Safekeeping the scale
Although the pool was built inside and was fairly close to where the other cubs were, most cubs could not swim. Even those who could would seldom take the initiative to play in the pool.
After all, these cubs were basically made out of fluff and once the fluff came in contact with water it would get wet and heavy.
When they later climbed out, they had to expend much effort to shake off the water the best they could and then wait for their fur to slowly dry.
Well, in reality, when Xie Tao saw a wet cub crawl out of the pool he would of course not leave the cub to dry by itself; he would grab a large towel and wrap it around the cub, he would then lift the cub up and hold them in his arms as he gently wiped their fur.
After the cub’s body was relatively dry, he would then use something similar to a hairdryer to blow the cub’s fur and dry it further.
The whole process didn’t take much time.
The reason that he had to dry them by hand was that their club had still not built a small drying room next to the pool. But Xie Tao did not mind it; drying them was not a lot of work and he did not need to do it often, only once or twice a week.
But, because of this situation, Xie Tao had been worried about the mermaid cub. Even though some cubs occasionally came to play with him, most of the time he was still alone, isolated in the pool. This was obviously harmful to the cub’s mental health.
When he was picked up by the youth and his four feet left the ground, the Moye cub, who resembled a small turtle with a heavy shell on his back, waved his four legs in the air in confusion.
It was first when he was firmly held in the arms of the youth, and there was something under his feet, that the Moye cub quieted down again.
Amused by the cub’s kicking, Xie Tao could not resist a low laugh.
Hearing his laugh, the small turtle-like Moye cub turned his eyes to him and hummed a few times. Seeing this, Xie Tao raised his hand to touch the cub’s shell and explained with a smile, “I did not mean to laugh at you.”
The Moye cub raised his head and shook the small little tail behind him, humming obediently.
He seems to be a good kid too.
Xie Tao lifted a finger and lightly poked at the cub’s dark hard shell, his mood instantly becoming even brighter.
The two cubs were both good kids, they should be able to get along well without any incidents.
As Xie Tao carried the Moye cub to the edge of the indoor pool, several adults in the room threw some curiously glances at the cub.
They had not raised a Moye cub before, but the cub looked very obedient and should be relatively easy to take care of.
As soon as he neared the pool and was only two or three meters away, Xie Tao saw the Mermaid cub emerge from under the water. The beautiful azure eyes looked at him and the cub then swam to the edge of the pool.
The mermaid cub put his hands on the edge and lifted himself up a bit, he then called out with slightly indistinctive monotone sounds to the approaching human youth. His little tail covered with ice blue scales was swaying gently under the surface.
Alien races generally had better sensory capabilities than humans in all aspects. The Mermaid cub had therefore been able to remember the sound of the youth’s footsteps and as soon as he heard the sound getting closer, he knew that the youth was coming to see him.
Xie Tao vaguely heard the Mermaid cub’s voice and although the syllables that the cub made was very monotonous, by listening carefully one could still hear the cub’s mood from the subtle change of tone.
The voice just now, for example, was filled with happiness.
The water in the pool was clear and translucent. When Xie Tao approached the pool, he could see the cub’s small tail sway beneath the surface.
He could also see the beautiful shell bed that was in the pool. The shells were milky white and the bed’s sides were adorned with small and exquisite pearl decorations.
Xie Tao had ordered this bed from a cub furniture store on the Star Network. He had heard that this kind of shell bed was very popular with many mermaid cubs, so Xie Tao had brought it for the mermaid cub when he was buying new beds for the other cubs in the club.
Squatting down beside the pool’s edge, Xie Tao put the Moye cub in his arms down next to him. He then reached out to touch the mermaid cub’s short light blonde hair and softly said to him, “This is a new cub who is going to stay at our club. He is called Toto. You will be able to play with each other regularly in the future.”
Xie Tao then touched the hard shell of the Moye cub, who was looking up at him, and said in the same soft tone, “This Mermaid baby is called Gale, he can’t leave the pool… so if a good baby wants to play with him, he would surely be very happy.”
Considering himself to be a good baby, the Moye cub hummed a response to the youth. He then slowly moved over to the pool and successfully made it to the edge without flipping over.
After climbing into the pool, the Moye cub’s movements became more nimble.
Not afraid of turning over in the water, the cub swam closer to the mermaid cub and hummed two times, which was a sign of friendliness among the Moye people.
For the first time since he came to the Yunbao branch, the mermaid cub had met someone who was from an aquatic race, just like himself. The Mermaid cub hesitantly glanced up at the human youth squatting by the pool’s edge and then, recalling his action, he raised his right hand and very carefully touched the Moye cub’s hard shell.
He also tried to respond with a low voice, attempting to communicate with his new companion.
As Xie Tao was at the pool he decided to check the water temperature regulation device. It was currently showing 18 degrees Celsius, which was the temperature that he had previously adjusted to after reading the Cub Encyclopedia.
Recalling that the mermaid race’s favorite temperature was 18 degrees, he started pondering, but he then remembered that the Moye race did not have a specific temperature preference for water, so the pool’s temperature should not need to be fine-tuned.
The newly built indoor pool was obviously much larger than the small pool in the courtyard, so there was no problem for the two cubs to swim around together.
The initial interaction seemed pretty good. Following them with his eyes as the mermaid took the Moye cub down to the bottom and showed him the shell bed, Xie Tao noticed how the Moye cub’s short little tail lightly swayed as he looked around and was immediately relieved.
Xie Tao stayed and sat cross-legged at the edge of the pool for a long time, watching the two cubs play together. When it was time to prepare food for the cubs with the other caretakers, Xie Tao kneaded his somewhat numb legs and stood up.
But, just as he was about to turn around, he saw the mermaid cub swimming towards him and he could not help but pause and turn back around.
Once the cub reached the edge of the pool, he extended a hand to grab ahold of his pants, he seemed very eager. “Pa…”
Although he did not know what he wanted, Xie Tao understood that this action was to stop him from leaving. So, squatting down, he touched the mermaid cub’s hair and asked in a warm voice. “What’s wrong?”
The little hand on his leg was holding onto him tightly, but there was no response. Xie Tao soothed him by saying. “I won’t go.”
Hearing this sentence, the mermaid cub made a sound to confirm that the youth really would not leave and then, finally, he slowly released his hand.
After letting go, the mermaid cub quickly swam down to the bottom of the pool and stopped a few seconds by the shell bed, before quickly returning to Xie Tao.
“Pa—” Holding something out in front of the youth, the mermaid cub tried his best to make his voice stronger, and the sound issued was indeed the clearest syllable that the cub had ever made.
Looking down at the hands in front of him, Xie Tao thought that the Mermaid cub would give him a crystal spar like last time. He intended to thank him and tell the cub in a warm voice that he should not try to make himself cry intentionally, but what he saw in the cub’s hands was unexpectedly something else.
This is… a scale?
Seeing the small ice blue scale laying in the mermaid cub’s hands, Xie Tao was stunned.
Did a scale fall off?
He did not have time to think about it for the moment, and under the Mermaid cub’s expectant gaze, Xie Tao received the ice blue scale.
This should be for him, or for him to safekeep, right…?
After receiving the scale, Xie Tao saw the mermaid cub’s tail sway beneath the surface, he looked very happy.
Whether it was meant to be a gift or for him to safekeep, Xie Tao had to put the scale away properly.
He had recently brought a small box for the crystal spar that the Mermaid cub had given to him, the scale could also be put and collected in it. But in the meanwhile he placed it in his pocket.
Now that the Mermaid cub did not stop him from leaving, Xie Tao touched the cub’s hair once again and then went to where everyone else was in the house.
When Xie Tao bent down to grab a few bottles in order to fill them with milk, Xia Qi suddenly asked him. “Ah Tao, what is that bright thing in your pocket?”
From where she stood, she had just now noticed a small shiny thing in the youth’s pocket and had not been able to resist asking.
“It’s a scale that little Gale gave me.” Without much thought, Xie Tao answered truthfully.
Gale… Mermaid cub….
Everyone who was standing close by and heard this sentence was amazed. If they remembered correctly, mermaid cubs would only give their scales to their parents for safekeeping.
According to this logic, that is to say…. the Mermaid cub regarded the human youth in front of them as his parent??
I have looked at the comments here and on wattpad, it was surprisingly quite different; here most people wanted the more accurate translation while on wattpad most wanted me to keep the current translation.
It was really close to a tie, but, ultimately, more people wanted the accurate one so I will go back and change it when I have time.
On another note, I have a lot of exams coming up next week so I will sadly have to pause translating for one week, but I will resume translating like normal after that.
To save the sweetness from before, after getting such bitter news, here is a fanart I found of Xie Tao and the Mermaid cub:
Editor’s note: This is rather random but back where I live, Toto is slang for belly button. Does it mean anything were you are from?
Now XT is a dad, so cute. They grow so fast 😭😭😭
Wishing Leo success on the exams! Good luck!!