feathers, he then softly said. “Baby, do you want to start the fly training?”
They hadn’t brought up the matter until now. It had been Xie Tao’s proposal to first let the cub adapt to his new living environment and then start the training. Xie Tao had been concerned that it otherwise would cause the cub unnecessary stress and interfere with his integration.
As experienced caretakers, Xia Qi, Lin Yi and Zheng Zhou understood and had no objections to Xie Tao’s idea. They had all even cooperated to try to create a good environment for this Kuhti cub and made sure that the other cubs treated him well.
Hearing the youth’s words, the Kuhti cub who had just been energetic, suddenly shrank his body and hid his head in Xie Tao’s shirt.
Although this action showed fear and reluctance, it also showed that the cub found security in Xie Tao’s embrace and depended on him.
Seeing this, Xie Tao lightly stroked the cub’s soft feathers and lowed his voice as he said. “We will take it slowly, everything is going to be fine, I don’t expect you to learn right away.”
Most Kuhti cubs were able to master flight by themselves, after all they had deeply rooted instincts guiding them. It was only a small number of cubs that needed external guidance in order to learn, but even in those cases, the learning process was generally very smooth and usually didn’t take more than three days.
However, this Kuhti cub obliviously didn’t belong to any of the categories above… He needed special guidance and Xie Tao didn’t mind accompanying the cub to explore and slowly find the method that works for him. It would all be worth it when the cub finally learned how to fly.
“Tiuh..” If it had been any other person asking, the cub would have directly struggled to get away, but since it was Xie Tao’s request, the cub dispiritedly agreed.
In the afternoon Xie Tao therefore wiped the dust off an old cabinet and pushed the two meter high furniture out to an open space.
After finishing preparing, Xie Tao picked up the Kuhti cub and soothingly stroked him as he raised his arms and placed the cub on top of the cabinet.
“Will this really work?…” Zheng Zhou, like the other two caretakers in the club, didn’t have much confidence in this method.
If it had been any other cub learning how to fly, it might have worked, but this wasn’t an ordinary cub. Many high ranked clubs had already tried and failed to get him to fly, and they therefore felt that using such a basic method wouldn’t give much results.
Xie Tao did not respond to his question. He knew that it might not be the most effective way to get the cub to fly but he thought that it might be a good start.
After being put on top of the cabinet , the cub stayed put for a while and then turned around and took two steps towards the edge. Seeing the cub looking down at him, Xie Tao opened his arms and said warmly. “Baby, come here.”
“Tiuh..” Taking one more step forward, the cub hooked his claws onto the edge of the cabinet and slightly moved his wings. The destination was the youth’s embrace, the cub looked at Xie Tao and then down at the floor… Standing on that cabinet was like standing on a steep cliff and after hesitating for a bit, the cub weakly called out as he retreated in fear.
The youth’s embraced was a very safe place, but he couldn’t fly…
“Don’t be afraid.” Xie Tao still had his arms open, “If you can’t fly, I will catch you.”
Hearing his words, the cub gathered up his courage and after having Xie Tao give him a confirmative nod, he tried to fly over to him.
However, he couldn’t even hover in the air for three seconds and after a few wing flaps, the cub fell straight down into the hands of Xie Tao who had been prepared to catch him.
The cub was so bad at flying that it didn’t even fly at all, only fall…
Although it didn’t show on the faces of the people present, each one of them were sighing in their heart, they had been right.
The Kuhti cub who had fallen into the arms of the youth, carefully buried his head in Xie Tao’s shirt and lifted his wings over his head to further hide himself as he made himself small.
Unexpectedly, Xie Tao lifted the cub up and kissed the cute fluff ball in his forehead as he praised him. “You’re awesome.”
The three people standing by the side could only stare blankly at this scene and then couldn’t help but thoughtfully look at the human youth.
“Tiuuh?” The Kuhti cub who heard the praise, partially raised his body and slightly tilted one of the wings that were covering his face in order to peek through and take a look at Xie Tao’s expression.
The cub was surprised, he knew that he had failed, but this time he had not even heard a disappointed sigh and he even got a praise.
“We will practice a little every day.” Xie Tao touched the small wings of the cub in his arms and said, “I promise that we will be able to get you to fly. Let’s just do our best, okay?”
“Tiuh!” The Kuhti cub enthusiastically agreed and then affectionately stroked his beak against Xie Tao’s finger.
From that day on, the Kuhti cub, who had originally been very resistant to learning how to fly, tried to flap his wings every day, even after the daily training was completed.
He was taking his own initiative to learn.
Seeing the effort the cub put into it, all the staff in Yunbao branch couldn’t help but root for him and they had even started to believe that the cub might actually succeed.
Hi, I just want to bring up a matter.
When I got home from school today, I was really motivated to translate, but then I noticed two new comments that made me really discouraged and sad, it was like all energy was drained from me.
On chapter 4:
On chapter 6:
This person had earlier commented on chapter 13 and I had answered them:
As you can see above, I plan on having a release schedule of one chapter per week as I need time for my schoolwork as well (I will publish on Fridays).
What hurts is that even though I gave an explanation, that person still said that I was procrastinating. I have been really busy with school and used all my free time to translate, I haven’t even been able to read BL for weeks and I’m just really tired…
That person even wrote a novel pickup request, saying that I translate in “sloth speed”. You shouldn’t even make such a request if it has not gone three months since the latest chapter, at least according to NU…
Sigh, sorry for this long note, my grandmother died this week so I was already a bit down even before I saw this. The pictures of the newly introduced cubs that I originally was going to add to this note can be found on the character page. Thanks JayCzar for your donation and thanks to all lovely readers for your support. ♥︎