A hard start for milk
It’s been a couple of days now. Adrian’s new life in this unknown world started terribly, however, everything up till this point has been going well. Except that there’s no proper milk to feed the wolf pup. Mia. At first, she would cry non-stop, but as the days passed she’s been getting quiet. It was starting to become a problem. Until Adrian spotted a small herd of animals with a few mothers nursing their young ones, but the moment he gets too close, they all end up hiding far away.
He tried being persuasive with the herd. He even brought them freshly picked berries, but the herd wouldn’t get close unless Adrian left. At night, while they were asleep, he would sneak in, he did manage to milk one, but he ended up getting chased after accidentally waking the entire herd. As he sat there trying to feed Mia, he knew if he was going to be doing that again, it wouldn’t make things easier on him. Setting down the bowl, he noticed that it was still full, she didn’t drink much at all. He already searched the bag dozens of times for a bottle, but it was empty.
He only wanted to feed his child without harming the animals, but he was also wasting too much of his energy, as it is. With no choice, Adrian has to hunt them down using brute force. Placing Mia down in the little make-shift tent he made days ago. Covering the entrance with foliage. Adrian grabbed his knife and stalked any prey that he would come across in any of his berry traps, if he learned anything in this place, is that the mothers never leave their young ones behind.
He did manage to catch smaller prey, but it wasn’t what was needed, so he ended up letting some of them go while keeping the others for sustenance. Resetting some traps. That early afternoon, luck was once again in Adrian’s side. Unaware that Dimitri was the one that leads the animal towards the trap. The immense joy he felt once he saw a mother water buffalo, crying out for its young baby that was stuck in his deep mud trap, only the head of the baby was popping out.
Tucking his wagging tail between pants. Adrian kneeled on all fours, creeping closer and closer until he blended in with the tall grass. Continuing to creep towards the mud trap, he waited for the mother to look away. Locking his eyes on his prey. Adrian felt his adrenaline kick in, knowing that Mia would have a splendid time drinking milk for weeks to come.
As he inched closer, he stepped on a twig, making the crying mother noticed her surrounding. Panting, she nervously ran towards the direction that Adrian was in, out of spite, where she heard the twig snapped. Silently panicking, Adrian swiftly reached for the knife in his mouth, and in one swift swoop, he cut the nearby rope that has been harboring several large logs and netting up in the trees. Falling directly onto the buffalo, knocking her out instantly.
In dismay, that his trap actually worked on a bigger animal. Adrian immediately grabbed the rope around his waist and lassoed the baby from its neck, out of the mud trap. He looked at the young buffalo, who was out of breath. It didn’t seem like it can move for a while. “The poor thing must have been there for hours, struggling to get out.” Still tugging on the rope, Adrian brought the baby buffalo closer to him, making a slash deep into its throat. He looked away from the leaking buffalo, as he always hated doing this to any animals he has caught.
Hanging the baby aside, high above a tree, he quickly moved onto the mother, tying a rope around her horns and feet, dragging it away from the mud trap. That’s when he noticed another baby buffalo, trapped and far more exhausted than the other one, he quickly lassoed it out and carried it and the mother, towards his camping area.
There he thoroughly washed the buffalo with cleaned cold water. Tied up from head to hooves, he brought Mia close to the unconscious animal, near the milked area. At first, she didn’t want anything to do with it, she didn’t open her mouth to cry out of disagreement, she just turned her head to the side and trying her best to push away from the animal.
It had Adrian wondering that maybe the mother buffalo doesn’t produce any milk, or is a first-timer. Placing Mia back down inside the tent, Adrian decided to test it out first and started to suck out the milk of the water buffalo. Once he was able to taste a bit of milk, he crawled into the tent, bringing Mia closer to the buffalo, again. It took a while, but eventually, she started to nibble on the unconscious buffalo, spilling a bit of milk every so often.
The next morning, Adrian laughed with relief to hear the baby wolf’s strong cries once again. Starting the fire, he began to skin the baby buffalo, that he killed. Cooking and eating part after part. Hanging the rest up onto a tree for safety measures, and getting ready to build a sturdy log fence to keep the mother and baby buffalo close by. As to that year, Adrian slowly builds a small, sturdier home. Growing as much domestic vegetation as he could, near and far. Hunting and gathering as many supplies that can last both him and his daughter. Unaware that things will soon change, pretty soon.
Just on the other side, up on the mountain, live a small village, filled with only orphans and an uncouth leader who takes any advantage he can to make the young orphans all quiver at his feet.
“I. Don’t. Care if you need to break their freaking legs or arms! Split those disgusting vermin off from each other, and put them on that damn. Wagon. Now! There’s going to be visitors from overseas coming to the city, to go see the new king. Their reputation of buying a huge stock of slaves is nothing. New. Too, anyone. These children are to be sold immediately in the slave market by next week. I don’t want you to be a minute late to the market. I don’t want you to return until every single one of these disgusting, parent-less vermin is gone from that wagon. You’re in charge of bringing every single token back to me. Do you understand me, Dutch?”
Robin, trying her best to ignore the yapping fat idiot and his simp of a domestic lackey. She patiently waited for the children to say goodbye to one another while she and Jack, another orphan boy, helped packed the children’s little belongings. Which will soon be sent away and sold to overseas guests of the new king-to-be.
She wanted to spend more time with them before the actual day, but Mr. Dim wants to send the twelve children of days early than it’s needed. Furious, she crossed her arms and walked towards the two most hated souls in this village.
“Mr. Dim, if I remember correctly, the money that we’ll be receiving will all be going to the village and the other amount goes straight to the church tax. They are now funding these children with fresh medication, warm food, and new clothing during the holidays and harsh winters. You shouldn’t even be getting any profit. If the royal church hears about this, you will be severely punished. Do you understand me?”
Upon hearing this, Mr. Dim scoffed at the rude remark, Robin has made. Marching straight to her, he raised his palm ready to strike her with as much force as he can inflict but was soon stopped by Dutch. Mr. Dim’s only loyal lackey. He was also an orphan as a youngster. Dutch was soon purchased by Mr. Dim’s deceased wife, who treated him as her biological son. Although, Dutch will never have the guts to ever call Mr. Dim his father, out loud. He promised Mr. Dims’s wife, he’ll always look after Mr. Dim whenever he gets into serious trouble.
“Mr. Dim, if I must remind you. I still work for the royal church. I am one of their loyal children. I am under their magical protection. Union by fate, or bond by a curse. If you or anyone ever harms me in any way, death will await you, no matter where you hide.
Furthermore, I was sent here to keep an eye on the children and, most certainly, on you. Your misconduct five years ago was the final straw, you went against the rules of the royal church once again. For the safety of the church’s reputation and the children under the church’s protection. You were banished out here in this village. For life. Never to set foot in the city or any church.
Since day one, I have been sending letters to the church, and I’m aware that you have been sending Mr. Dutch to hunt down every single messenger that comes passing by on this road. This time you won’t have Dutch to stop them. So enjoy your freedom and leave the children alone, before the next messenger.”
Robin snickered at Mr. Dim. Keeping her gaze and waving her final goodbye to the children who settled out with Dutch, towards the northern city. Upon hearing this, Mr. Dim ran towards the wagon of children, trying his best to catch up. Both Robin and Jack couldn’t hold in their laughter, since it was the first time anyone has ever seen Mr. Dim run, or get this worked up. Robin held her hand to Jack’s back and ushered him back to the village to continue his morning chores with his group of kids. Sadly, the other children weren’t able to bid their final farewell, since Mr. Dim ordered them to do double the work around the village today, to avoid any further delay for Dutch.
In almost every morning, everyone would always catch Jack singing or humming his heart out during his chores to lighten up the mood. It all started ever since Robin the Lady of the royal church arrived. It was no secret that he has a crush on her, but Robin doesn’t know that.
Whenever he had free time he would go visit Robins, just to talk to her, and her group of kids would always be there to mock him for it. The moment that Robin was about to catch on, he would purposely sing loudly to the younger ones to distract them, then he’ll bail right out, back to his group.
Today, he didn’t have the motivation, since he no longer has the little ones to sing to anymore. He picked up his tool, near the pigs’ pen, and head out to the field to meet the others. The moment he got there, everyone ran up to him, yelling and tugging one another. All waiting for his response. Jack held his head down and all at once everyone embraced in a group circle, bidding farewell to the family they grew up with, whom they might never see again.
As much as they hate it. This was the only way the royal church can protect the orphans. Before the old king died, the orphans were cast aside like rats in the city, they were forced to salvage ships or wagons for food or clothing. If they got caught, the penalty would always be death or slavery or worse. Sometimes they would be sent to the borders to be used as live bait. While the rest died during the harsh winter storm.
With the new king to be, Elliot declared a sanctuary for the orphans in exchange for manual labor. If a natural disaster were to hit outside the countryside of the city, the royal church would take them in and build them a new village. Yet, in exchange to keep the populations of orphans low and stable, the third-youngest royal prince allowed the exchange of younger children to be sold to people overseas and to beast folks who are now welcomed into the city.
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