The Harsh Cold Air
When Bai Qingqing woke up, she felt a hot breath falling upon her face as she breathed. It felt itchy, as though a feather was grazing her face. Murmuring, she reached out and tried to shove it away from her face, then instantly felt a prickly and hot tongue licking her face.
“Ooh—” Bai Qingqing shrunk back her head and opened her eyes slightly. “Parker?”
The world before her eyes was strikingly white. Bai Qingqing was dazed for a moment before she slowly started recalling that she and Parker had come out into the mountains.
Ignoring Bai Qingqing’s struggle, Parker kept licking her face. Of course, he did so very gently. He still remembered Bai Qingqing’s face had turned red the first time he licked her.
“What are you doing?” Bai Qingqing stretched lazily.
“Roar!” Parker licked even more enthusiastically now.
When he was done filling the bamboo basket with bamboo shoots, he discovered that Bai Qingqing’s originally flushed face had turned snow-white, and there was now even a layer of frost over it. Stunned by the sight, he quickly transformed into his beast form to lick Bai Qingqing’s face, and it took quite a while before she turned warm again. He then placed his tummy lightly over Bai Qingqing’s face.
When Bai Qingqing woke up, she felt the fur on her face—the soft fur from Parker’s tummy.
“Are you done digging the shoots? Why didn’t you call me?” Bai Qingqing’s face crumpled, feeling her skin dry and tight from the wind, so much so it hurt. She quickly covered her face with the animal skin.
Parker transformed into a human and pulled her into his arms. “I’ll never bring you out on a snowy day again. You nearly turned to ice just now.”
“Surely not? Why didn’t I feel anything?” Bai Qingqing touched her face with a confused look. She merely felt that her face hurt a little. However, she did realize that she wasn’t suitable to go out during this season. Without a moisturizer, her skin couldn’t tolerate this cold and harsh weather.
Seems like the roughness of the females’ skin here had a scientific explanation to it—it’d be shocking for a fragile species to grow beautifully under such harsh conditions.
“Let’s hurry back, then.” Propping her hands against the ground, Bai Qingqing got to her feet. Her bones felt stiff.
As he had to carry the bamboo shoots, when they went back Parker didn’t transform into his beast form. With the pack basket on his back and Bai Qingqing in his arms, he could only run back on his two feet.
The major roads in the city had been cleaned up by now. When they got home, Winston was also clearing the ice and snow at their door.
Upon seeing them back, Winston quickly shoved the remaining ice to the side. “It’s getting late. I’ll go hunting now.”
Parker nodded at Winston, before carrying Bai Qingqing into the house.
There was plenty of Bai Qingqing’s food at home. Parker cooked a dish of short-winged bird stewed with bamboo shoots, and the leaves of the bamboo shoots were also stewed in the pot as a vegetable. He even added fungus and bird’s eggs, so the pot gave off a rich aroma.
Bai Qingqing ate the hot steamboat with great satisfaction on this heavily snowing day.
The temperature got lower and lower. In the blink of an eye, a month had passed. A thick and indestructible layer of ice had formed over the surface of the river.
Bai Qingqing didn’t leave the bedroom much now. Two layers of animal skin were hung outside the window, and a curtain made of animal skin was also hung at the bedroom door. So long as there was a fire burning in the house, it was much warmer than outside the house.
Bai Qingqing had fully recovered. The areas on her body that had grown fatter or slimmer during her pregnancy had returned to their original states. She squatted beside the grinding stone and peered into the hole.
“Qingqing.” When Parker came in with the food and saw Qingqing squatting beside the grinding stone, he shook his tail in jealousy.
Bai Qingqing straightened her back and turned her head towards Parker. “I miss my eggs.”