:June: [TL Note: Changed Tahinir to Tahinia, and character thoughts will no longer be italicized to keep true to Chinese raws. If something’s in present tense it’s most likely a thought.]
When he heard that Yi Longlong was going to treat him to lunch, Eric immediately felt a sense of déjà vu.
It was ten years ago when he had just gotten to know Tahinia and she had treated him to lunch. That had come to be an unforgettable experience in his life. At the time, the graceful Tahinia had stretched out her massive body, then gracefully sliced off a huge chunk of raw meat and placed it gracefully in front of him, gracefully inviting him to dine together.
Eric shuddered and then scrambled to deter Yi Longlong who was entering her house. “There’s no need, I’ve brought my own rations.”
He patted the pouch hanging at his hips. Inside the pouch was a piece of dried jerky. Although it wasn’t anything exquisite, it was already pretty good to have such food in the middle of a journey.
When he retrieved his jerky, a wooden bowl swimmingly floated out from within the cabin. Eric was taken aback, and then looking closer he found that it was actually Yi Longlong carrying a wooden bowl on her head, her two small white paws clasping on the edges steadying it. It had almost completely covered her whole body as it was far too big for her petite stature, at first glance giving people the misconception of a bowl moving by itself.
Eric was planning to decline, but after seeing the contents of the bowl, he was dazed once again.
That was an extremely finely made engraved wooden bowl. Fresh lettuce leaves were piled at the bottom of the bowl, and placed on top of the leaves were small round bread rolls that were slightly bigger than Yi Longlong’s paws. Their golden yellow skin amidst the leafy greens made the rolls look even more crispy and cute.
After putting down the bowl, Yi Longlong seemed to remember something and then turned and rushed back into the cabin. When she came out again, each of her paws were holding a jar. She placed the clay jars onto the ground and peeled off the leaves sealing the opening. A gush of sweet aroma belonging to fruit jams drifted out, and as for the other jar it was filled with slightly greenish water.
“This is the bread I baked this morning; it’s been left for a morning, it might not be as delicious as when it was freshly baked, though if you’re hungry, then go fill your stomach up. Inside the jar to the left is jam for spreading on the bread, the right holds the sap from a specific type of tree branch. It’s very sweet and refreshing; nothing’s more suitable than that to go with the meal.”
Eric awkwardly put away his crude-looking jerky. He squatted and picked up a small round roll, lightly dipped it in the jam and brought it to his mouth. The fresh bread was soft and delectable, and the jam made from wild berries was slightly tangy in its sweetness, carrying a peculiar taste of the wilderness. After finishing a roll, he lifted the jar holding the tree sap that Yi Longlong offered and drank it all in a gulp. The light refreshing sweetness immediately coursed down his throat, greatly stimulating his appetite.
When he initially saw the strangely shaped stones and clay pottery placed at one side of the house, Eric had not understood their applications. Now he realized that they were various kitchen appliances Yi Longlong used in her cooking. For some of the items, even a human like Eric couldn’t place a name on them.
This was an ingenious mind, being able to make this upper standard of food in such primitive conditions. Eric began to feel he was falling behind the times. Since when did the dragons’ skill in cooking develop to this level of finesse? Just by judging the food they had prepared, he already could not discern who the actual human was.
Yi Longlong was still feeling some regret. “A pity there’s no animals nearby, otherwise I could’ve even whipped up some meat dishes.”
When she was exploring the forest, she found wheat actually growing in it by coincidence, then carefully transplanted them to a more open and sunny place. It didn’t require much of her care, and the wheat robustly grew. Its growth cycle was only twenty days. In the absence of diseases and disasters, the granules of wheat grew bountifully. Ever since she had found the wheat, Yi Longlong had a steady source of staple food and no longer needed to work hard every day scavenging for food to satiate her hunger. She had originally thought that the wheat from this other world was especially tough, however now looking back, it seemed it was not because the wheat was of good quality, but of the circumstances of the environment.
This was the influence of Tahinia.
The other vegetables transplanted here were also flourishing the same way.
She was able to eat free from worries, all by the grace of that silver dragon.
Yi Longlong felt slightly guilty. If she had known that the daughter she had desperately used her life to protect did not survive, and the one that continued living in this world was a spirit from another world, would she be extremely saddened?
Perhaps she will never be able to find the answer to this.
The difference in sizes of the two bodies was too big. Yi Longlong could get eighty per cent full from eating a single bread roll, while Eric had to eat a few just to whet his appetite. By the time he was full, he had already eaten what would have been a few days’ worth of food for Yi Longlong.
It had been a long time since Eric had eaten a normal meal like this. Ever since he entered this damnable forest a year ago, he could only rely on the crude jerky he made to put his hunger at bay. Being able to eat this type of food in the forest, he even felt it was more delicious than the food from royal banquets. After eating his fill, Eric saw the containers around him and received a shock. Around him were ten or so empty jars, four wooden boxes that were opened and already emptied of food, two bowls, and other bits and pieces of leafy wrappings. Other than the bowls, everything else were pocket-sized.
Even if Eric had been more thick-headed, he did finally feel some embarrassment. “Uh. I ate so much of your food, I really do sincerely apologize.”
Yi Longlong waved her snow white tail as she gave a cheery smile, her claws slightly trembling. “You’re the guest, there’s no need to worry over this type of trifling matter. Can you tell me some stories about dragons?”
She borrowed an opportunity to figure out the outside world.
Naturally, for this type of minor request, Eric readily accepted. Through his words, Yi Longlong understood a little more about this world. There were no divergences from her speculations. This was a world of fantasy, with swords, magic, dragons and elves.
The calendar system here was quite similar to Earth’s. Twelve months in a year, thirty days in a month, at the start of the year there were six extra days that became an annual holiday. Having lived within the territory influenced by Tahinia, she did not feel the climate change, however outside the boundary there was spring, summer, autumn and winter.
The number of dragons in this world was extremely few. Ten years ago when Eric had met Tahinia, there were a total of sixty-three members in the whole dragon race. In comparison with other races, it was a pitifully small number, but this race wielded an almighty power and no one could contest that.
The dragon race had very long lives. When he had met Yi Longlong’s mother Tahinia, she was around a thousand years old, however within the dragon race, she was but a young dragon that had just moved on from her childhood. Of course, the power of this young dragon was the strongest in the dragon race.
“What special characteristics do dragons have… other than their long lives…” Eric painstakingly recollected, “They roughly have massive bodies, tough skins…”
He nervously glanced at the petite Yi Longlong. He was gradually lacking confidence in his knowledge.
“There are huge wings on their backs, soaring in the skies…” His line of sight fell onto Yi Longlong’s back. There were two holes opened up at the back of her leafy clothes just right, revealing the two white, pocket-sized wings. But can those wings really fly?
All he knew was a single dragon, Tahinia. As for the other dragons, his understanding was just lacking. He was not in the position to say exactly what type of creature a dragon is. Even then, dragons were not as common as lettuces on the street. Although he had seen dragons other than Tahinia before, he had only watched their shadows from afar.
While brushing his messy nest of golden hair with distress, Eric heaved a sigh. “How about this. I’ll bring you to your race, they can probably advise you on how to grow. I’ve heard Tahinia mention the dragon race’s gathering place. Hopefully they haven’t changed places within these past ten years.”
“Advise me on how to grow?” Yi Longlong thought it was a bit strange. “I have been growing…”
Although the speed was a bit slow.
Eric stretched out a hand and stroked her smooth head. This time his expression carried a hint of false hope1. “As a dragon, your growth is such a big failure. Your mother Tahinia was around fifty, sixty meters long, possessed the sharpest claws and the power to make a mountain shake. But you, although you’re only a year old, the rate you’re growing at is just too slow!”
As she listened, Yi Longlong’s face darkened.
Comparing her with Tahinia was like comparing an aircraft carrier to a tractor. Not only was she out of the league in terms of size, even the quality was terribly poor.
Yi Longlong could not resist swiping a paw at him: Even tractors have dignity!
Direct from Baidu: wish iron could turn into steel at once , <set a high demand on somebody in the hope that he will improve>
This idiom originates from the Chinese classic 《红楼梦》Dream of the Red Chamber, which is considered as one of the Four Great Classical Novels in China (the other three being Water Margin, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Journey to the West).