The cub’s voice, the sound was almost like a cry.
Because the mermaid cub had desperately tried very hard to call out, the cub’s voice seemed to have finally broken through some kind of barrier that was suppressing it and now he could at last truly pronounce the word.
Hearing his voice, Xie Tao and Zarad were both stunned.
Even though his mind was blank for a second, Xie Tao was the first to react. However, after squatting down and partly reaching out a hand, Xie Tao showed a rare hint of hesitation. He did not know how to comfort the mermaid cub who had grabbed onto his pants and was crying out to him with “Papa”.
When the youth squatted down, the mermaid cub moved from holding onto the edge of the trouser leg and reached out his hands further, grabbing onto Xie Tao’s knees. The ice blue tail under the surface was swaying back and forth a lot faster and wider than usual. Anyone would easily be able to read the cub’s emotions.
With his two small hands placed on the youth’s knees, the mermaid cub then used all of his strength to lift his upper body to get closer to the youth, looking as if he was trying hard to climb ashore.
“Papa–!” The cub was not aware of the sounds he made. The only thing he could think about was getting closer to the youth, instinctively trying to attract his attention with sounds and actions.
Seeing this, even if he was a bit slow to react this time as well, Xie Tao now knew what to do.
Not wanting the cub to continue having to expend lot effort to pull himself up and moving his tail, Xie Tao immediately picked up the mermaid cub from the pool. He did not go to the side to get a towel and instead directly carried the cub in his arms.
The clothes on his upper body inevitably got wet. Xie Tao stood up and took the towel Zarad handed him, then wrapped it around the cub in his arms.
Throughout the whole process, the little mermaid in Xie Tao’s embrace grabbed onto his shirt tightly and refused to let go. Making a low whining sound, he lightly tugged at the cloth in his hands from time to time and buried his head in the youth’s chest.
“Gale, be good…” Xie Tao fully focused on the mermaid cub and was not able to continue his discussion with Zarad right now. Holding the cub, who was firmly gripping onto his clothes, he tried to comfort him. Almost as if reflexively, Xie Tao raised his hand and gently patted the cub on his back, then tried very hard to coax the cub.
Hearing his words, the cub raised his head and looked up at him, small golden glittering tears rolling down his cheeks. The golden tears fell from his red eyes and soon turned into very small but beautiful crystals. Xie Tao lifted his hand to catch them but was a little too late and some fell down, hitting the tile floor with a pattering sound.
“I don’t want Gale to be taken away, I don’t want you gone. You mustn’t ever think that I would want you gone.”
Knowing that the mermaid cub must have overheard and understood Zarad’s remarks just now, Xie Tao slowly said this. As he explained, he extended a finger and extremely gently wiped away the tear tracks on the cub’s small cheeks.
Golden tears, that at the time had not yet turned into crystals, had left wet marks on the little cub’s delicate face. Even though the cub had now stopped crying, his eyes were still glazed over and a glittering tear rested in the corner of his eyes, on the brink of falling. Unless they were heartless people, seeing the mermaid cub’s current appearance would without a doubt soften people’s hearts.
After witnessing the cub’s reaction, Zarad no longer had any doubts about keeping the cub. Previously he had just considered the possibility that once the mermaid cub grew up and understood the allure of power and wealth, then he might want to return to the Houdie family.
However seeing how the little mermaid was so afraid that the youth would not want him, showing such an intense reaction and even being able to pronounce the word because of it— Zarad was convinced that the cub would much rather grow up with the youth as his parent than having the position as master of the Houdie family in the future.
Originally, when he had said those words, Zarad had just considered the cub’s best interest and objectively analyzed the situation. But watching the cub cry so pitifully and how the youth was patiently coaxing him, Zarad could not help but feel guilty for a second.
He really didn’t want the cub to cry. He hadn’t expected that… the cub actually could understand him. Although he might not necessarily have understood it completely, it seemed that he certainly understood a part of it… enough of it…
“Be good, don’t cry Gale.”
Xie Tao touched the ice blue tail of the mermaid cub in his arms and firmly held onto him as he unconsciously moved slightly from side to side to soothe him. His shirt collar in the cub’s grasp had already been wrinkled by his strong grip, but Xie Tao did not care about it at all.
The mermaid cub who was touched by the youth immediately swayed his tail lightly. He still refused to let go of the youth’s clothes, but he was no longer on the brink of tears.
His still moist blue eyes were fixed on the youth’s face. The cub suddenly buried his head in the youth’s chest and rubbed against it before hugging him close, his small arms trying to reach around the wide chest. For the first time, his hands briefly let go only to tightly grip onto the fabric on each side of the chest.
Having been assured that the youth really didn’t want to give him away, the mermaid cub felt a sense of security and became well behaved.
The cub was suddenly very quiet. He did not weep or move around, but nestled obediently in the youth’s embrace. He only lifted the small fin at the end of his tail, gently tapping it against Xie Tao’s body.
The gentle tapping of the fin was undoubtedly a way for the cub to attract his parent’s attention.
After finally having managed to coax the cub in his arms, Xie Tao gave a sigh of relief.
Glancing to the side, Xie Tao noticed how the mermaid cub was moving his fin and could not help but squint his eyes in a smiling expression. He reached out a hand and put it under the fin, feeling the light tap as it hit against his palm.
“Pa… Papa~” It was at this time that the cub seemed to have at last realized that he had been able to truly say the word earlier. Excited, the cub patted the youth’s hand and then tried to call out the word again to the youth holding him.
“Papa~” When the cub found that the two syllables he issued were pronounced softly and smoothly, he unconsciously increased the force in his fin slapping the hand and his blue eyes widened slightly.
“Gale can talk.”
Xie Tao first acknowledged his achievement. Just now he had clearly heard him call him “Papa”, he had absolutely not misheard.
As long as he spoke louder, he would be able to pronounce the word he wanted to say. After getting affirmation from the youth, the little mermaid nestled in the youth’s arms gathered his strength and tried hard to speak.
“Papa—” In the mermaid race, “Papa” was used to call one’s parent, male parents that is.
The sound was no longer just air, nor mixed with air. The mermaid cub spoke clearly in a normal volume.
Although it was achieved through a lot of effort from the cub, unlike how other people could do it casually, it was still a huge breakthrough for him. It could truly not be any better.
Xie Tao could hear how hard the cub worked to utter the two syllables as it slightly affected the tone. But it did not affect the essence of his voice.
To Xie Tao, the voice of the little mermaid in his arms was very special and pleasant. He believed that the other staff member in the club would feel the same as he did.
Because he was still a cub, the voice was of course very tender, but this was not negative.
Even if one removed the filter that made parents think that everything about their cub was good, Xie Tao still thought that he would feel that the cub in his arms had a very clear and pleasant voice.
It was like the purling of a stream.
Looking at the harmonious and warm atmosphere surrounding the two, it made Zarad, who had been a bystander for a long time, want to swallow back the words he had just said one by one.
If he had to say those words again in this situation, then Zarad would truly not be able to do it.
Now that he no longer had any doubts about the decision of keeping the cub, Zarad was helping them think about what the youth called advance preparation.
“The first thing we can do is find evidence. I can’t think of anything else for the time being. We can only start with gathering witness testimonies.”
Feeling that what he had said previously might have hurt the mermaid cub in the youth’s arms, Zarad now had an urge to repay. “I should be able to help with this. I have a friend who is good at dealing with these kinds of matters. I will tell you when there is progress.”
When he said this, Zarad was already prepared to go to the military investigation department.
Readily available connections should not be wasted, it was much better to use them then find some people who might not necessarily be reliable.
As Zarad began the advance preparations, the rumors on the Star Networks had already attracted Connor’s attention and would soon reach the Houdie family’s ears.
From this, it was clear that it was inevitable that the Houdie family would send people to Yunbao Branch.
Gearing up for war. Although Zarad was not able to think of other measures they could take as advance preparations, you readers really came up with some clever and sly sche—cough—plans.
Maybe you should be a general? Haha.
Many, many, many thanks to Jessie, Jessica Lins and mysterious spirit for the coffees~~~ ??