Chasing, but can’t catch up…?
Orte was the capital planet of the Kuhti people and it was definitely worth visiting.
The sky there was of a dark blue shade and the air seemed to always have a faint scent of flowers and plants. From above, the planet looked full of life and verdant.
It was currently spring and the sunlight was just right. It was not as hot as it was in the summer, but still provided a comfortable warmth and it was exceptionally pleasant.
Since the nearest airport only had ordinary starship flights available at the time of the competition, Xie Tao and company had to take the little more than one day travel time into account and left two days before the competition.
They arrived at Orte in the evening of the following day and Xie Tao brought the four fluffballs to the hotel that had recently been built by the competition organizers for the participants and their families.
They rested there for the night and early the next morning, the venue for the flying competition opened. The competition would be held at one o’clock in the afternoon, but many parents who bought their tickets at the site could not wait to enter the arena.
“Thank you for getting them places in the competition as well.” Xie Tao glanced down at the Cotto and Kuwei cub sitting in his arms and politely bowed his head to the Kuhti woman in front of him.
In order to limit the amount of contestants, the cubs participating had to go through a qualification. After being selected they would also be screened by the committee and only the best got to participate.
The qualification had been held half a month ago, however by the time Xie Tao learned about the contest, the selection had already ended two days prior.
“Don’t mention it, it’s actually I who should thank you.” Fuya smiled, her face showing genuine gratitude as she said this.
Some high ranking nursing clubs and families could skip the selection process and easily acquire places for their cubs in the competition.
Originally, Fuya only had one place but after receiving a request from Xie Tao, she managed to win over two more.
“Peipei, mommy will be watching you from the audience.” Fuya carefully arranged the feathers of her cub who was sitting in her arms, the tender movements revealed the obvious love she held for him.
“Tiuh!” Raising his head, the red fluffy cub looked up at his mother and answered her in a clear voice.
After hearing his response, Fuya stroked his little head and held onto him for a bit longer, she then put him in Xie Tao’s embrace and left for the arena.
“Yes, we will be watching you from the audience.” This sentence was directed to all of them, but as he said it, he moved his hand and started to arrange the Cotto and Kuwei cubs’ feathers.
These two cubs had no parents and as Xie Tao did not want them to be sad or feel a sense of loss, he tried his best to take on the role of a parent.
The two cubs’ eyes were bright and they happily let the youth arrange their feathers. When he was done, they affectionately stroke their small head against his hand.
Seeing as it was almost time, Xie Tao left the hotel with the three cubs in his arms and one additional on his shoulder and entered the arena arranged by the organizer.
But the scene Xie Tao was met with when he entered made him abruptly stop.
Red, yellow, grey. The arena stands were already nearly filled and in the arms of almost every person was a fluffball of varying color. Wherever you looked you would be met with a cute fluffball and the air was full of the cubs’ adorable voices.
Xie Tao glanced at the three cubs in his arms, he then looked at all of the surrounding fluffy cubs. At this moment he couldn’t help but think of something..
This… must be a paradise for fluff lovers.
This year’s flying competition was held at Orte’s famous Cerda canyon. It was several kilometers deep, with a rushing river at the bottom and towering peaks on both sides.
The starting point of the race was at the bottom of the canyon and the end was set at the top of a very tall and precipitous mountain in the distance.
The gigantic arena was built to be suspended in the air next to the finish line.
Before the race began, an opening ceremony was held. Right after Xie Tao had found a seat, the doors closed and a powerful cry rang out. Three fierce creatures soared through the air.
With fiery red feathers and a beautiful long tail, one of them cut through the air like a majestic Phoenix. By its side flew two others, one who resembled a Goshawk and one who looked like a golden Peng. These three pretty and fierce looking creatures demonstrated in a beautiful performance how to do innovative maneuvers and control oneself in a small airspace.
It was to show the cubs that their races were the rightful masters of the sky and that they could become that too.
This was the first time Xie Tao witnessed the Kuhti, Kuwei and Cotto’s adult beast forms, and he could not help but be somewhat entranced by it.
When he later came to his senses, he looked down at the three cubs in his arms and noticed the longing in their eyes. Xie Tao raised his hand to touched their soft back feathers and with a warm voice encouraged them. “When you grow up, you will definitely become just as powerful as them.”
The three cubs proudly called out at almost the same time and lifted their small chests to show their pride and confidence. It was an action Xie Tao had seen the Kuhti cub do before and he highly suspected that the other two had learnt it from him.
After the opening ceremony, the cubs who were going to participate in the competition had to go to the waiting area near the starting line.
Using a communal air car, Xie Tao took the three cubs there.
Originally, after making sure that they were in the right place and everything was arranged, Xie Tao had turned around to leave. But after taking two steps he hesitated and turned around in order to get one last glance. What he discovered then was that the three cubs had not moved and their eyes had anxiously followed his back.
“As long as you remember the things we practiced before, there will be no problem.” Understanding the nervousness they must be feeling, Xie Tao walked back and squatted down in front of them. With a soft expression, he added. “No matter what the result may be, you will always be winners in my heart.”
After he patiently appeased the three cubs, Xie Tao left the waiting area and returned to the arena.
The arena was current still at ground level, but after it was confirmed that all of the audience had arrived. The suspension device under the arena raised the entire audience to the top of the mountain.
In the middle of the arena, a holographic image of the race course was presented and then the image changed to showed what was happening at the starting line.
In order to easily recognize the three cubs as a single glance, Xie Tao had tied a short pale yellow ribbon to the three cubs left legs before they departed from the hotel.
Seeing the number of cubs being shown on the screen, Xie Tao felt that it was a very sensible decision.
The Knox cub in his arms called out to him and touched his chest with his paw. This drew Xie Tao’s attention from the holographic image to the white fluffy cub in his arms and lifting him up, he met the pair of sharp pupiled light cyan eyes.
The cub was currently wearing a black cloak and at the top of the hood were two imprints visible from his horn, that at a first glance could be mistaken for rabbit ears.
Because it was inconvenient and dangerous to let others see the Knox cub, Xie Tao had quickly made him this small cloak before leaving for the airport.
The cloak basically covered the cub’s entire body and after pulling up the hood, the only way Xie Tao could see his little face was by lifting him up to eye level.
“Don’t be afraid…” Thinking about his situation as the last Knox in the universe, Xie Tao could not help but bring him into his embrace again and hold him close to his body. Even after he later started focusing on the game he would from time to time gently stroke his back through the cloak in a comforting manner.
However, Ya Yi was actually not afraid. While he had still been inside the egg, he had gotten used to bearing other people’s negative emotions, regardless of whether it was hatred or disgust.
Every day had been filled with darkness. During those more than thirty years inside that egg, his days only consisted of hatred. It was the feeling he was most familiar with.
If the world hated him and did not want him, should he also hate the world?
Ya Yi once thought this way.
But in this cold dark world filled with hatred, now existed a pure and warm light. After being touched by this light, the bloodthirstiness born from the darkness in Ya Yi’s heart calmed down and the vicious cruel creature slowly became tamed, its sharp fangs and claws gradually turning dull.
“Meah.” So as he was put back in the youth’s arms, he obediently nestled into the youth’s embrace and laid himself as close to the youth’s chest as possible. As he listened to the rhythmic sound of the youth’s strong heartbeats, he made a low sound.
While the little fluffy cub settled down in his arms, Xie Tao moved his eyes back to the image.
The race had not started yet, but it was about to begin. The screen showed the cubs standing by the starting line and the countdown was visually displayed to the audience.
Xie Tao quickly found his three cubs amidst the large group of fluff. Following them with his eyes, he could not help but become increasingly nervous as the countdown inched closer and closer to zero.
3, 2, 1-
As soon as the tone signaling the start rang out, the group of fluffy cubs hurriedly took off and hurriedly flew forward. The race course followed the canyon’s river and the pale gold circles appeared randomly in the air.
Shouts sounded in the arena as some parents and caretakers could not stop themselves from cheering when they saw their cubs claim points.
Nursing clubs who had Kuhti, Kuwei or Cotto cubs in their care would certainly not miss a publicity opportunity like this one, as long as the cubs in their club got a good place in the flying competition, they could market it in order to boost their club’s reputation.
People from the Kuhti and Cotto race could be seen cheering extra hard. Cubs from the Kuwei race had now won first place two years in a row and even though no one showed it on the outside, they were of course a little anxious.
The Kuwei had already bore the crown for two years. If no one took it from them this year, they would not be able to live with the shame.
The cubs participating in the competition carried a small device that was used to measure the scores acquired. The cubs would get one point each time they successfully passed through a golden circle and the device would also record the time it took them to reach the end.
In order to not miss too many golden circles, many cubs unconsciously slowed down and gradually fell behind.
At the lead was a Kuwei cub. It seemed to have received good training and its flying technique was both accurate, stable and fast.
Even if you took a look at all of the different races’ cubs, the Kuwei cubs seemed to be farther ahead. The expression of the other two races when they saw this could not help but change slightly and it did not help that with every sharp turn the Kuwei cub in the lead seemed to gain even more distance.
Every time this happened, the faces of the other two races became gloomier and gloomier…
It was not only the Kuhti and Cotto parents that needed a win, everyone from those two races who were following the competition on the Star Network felt the same way.
But just as the future looked dim, they suddenly discovered that there was a little fluffy red cub behind the Kuwei cub who gradually inched closer. It was flapping its small wings at full power and soon it was right behind.
It was a Kuhti cub!
The adults of the Kuhti race were ecstatic and cheered on this one cub. Xie Tao saw the light yellow ribbon on the Kuhti cub’s left leg and the nervousness he felt about the Kuhti cub’s situation lifted. However in the next moments a different kind of worry took ahold of him.
Chasing, but can’t catch up…?
Looking at the Kuhti cub who was unceasingly flapping his wings with all he got, Xie Tao finally got to experience how parents felt while watching their child compete.
Merry Christmas! ❤️
This is my present to you, I hope you have a lovely Christmas, no matter if you celebrate it or not. No matter if it means having a huge party with your family or simply cosying up in front of the tv with your own fluffball and a cup of hot cocoa.