Chapter 65: Xiao Xue is Pregnant?!
“Xiao Chun? What’s the matter?” Su Shuilian was surprised by the wolf pup, who had ran into the embroidery room, tugged at her clothes, and whimpered. It seemed he wanted her to go outside.
Su Shuilian was scared that he may stain the work, but also worried for Xiao Chun who was usually very calm. Could something have happened outside?
She followed Xiao Chun out and walked to the wolf house. There, she saw Xiao Xue laying on the ground in the same position as yesterday, seemingly unable to move.
“Xiao Xue, are you okay? Are you sick?” She touched her head, it was not a fever for Xiao Xue was not burning up. She then lifted her eyelids as she had seen her brother previously done. But they were neither muddy nor bloodshot. Carefully looking over Xiao Xue, she could not find any other symptoms. Xiao Xue was just lethargic and lacked her usual energy.
“Then what exactly is going on?” Su Shuilian was stunned and completely clueless to Xiao Xue’s current predicament.
Looking at the sky, she could tell it would soon be noon, Lin Si Yao should be coming back with Dabao soon.
Su Shuilian got up and gave Xiao Xue some water. She thought, like humans, drinking some clear water should do no harm.
She then went to the kitchen and washed the vegetables that Lin Si Yao had freshly picked earlier this morning. After that, she walked out of the kitchen in to the warm winter sun and thought back to Xiao Xue’s condition.
Just as she finished straining the vegetables, Lin Si Yao and Tian Dabao arrived back.
“Didn’t I already tell you that I would do it, how are your hands?” Lin Si Yao’s brows furrowed seeing the basket of washed greens. He took her somewhat cold hands into his.
“A Yao, I do not know what happened to Xiao Xue, she has been sleeping continuously for two days now. Do you think she is ill?” Su Shuilian asked as she led him to the wolf hut.
“This is normal, because Xiao is going to be a mother.” Lin Si Yao smiled. He actually found out this morning when he felt her pulse. And that was what assured him; she was pregnant. It had been the reason why he had left Xiao Chun home. Because the current Xiao Xue would have no way of guarding Su Shuilian and their house.
What he actually looked forward to the most, would be when his own little woman gave him the second dearest person of his life. But for now, looking at her, she still needs time adjusting her body before that happens. That’s alright though, they still have the rest of their lifetime together.
“Xiao……Xiao Xue…. is… going to be a…. mother?” Su Shuilian said somewhat in a daze as she gaped. “But… but she should only be about two years old?” Forgive her, her mind could not process such information.
“To be more exact, Xiao Xue is one and a half years old.” Lin Si Yao nodded his head. A wolf’s mating season is during the early spring. With a successful copulation and carry to term, Xiao Xue should have been born last summer. And that was a year and a half ago. Of course, there were also wolves that mate later in late fall. A good living example would be the one right in front of them!
“Oh my goodness!” Su Shuilian covered her mouth and gasped in disbelief. Then, she stooped down, and poked at Xiao Xue’s head, “You’re not even of age, yet you want to become a mother already! Idiot Xiao Xue!”
“There’s nothing wrong with her. Wolves’ health and body compositions are the same as dogs, perfectly able to mate at just a mere age of one and a half years old. Raising the cub to a wolf is another matter, it’ll need a lot of love and care since we’re in the middle of winter.”
Lin Si Yao pulled her up, amused. “Aren’t you curious to know who’s the father?” His words seemed to conceal a hint of hilarity. “Do you know?” Su Shuilian looked at him quizzically.
“No, just a hunch.” He led her to the kitchen, sat her down by the table, and started to make dinner. “Do you remember last time, when we went to Dashi Mountain?” He worked the bellows by the fireplace. He was talking about half a month ago, when they went to Dashi Mountain to hunt winter prey.
“Oh, that time?” Su Shuilian was a little embarrassed talking about how Xiao Xue became a mother.
“Yep, it was probably then. If I’m not wrong, it’s the Wolf King.” As he spoke, the fire had grown to a considerable size. He stood up, walked around the fireplace, and brought out a big cooking pan. He spread a teaspoon of vegetable oil, and prepared to make sautéed mushrooms with cabbage.
“The Wolf King?” Su Shuilian’s eyes widened. It couldn’t be, does Dashi Mountain hold such a large wolf pack? “A Yao, don’t go inside the mountain again.” She urged worriedly, thinking about how lucky she was to live in Dashi Mountain peacefully for two months before meeting Lin Si Yao.
“Don’t worry, I know my limits.” Lin Si Yao chuckled.
It goes without saying that wolves exist on Dashi Mountain. Since wolves are pack animals, Xiao Xue’s family couldn’t have been the only one. Bumping into wolf packs have only been a recent occasion, anyways. But even so, the pack led by the Wolf King didn’t show any aggression towards them because of Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue’s presence. In the last trip, Xiao Xue’s had only seen the Wolf King twice or so; had she managed to become pregnant with his cub in such a short time? Lin Si Yao could only shake his head and laugh, Su Shuilian didn’t have anything to say.
She never would have thought this would happen. Even since coming to Dahui, she was the one who’s watched Xiao Xue grow up little by little. But in just one night, she’s leaped from a small cub to a pregnant mother. In about three months, she’ll be laden with a litter of cute wolf puppies. By then, Su Shuilian wouldn’t be able to call her ‘little wolf pup” anymore. This nickname only lasted for about half a year or so. “Yao, since Xiao Xue is pregnant, give her an extra bowl of goat’s milk…” Su Shuilian quickly gathered her feelings, and entered the role of Xiao Xue’s midwife in order to lessen her troubles as much as possible.
After pairing up with a mate for fertilization, the female goat that the village chief gifted them was just in season for producing milk. Furthermore, the chief’s other doe (female goat) just gave birth merely five days ago, so they had more than enough milk. Of course, the chief had taken his share of the three baby goats to raise at home.
Su Shuilian’s little goat had quite a lot of milk in her. Even after each baby goat was full, she still managed to squeeze out two full bowls. Tian Dabao had long since developed the habit of running away with his nose pinched together tightly from the strange odor of goat milk. So they split it equally, Su Shuilian and Lin Si Yao would share a bowl and the two wolves would also do the same.
“Alright…” Lin Si Yao didn’t have any objections. Normally, a wolf cub born in winter would have extremely slim chances of survival, but Xiao Xue was staying at home instead of Dashi Mountain. If they really have to, they can set up a makeshift shelter for them. With a storage full of jerky and goat milk, they can even roast some fresh fish for them to eat. They will never go hungry, and Xiao Xue won’t give a premature delivery, either…. Lin Si Yao knew that Su Shuilian treated Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue like family. He sighed at himself for even getting envious at the two beasts, and laughed heartily.
The next day, Lin Si Yao moved the wolves’ bed to a corner of the bedroom. If there was enough sunlight, Li Si Yao would have Xiao Xue lay down outside the house. Xiao Chun’s daily training was paused, and was ordered to keep watch of the lodging and not go anywhere else. With two “females” in the house and one of them pregnant, Xiao Chun’s responsibility was quite hefty. Thankfully, Lu Wan’er didn’t come back after that day. It was unclear whether she had given up or taken a break because of the awful weather. After worrying for a few days, Su Shuilian quickly forgot about her.
She invested her time on the <Drunken Beauty> embroidery piece that was due in half a month. In the meantime, Xicui had once again visited the Yueyun Embroidery Floor. Jiang Yangyun had sent word that she didn’t need to rush it, and it would be fine if she gave notice of it being up to four days late. Su Shuilian didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Back then, who was the one who proudly promised that it’ll be done by the New Years? Thankfully, the date Su Shuilian had set for herself was the 20th day of the twelfth lunar month. Since Jiang Yangyun allowed four days, that means she can turn it in by the 25th. She had five more days to work her magic, so Su Shuilian didn’t force herself to finish as soon as possible.
Lin Si Yao took a stroll around after training his disciple. He chatted and argued for a bit with Tian Dabao, brushed Xiao Xue’s fur, bathed in the sunlight, and jogged with the bored Xiao Chun to warm himself up. The simple days passed with little trouble. After dinner, Su Shuilian kept to her routine; play with Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue, tidy the bedroom, and fold the sheets. Lin Si Yao cleaned the kitchen. But just when he was about to lock the courtyard gate, he saw a large white wolf waiting in front of the door. Two glowing green eyes studied the approaching Lin Si Yao. The Wolf King? Lin Si Yao’s heart jumped slightly.
“Go back! This isn’t a place you can come to….” Lin Si Yao urged in a hushed voice. If one of the patrolling villagers were to find him, not only would the Wolf King be in danger, his own household would also be suspected. That was also why he would lock the gate doors during the evening, to prevent Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue to roam outside during the night. However, because Dabao had stayed for dinner, locking the gates had been delayed for an hour.
“Ahh-ooo….” The wolf whimpered lowly, as if begging to let him see Xiao Xue.
“Go back. She’s fine. If you don’t want more trouble, don’t come back from the mountain….” Lin Si Yao stood his ground in front of the Wolf King, and ordered weightily. Better to talk nonsense than to let the Wolf King enter the cabin. If he were to let him go in once, there will be a second time, and a third time…. Someone would be bound to notice by then.
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