Instead of getting eaten, she would rather fall to death. Zhu Yao began to struggle with all her might. Yet, the large roc’s beak was as tight as an iron plier, only when they returned to the nest, did it place her at the center of the three little birds.
For a moment, Zhu Yao was a little anxious, as she waited for the three little birds to pounce on her and dismantle her corpse.
However, those three bald headed birds did not even spare her a glance, as they squeezed her to the side with despising attitudes and pounced into the large roc’s embrace.
Was it because she had too little meat on her? These birds were quite picky.
With a swing of its wing, the large roc embraced the three bald-head birds under its wing. It then turned to look towards Zhu Yao, as though it was waiting for something? Its eyes were focused, and it even purposefully lowered its head, looking at her at her eye-level.
Uh… What was it trying to do?
“Chi…” The large bird called out, as it looked at her with a tilted head, blinking its black grape-like eyes.
Zhu Yao stiffened. She must had gone blind, right? Why could she sense adoration coming from that bird’s eyes?
Seeing that she did not have any reaction, the large bird let out a pitiful cry. Using its head, it lightly stroked her a few times, as though it was comforting her.
Zhu Yao suddenly had a daring thought. This bird… couldn’t be treating her as one of its children, right?
She looked at her own bare chicken wings, and then, glanced at the three bald birds under the large roc’s wing. Alright, they did look rather similar.
The large bird did not idle for long. In less than ten minutes, it chased the three little fellows back into the nest, before it flapped its wings and flew off.
The three little bald birds unwillingly walked back.
The first one pushed Zhu Yao as it walked by.
The second similarly pushed Zhu Yao as it walked by.
When the third one came by, she had already been pushed to the side of the nest.
Yo. The birds in this nest sure were discriminatory.
There wasn’t much interaction between the three little birds. After they meaninglessly cried out a few times, they began to sleep. The large bird came back in but a few moments, and there were even something dangling in its beak. It stopped above the nest, opened its mouth, and… four to five grey coloured, long-tailed rats came pouring down!
“Chi chi chi…” A riot suddenly occurred in the nest. The three little birds were evidently extremely excited, flapping their bare meaty wings, their eyes shone as they looked at the rats on the ground.
Zhu Yao’s heart skipped a beat. It couldn’t be feeding them these, right?
As expected, the large bird picked up the rats, and placed one of them down in front of every little bird, including her!
The three little birds had already begun to happily dig in. One of them used its claw as chopsticks to grab hold of the rat, while the rest swallowed them whole. Zhu Yao glanced at the spasming, bald grey rat, which evidently had yet to die, and her entire bird body felt uncomfortable all over. Master, this place is scary. Hurry and fetch your disciple back home.
“Chi, chi?” Seeing that she was not budging for a long time, mother bird once again pulled its head close to hers, and looked at her strangely. Using its beak, it nudged the rat, as though it was persuading her to hurry and eat her meal.
Zhu Yao: “…”
I don’t want to eat rats! And one that’s alive as well!
Mother bird nudged it a few times, yet, Zhu Yao still did not move. It then let out a cry, either out of sadness, or how confused it was. It then turned its head, and then, picked up the remaining rat beneath its feet and placed it in front of her, once again nudging the two rats towards her.
As though it was saying: Fine, I will give you two. That’s enough, right? Hurry and eat!
Zhu Yao felt like crying. She wasn’t complaining about having a small portion!
The mother bird’s biased actions had evidently caught the attentions of the other little birds. The three bare, bald birds which were eating just a moment ago, suddenly stopped and looked in her direction one after another. Zhu Yao could sense her hate meter going up three times.
What should she do? Forget about eating it, just by looking was enough to make her feel disgusted. However, looking at the mother bird’s earnest eyes, she suddenly felt guilty.
The light in Zhu Yao’s eyes swirled. Raising one of her meaty wings, she pointed to the mother bird’s back, and excitedly jumped a few times.
When all of the birds turned to look, she immediately grabbed a few tree branches and buried the rats. Then, with her head, she pushed them to the side, looking as though she had already eaten them.
When the four birds turned back their heads, she slowly raised her head, licking her beak.
Momma’s egg. Being a bird actually tested one’s acting skills as well. The life of a bird was really too difficult.
Zhu Yao thus began to live in this cramped nest. Mother bird would head off several times a day, and whenever it returned, the things it brought back would be different. Sometimes, it would be various types of herbs and fruits, while others would naturally be the various types of meat. Every single one of them was alive, without an exception.
Things were still fine when fruits were brought back as she could still eat them, though live meat was really something she couldn’t accept. Hence, she could only think of various ways to shift the mother bird’s attention, and then, had the rats, rabbits and other meats hidden.
After three days, there were already several meats being hidden underneath her feet. If this continued, it would definitely be exposed. Furthermore, the weather seemed to be getting hotter, which meant that the meats would surely start to stink.
In order to prevent this situation from happening, she thought of a plan. While the other birds were eating fruits, she grabbed a rat, and threw it to the little bird next to her. As expected, its eyes began to sparkle, excitedly shaking its meaty wings. However, it did not move, and instead glanced at her suspiciously. It looked as though it wanted to feast on it, but it was something that belonged to her, so it did not dare to move.
Zhu Yao reached out her claws, and pulled over the fruit that belonged to it, over to her side. I’m exchanging with you!
Only then did the little bird understand. It then pushed three more fruits over to her, before eating the rat with its mind at ease.
In the following days, Zhu Yao continued her routine. First, she hid the meats, and then, when there were fruits, she took them out and exchanged with the little bird for its fruits. As the days went by, even the little bird had gotten used to it. Whenever it was time to split the fruits, it would automatically push them to her.
Hence, three months later…
The little bird which had been sitting next to her had quickly grown fatter, revealing its figure which was three times the size of the other birds, it occupied almost half of the nest’s space. Looking at this, even Zhu Yao was feeling a little guilty, as she hesitated if she should change her target for exchanging food with.
The little birds had already grown out feathers and was no longer looking bare like before. However, the feathers of the three birds all looked a little different from the rest. One was light grey, one was deep grey, while one was between grey and black. Only hers… was coloured like a rainbow!
Zhu Yao grew feathers of various colours, and she looked especially attention-grabbing within this dark-type bird nest. The mother bird always looked doubtful whenever it saw her. As expected, they weren’t of the same species. Her feathers had exposed her.
Zhu Yao was not sure what she actually was. In the beginning, when she saw her seven coloured feathers, her first thought was a phoenix. But, phoenixes all had feathered tails, while she did not have a single feather on hers, and her tail did not seem to be growing anymore either. Rather than saying she was a phoenix, she felt more like a… chicken!
She suddenly felt as though she had suffered a huge blow in her entire lifetime.
Today, the sky was clear, not a single cloud could be seen in several thousand miles. It was the day where the mother bird was bringing all the little birds out together.
Compared to their first meeting, the three little birds had grown considerably larger. All of their sizes had at least doubled. Other than little bird number three, with its size being quadrupled. Of course, it was because Zhu Yao fed it. The only one which did not really grow at all, was Zhu Yao. Most likely because she had only eaten fruits. Though, her original size was already larger than a regular bird’s in the first place, so her thin body wasn’t really evident to the eyes.
Only after leaving the nest did she find out that was actually such a large grass plain above the cliff. All of the little birds were very excited. Though they did not know how to fly, they would flap their wings over there, and then scratch the ground over here with their claws, playing merrily.
Until the mother bird let out a long cry, as it stopped at the side of the cliff. Only then did the three little birds unwillingly walked over, queueing themselves up. Zhu Yao was the last one.
“Cha…” Mother bird called out to the four little ones, as though it was telling them something. Though, Zhu Yao couldn’t understand.
Evidently, the other three understood.
The first one called out. “Cha…”
The second one called out twice. “Chacha…”
The third one called out thrice. “Chachacha…”
The fourth one, Zhu Yao. “…”
The flow was disrupted. The four birds turned around one after another, their eyes gathered on her, all of them filled with condemnation and discontent.
Why aren’t you calling out!
Zhu Yao shrank her head, a bead of cold sweat dripped down. Looking at the four growing stern eyes, she had no choice but to let out a sound. “Chi…”
Little bird number three opened up one of its wings, and immediately slapped it on Zhu Yao’s head with a ‘she would not learn without being hit’ expression. Zhu Yao instantly felt she was seeing stars. So ruthless! What happened to the promised love between siblings?
It wasn’t because she didn’t want to call out, but rather, she simply couldn’t make that ‘cha’ sound. She did not know if it was because her structure was different from these birds, but even though they had all grown their feathers out, she could still only let out that ‘chi chi chi’ sound, while the rest had already learnt ‘cha cha cha’.
Of course, she was still unable to speak. Possibly because her species of ‘chicken’ simply couldn’t speak, or she could try calling out ‘wo wo’.
Zhu Yao had received her punishment, so the mother bird was not going to continue making things difficult for her. Zhu Yao did not understand what it was chirping to them for, but after a while, grey little bird number one stepped forward and stood next to mother bird.
Before the little birds could even react, the mother bird suddenly opened its wings and pushed little bird number one, pushing it down the cliff.
Little bird number one could only make it in time to miserably cry out “cha”, before falling down. Zhu Yao was stunned. Mother bird, what are you doing? Was this the same mother bird which would chirp miserably whenever its children skipped a meal? Why did the style suddenly change, hey?
In the next moment, Zhu Yao understood the mother bird’s intentions, because little bird number one had already flown back on its own while flapping its wings. It was teaching them how to fly?
After little bird number one flew back, it was little bird number two’s turn. It learned pretty quick as well, as it flew back only a moment after it fell. Though fatty little bird number three spent twice the time compared to the other two, before it managed to fly back. Its body was simply too heavy, and the moment it landed on the cliff, it was already lying on the ground tiringly.
Finally, it was Zhu Yao’s turn.
Mother bird chirped at her twice, hinting her to step forward.
Zhu Yao took a step back, and another step back.
Then, she turned tail and ran.
Like hell she would jump off a cliff. If she was really a bird, then it would still be alright. But the key thing here was, she was evidently a chicken, a completely different species from the other birds. If she fell from such a height, she would definitely, surely die. I’m not doing it!
“Cha…” Mother bird flapped its wings and flew, landing right in front of Zhu Yao and blocking her path. She turned around, wanting to flee, only to be grabbed by the back from mother bird’s claw.
Its chirping voice grew larger, as though it was lecturing her for being disobedient.
It then grabbed her and flew back to the side of the cliff.
I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die!
Zhu Yao flustered. Taking the moment opportunity when it released its grip, she once again fled with a trail of smoke behind her, running far, far away.
Her unwilling attitude had angered the group of birds. Three gusts of wind swept past, little birds number one, two and three stood in a line, blocking her. They chirped crazily at her for a moment, as though they were lecturing her about her stubborn attitude. One after another, they lowered their heads and pushed her to the side of the cliff.
All of us ‘ate from the same nest’, why torment each other so cruelly!
Seeing the cliffside getting closer to her, even Zhu Yao’s heart was turning cold. I’m going to die, right? I will definitely fall to death, right?
Suddenly, a loud resounding cry sounded from the sky.
The four birds immediately stopped their movements, as though they had heard a terrifying sound, as they shivered one after another. Mother bird especially, stationed by the cliffside, had even knelt on the ground, shivering to the point where its feathers were falling off. Finally, as though it was unable to control the fear in the depths of its heart, it dug its head into the ground.
Uh… You’re an ostrich, is that it?
Little birds number one to three were the same as well. Following after their mother’s footsteps, ‘shuaa shuaa shuaa’, their three bird heads dug into the soil as well.
Zhu Yao glanced at the mother bird on the right, and then, glanced at the three little birds on the left. Uh, should she be following the trend as well?
But the surface of this clifftop was hard. If she were to dig into it as it was, something would definitely go wrong with her head, right? But if she did not dig her head into it, wouldn’t she be standing out from the group?
Zhu Yao cheated by digging a hole with her claws, and then, stuffed her head into the hole. And then, she added two layers of soil above her to make it look more believable. Yet, her eyes were still inspecting her surroundings. Just what was causing them to be this afraid?
In an instant, a large gust of wind blew, as something seemed to have landed not far away in front of them. In her line of sight, a pair of pure-white shoes appeared. She could not help but turn her head upwards to look, and what she saw was the figure of a man dressed in snow-white clothing. The moment she clearly saw his face, Zhu Yao unconsciously held her breath.
She had never known that someone could be this beautiful. As long as he stood still, everything in the world seemed to have turned into his backdrop. His long hair had extended to the ground, and a light hint of worry seemed to be present between his brows, while his lips carried a hint of joy.
Zhu Yao’s eyes widened. It’s a handsome man!
But, he still could not be compared to her master. Her master was exclusive.
“Little sister…” He suddenly called out, his voice was as gentle and warm as water, and she faintly felt that she heard of his voice somewhere once before.
It seemed like he was here looking for someone, then why was there the need for them to be afraid, huh?
The man looked straight at the group of birds, from his gentle eyes, he looked as though he could start crying. No wait, he really was crying!
He actually cried. Zhu Yao could not help but feel an ache in her heart. Though, it was understandable. He lost her sister, so it could be imagined how worried he was. It seemed like this sister of his was really worrisome.
Why did she feel as though he was walking over to her? Ehhhh!? He’s really walking over to her, hey!
The man lowered his body, and stopped in front of Zhu Yao. His hands slid past her little wings, and as though he was pulling out a radish, with a poof, he pulled her out.
“Little sister.” His voice carried thirty percent joy, and seventy percent sadness, as he looked at her chicken eyes attentively.
The hell. So she’s that worrisome little sister.
Realmspirit, this avatar has its own backstory again. You should have informed me about this beforehand, right?
The handsome man carried her, gently brushing off the dirt on her feathers with his hand. As though he was afraid of hurting her, he was especially careful, as he brought her to his embrace, like he had received a precious treasure. “Let me bring you home.”
Zhu Yao blanked. Why were there so many birds which enjoy bringing her back home? Handsome man, who the hell are you?
The handsome man, however, had already begun to fly while carrying her. She could not help but turn her head around and look at the group of birds by the cliffside.
Alright, they were still buried unmoving within the soil. What happened to the promised love between siblings?
This man who was beautiful to the extent… of having others especially wanting to disfigure him, brought her back to the large tree which she first saw.
Only then did Zhu Yao truly realize just how illogically large this tree was. Carrying her, the man flew for about ten minutes, yet, they were still unable to see the peak of the tree. Even the smallest branch was as thick as a football field. The further up they went, she could faintly see house-like structures on the tree, with various patterns, and colours of red, green and white. It’s just that all of them looked similar to fruits, with just windows and doors added to them.
This tree itself could already form a city.
The man flew for a long time before arriving at his destination. He stopped at a gigantic hall, which should be the center of the tree. The hall, compared to the houses which she saw earlier, was hundred times larger, and a large plaza was even situated in front of the hall itself.
There were already several people standing there, as though they were awaiting their arrival.
The man finally stopped at the platform, and an auntie wearing a colourful gown, came welcoming them. Her face even looked a little familiar… This… Wasn’t this the Phoenix Clan’s auntie when she turned into an egg?
“Shao Bai, did you find her?” The auntie came forward.
Shao Bai? Zhu Yao blanked, as she looked at the man who was hugging her. It can’t be!? This man who was beautiful to the point of angering the heavens, was that child who was skinny to the bones back then!
Please, do you mind if I ask what’s the secret to your growth!? I beg you!
“Mn.” Shao Bai responded, as he shifted the hand which he was carrying Zhu Yao with, revealing an entire head.
“Let me see!” She took a step forward.
“Hi, auntie!” Zhu Yao wanted to greet her, yet, the voice she let out had merely turned into a single sound. “Chi…”
“As I thought…” Auntie did not mind her terrible sounding voice in the slightest, as she excitedly reached out her hands towards Zhu Yao. Shao Bai however, lightly shifted his body to the side to evade her hands, while the auntie was left embarrassed with her hands stretched out in empty air.
It seemed like little fellow Shao Bai’s relationship with auntie wasn’t really good.
Auntie coughed twice, before saying. “Is she alright?”
“Her aura is weak, her figure is skinny and small, and she’s unable to transform yet. Even flying is difficult for her.” His voice sank even lower. His final statement even carried a slight tremble, as he looked at Zhu Yao in his embrace, his eyes carried slight heartache and sadness. He gently stroked her slightly messy feathers.
“It’s fine as long as she’s back. Her body can be slowly nurtured back.” Auntie let out a long sigh, while a hint of something flashed past her eyes. She carefully asked. “Shao Bai. Little Seventh is back, then about Little Sixth…”
Before she could even finish, Shao Bai’s expression instantly turned cold, and even Zhu Yao could sense his cold aura. “She doesn’t even have her feathered tail.”
“…” Auntie seemed to be taken aback, as she looked as though she had taken in a deep breath out of shock. Her expression was especially complicated, and the eyes she was looking at Zhu Yao with actually carried a hint of pity.
The older version Shao Bai coldly snorted. Without turning his head around, he carried Zhu Yao and left, leaving the crowd of people in the plaza behind.
The hell happened? Did conversation break down?
The grown Shao Bai was unexpectedly a very gentle man, completely unlike the child who had experienced darkness when he was young.
Ever since Zhu Yao was brought back by him, every single small and huge matter of hers were dealt by his hands. Like a five-star nanny, not a single of the things like clothes, food and living necessities had not passed into his hands. He was nurturing her as though she was a child, and was even pampering her too. No matter how she made a fuss, he would still carry that warm and encompassing smile.
No matter how she looked at it, Zhu Yao could not relate him to the small child who was left with merely bones back then. Not to mention, after experiencing that sort of incident, in these past two thousand years, he actually did not go haywire, and instead, had turned into a good, gentle and handsome youth.
That’s right! The avatar she had reincarnated into this time, was that egg which she had strangely turned into when she fainted back then. And it had been two thousand years since that incident.
Little friend Shao Bai had incubated her for exactly two thousand years, and he had turned from a little phoenix to a large phoenix as well. All of the birds had thought that she was a dead egg. Yet, little friend Shao Bai was insistent and relentless, and finally, she hatched.
Little fellow, not bad, you have potential. It seemed like she had not wasted her efforts in bringing him out of that ghastly place while she was still an egg. After understanding the situation, Zhu Yao pleasingly patted on Shao Bai with her claw, but she accidentally used too much force, and with a ‘huaa’ sound, several striped holes opened up from his chest. Three long pieces of fabric fluttered in the air, revealing a faint ***** that was hidden behind them, and also two red… “indecent, do not look”.
Uh… Her control was off.
Shao Bai still carried his good temper, and did not even lecture her at all. Placing her down on the bed, he then headed to the back to change. Though, Zhu Yao showed a guilty look and had wanted him to scold her a little.
From her recent reliable source of information, she seemed to be a phoenix. She was really pleased with this point, at the very least, she was not a chicken.
She was however different from a regular phoenix. The feathers of other phoenixes were fiery red in colour, while hers had the colours of a rainbow spreading across her body. Not to mention, she did not have a feathered tail. Zhu Yao stuck her butt up, glancing at the spot where the feathered tail was supposed to be, only to see a bare butt. She heaved a long sigh.
“Don’t be sad, it will grow.” Shao Bai changed to an entirely blue robe, and walked out. Stroking her head consolingly, the eyes he was looking at her with were filled with exceptional grief. He carried her in his embrace, leaned his head onto her feathers, and said with a solemn voice. “I’m sorry, little sister. Second brother did not protect you well.”
Uh… The one with a naked butt is me, why are you being so sad for, hey? And, she did not have any opinions about being a chicken, so having less feathers did not bother her at all.
“Are you awake?” With a smile, auntie fluttered in like a chrysanthemum flower. Only after a few dozen days after Zhu Yao was brought back, did she finally know that this auntie, the Patriarch of the Phoenix Clan, was called Xian Yu. “It seems you’re looking pretty well, Little Seven.”
“Chi…” Hello auntie. Zhu Yao flapped her wings, which was considered as her greetings to her.
Xian Yu smiled even more vibrantly, as she placed the plate of fruits in her hands on the table, and passed one of them over. “Little Seven, here. Eat a fruit.”
“Chi!” Thank you! Zhu Yao unceremoniously went over and bit into it. After eating it, she felt a hot aura surging within her body, which then stopped within her Dantian. For a moment, her entire body was filled with vigour. She understood a little why Shao Bai said she was weak back then. Phoenixes were of the God Race, and she was weak to the point of not possessing even a strand of godly energy.
“So obedient.” Auntie Xian Yu praised her, while carefully glancing at Shao Bai, who had a gentle expression, on the side. Acting as though she was not really mindful of it, she said. “I really wonder what’s going on with this world. I heard the cold at the extreme south is becoming even worse…”