What happened, did I win?
The golden circles that appeared in the air also served to mark out the race course for the cubs competing.
For the audience, in addition to the holographic image showing the cubs, there was also a map of the race course placed beside the finish line. On the map were small red dots that showed the cubs’ movements.
Although a kuhti cub had now separated from the horde and was closing in on the kuwei, there was only a third of the track left until the finish line. The probability of success was small and if the cub wanted to win, it would be a hard feat…
The commentator of the contest could of course sense where the audience’s interest laid and in order to cater to the masses, let the cameras focus on the kuhti cub.
The cubs of the kuhti, kuwei, and cotto race were all round and fluffy. In adulthood they could be called masters of the sky, but as cubs, the sky was still something unfamiliar that they had to explore, a challenge that they had to overcome.
A cub with ample light red feathers who was flapping its small wings with all it got, appeared on the screen and was clearly shown to the whole audience as the cameras zoomed in.
The cub was not focusing on the kuwei cub in front of him, but was instead flapping his wings with great concentration and eyeing a golden circle that had appeared nearby.
At this moment, as the cub rounded a corner, another golden circle appeared without warning right above the kuhti cub. The audience could not help but tense up when they saw this.
It would probably be missed…
The circle’s timing as well as its position made the task extremely difficult, and they would not blame the cub even if it missed the circle.
With this in mind, the audience did not expect much.
But in the next second, the image shown on the screen left everyone in awe.
With a very skillful maneuver, the kuhti cub flew up and through the golden circle, successfully gaining a point.
“Peipei…” In the audience, Fuya raised her hands to cover her mouth, her shoulders were stretched taut and she repeatedly blinked her blurry eyes as she looked up at the screen.
The main reason that she wanted her cub to participate in the flying competition was actually because she remembered the longing her cub had once shown when they had watched it together. The fact that it also gave her the opportunity to change the way Tanner behaved towards their cub was only a small part of it.
In her view, it did not matter what ranking the cub got, the burden of upholding the family’s reputation was not something a cub should bear.
However, with that said, seeing the scene in front of her, was undoubtedly a very pleasant surprise. For her little Peipei to have advanced so rapidly…
When Xie Luan saw the kuhti cub successfully pass through the golden circle, he did not show any obvious excitement, however, his eyes and eyebrows could not help but lower.
The difficult part of the race had already been mastered by their cubs. They had gone over it many times before, with many different scenarios, and out of the three cubs, the kuhti cub had been the one who trained the hardest.
Once his wings got tired, he would take a break. But it was usually not long before Xie Luan once again saw the cub practicing the maneuvers over and over in order to overcome the difficult part.
The difficult part in the competition had not changed over the years and after training so rigorously, Xie Luan believed that when it came to flying techniques, the kuhti cub would not lose to anyone.
He showed no hesitation and took every circle with speed and accuracy. The distance between the two cubs gradually began to decrease even more. The kuhti cub was so close, if only the track had been a little longer, it might have been able to outdo the kuwei cub, but they were nearing the finish line…
Seeing this, the kuhti and cotto could not help but secretly sigh in their hearts.
Particularly the cotto people felt quite bitter, they would rather let the kuhtis win this year than allow the kuweis to gain a three years consecutive championship!
So, what was so bad about this happening?
Well, it was true that their three races were in a friendly alliance, but for one to stand out and shift the power balance was obviously not good.
The camera could not focus on the kuhti cub for too long, so after giving it a closeup as well as showing the cub’s skills when it came to with the golden circles, the commentator was ready to move it away and let the other cubs have some camera time too.
But just before the image changed, everyone saw the little red cub on the screen raise his head with a determined look. It seemed to be looking at the auditorium next to the finish line and it suddenly called out with a clear and strong voice.
The cub could in no way know that he was being shown on the screen. That his black eyes had at that moment caught sight of the audience in the distance had only been an accident. But it had given him motivation and after calling out, he tried to flap his wings even harder.
There were two important people watching him in the audience.
Wanting to do the best one could in front of one’s parents was only natural. The cub wanted to quickly fly over there and be praised by the youth and his mother.
Xie Luan briefly contemplated on the sharp sound’s meaning, but once he understood, his eyes couldn’t help but soften.
After a few minutes, the competition entered the climax as two cubs in the lead got even closer to the finish line. At this time, many in the audience were unable to stop themselves from standing up from their seats and look down at the finish line next to the arena.
The red flag standing at the top of the mountain marked the end of the tracks and it was estimated that in less than one minute, they would have a winner.
The previous cheering crowd was now silent and tension filled the air as they awaited the cubs’ appearance. Then as the first cub ascended the mountain and came into view, the cameras zoomed in on it. It was the kuwei cub. It had been in the lead throughout the race and although a little disappointed, most people were not surprised about this.
However, what they had not expected was that in the last third of the track, the kuhti cub had caught up and the distance between them was now less than three meters.
The last part of the track had the highest difficulty setting and out of all the circles, the remaining five were extra hard. The audience intensely followed the two cubs’ with their eyes as they approached the circles.
Both of the cubs passed through the five circles smoothly, but in the process, the kuhti cub managed to reduce the distance between them to only one meter.
The kuhti cub was unfortunately not able to close the remaining gap of one meter, but looking at the fluffy red cub who passed the finish line only seconds after the kuwei cub, Xie Luan felt very proud.
The other two cubs soon arrived at the finish line as well and while the committee assessed the results, Xie Luan went to get the three cubs.
The three cubs in his arms raised their heads and gazed up at him with expecting eyes, they seemed to be waiting for praise.
Xie Luan touched their small wings and with the thought of relieving their fatigue, lightly rubbed the wings with his fingertips.
“All of you flew really well, you looked very powerful.” Xie Luan gently smiled as praised them, then he lowered his head and kissed each cub’s forehead.
The three cubs who were kissed by the youth moved their little wings and called out to him, they then affectionately snuggled into his embrace.
The cubs had been the second, fifth, and eighth to arrive at the finish line, which was actually quite good placements.
Xie Luan raised his hand and fondly stroked the three fluffy cubs’ soft back feathers in order to convey his praise and encouragement.
“Tiuh…” The kuhti cub was happy that he was praised by the youth, but knowing that he could have gotten first place if he only had tried a little bit harder, he could not help but feel a little disappointed.
Hearing the kuhti cub’s downcast voice and seeing his lowered head, Xie Luan raised his hand and carefully tidied up his feathers. He then, with an even softer voice than before, said. “You are very skilled, Peipei. It’s not just me who thinks so, just now I heard several other adults praise you too.”
Even though Xie Luan did not care about the ranking, he still felt a bit sorry for the cub who had been so close to winning first place.
Especially so since he knew all the effort the cub had put in.
It would have been one thing if the gap had been big, but with only a one meter difference… If only there had been more golden circles, Xie Luan felt that then the kuhti cub would most certainly have been able to pass the other cub.
But, unfortunately, that was not the case.
“Tiuh!” Being comforted and having his feathers arranged by the youth, the kuhti cub finally cheered up and rubbed his little beak against Xie Luan’s fingers.
After a ten minute pause, the committee had compiled the results and an award ceremony would now be held where all the rankings would be presented.
The top ten could receive awards and to build suspense the rankings were normally announced starting from the lowest, but this time the committee made an exception.
“In this year’s flying competition, we are happy to have welcomed a record-breaking contestant with a score of 443, which is 0.6 points higher than any score reached in the previous years’ competitions.”
Was it the kuwei cub?
Knowing that the kuwei cub had been in the lead from the beginning and had flown both stable and fast, the other two races could not help but once again silently sigh in their hearts.
This was not good, not only had they gained a three consecutive championship, they had even broken the record.
“The name of the record-breaking contestant and the winner of this year’s competition is…” The host deliberately paused and everyone present could not help but stand up from their seat. The tension was high. Then, at last, he announced the name-
Hearing this name, Xie Luan looked down and stared blankly at the kuhti cub in his arms. The cub simultaneously raised his head and met Xie Luan’s eyes.
“Tiuh?” When Xie Luan showed no reaction, he called out to him.
What happened? Did I win?
Aw, the kuhti cub is so adorable, that last sentence was such a cuteness kill move. >_<
By the way, I forgot to say this last time, but I really enjoyed hearing about what you did for Christmas. It was both interesting to see what those of you who do not celebrate Christmas did, and how different the Christmas celebrations could actually be, like for example how in Australia many celebrated with a barbecue on the beach.
Among many other things, it was also fun to discover that there were other countries that celebrated on the 24th as well. ^ ^