Chapter 50 – One Phrase, ‘Young Family Head’

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Author: Cherish the World Original Source: SFACG
Translator: raltzero English Source: Re:Library

When I arrived at the river, I saw Shiloh squatting by the river bank and dazedly staring into the river water.

I walked over to her and squatted down. Shiloh turned her gaze over to me for a while, then looked away and whispered:

“I thought you weren’t going to come.”

I placed both my hands together in apology and explained the situation to her. I couldn’t make out any happiness or sadness from Shiloh’s face, but it appeared as if she wasn’t too angry. She merely picked up a goldbeard insect from beside her and replied:

“Catch fish. Use this.”

It was only at this moment that I noticed that there was a small pit by her side surrounded by stones with approximately 50 to 60 goldbeard insects squirming around inside it. People with no knowledge on their usage would think that she was going to sell them.

In the winter, goldbeard insects aren’t so easy to catch since they hide themselves deeper than usual into the earth. In addition, they only appear in the vicinity of tree roots since they live by sucking on the sap within tree roots. Simultaneously, they’re able to avoid the coldness outside due to being deep within the earth. I was thinking that it would be adequate if she could catch several of them and wholly didn’t expect her to catch so many.

When I took a look at Shiloh, I found a trace of weariness on her young face. The corners of her eyes were drooping a bit lower than usual and her hair was quite disheveled. Both her ears and her small face were flushed red from being out in the cold. She was softly breathing into her cupped hands as she spoke with me. She must have come here very early today in order to wait for me, but even when I kept on not showing up, she continued searching for goldbeard insects as she continued waiting for me.

Perhaps she may have been thinking “can’t he come a bit earlier” or similar thoughts when waiting for me.

I placed the fishing rod that I had made last night into her hands, taught her how to hook the bait onto the hook and how to throw the line into the water.

And just like this, Shiloh held the fishing rod as she silently waited for something to bite.

Seeing how red her knuckles were from the cold, I asked if she wanted to sit in front of me. Instead of answering, Shiloh just stood up, walked over to me, and plopped herself into the empty space between my legs. Then, her body moved backwards and ended up leaning on me. Now, in my embrace was her petite body and in her embrace was her long fishing rod. Such a sitting method was naturally warmer, but there was one thing to worry about; the two fishing lines weren’t to touch. Of course, an experienced hand like me had this situation under control.

I couldn’t tell if it was due to a rookie’s luck or not, but a silver-scaled fish bit onto Shiloh’s fine before two minutes even passed by. When she pulled up the lively fish, she instantly took out her dagger and ended the fish’s life. Following which, she immediately dissected its belly, removed its internal organs, and placed it on the side.

During the entire process, she didn’t reveal a trace of tenderness. All she did was treat this fish as a food ingredient.

But following that initial fish, Shiloh’s luck turned for the worse. In the next half hour, none of the fish bit her line. On the other hand, I was able to catch two fish which Shiloh handled.

Shiloh quietly muttered:

“It’s clearly quicker to directly catch it.”

I smiled upon hearing her cute complaint:

“This is the joy of fishing. There’s no fun in catching them directly. Fishing is an activity with the profundity of life behind it while catching fish is merely for survival.”

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Shiloh assertively asked:

“You must be good at fishing, right.”

I replied:

“I can be considered good at it; I feel that it’s very interesting when a fish bites onto my line.”

Shiloh waited a while longer. When another 10 minutes passed by and still no fish had bitten onto her line, she abruptly said:

“This must also be why you’re good at ‘fishing’ a person’s feelings.”

I narrowed my eyes. Shiloh didn’t turn to look at me, but rather stared into the sparkling crystalline water. A cold wind blew by, which I helped her obstruct most of. I had to think about this problem for a while as I didn’t know how I should go about replying to this. But I also didn’t plan on concealing anything, so I frankly stated:

“In terms of a person’s feelings, I will change my methods. If the bait is too lacking and the line is too obvious, only the ones who wish to be fished up will bite. Once they’re on the line, it is up to them to leave as I will not search for them once they leap back into the waters.”

Shiloh hugged the fishing rod and mumbled:

“……That’s why it’s so easy for people to fall into the trap…”

Finally, a fish took the bait and bit onto her line. Shiloh raised the rod and it turned out to be a big fish. It wasn’t a silver-scaled fish, but rather another type of fish with very firm yet springy flesh, the lugia fish suitable for boiling soups.Shiloh directly handled the fish as she did for the previous few, placed it on the side, and wiped the dagger clean.

After the two of us fished up 10 fish in total, I took out tableware from the iron bucket and boiled a pot of fish soup. This time, I sprinkled rice grains into the simmering fish soup and boiled the two together, making the resulting product appear like rice soup. Shiloh was more interested in the roast fish, though. Perhaps it was due to all the fermented soybean sauce being washed in the water last time, causing her to not taste much of its flavor, but she did place a lot of sauce onto her roasted fish this time.

Even though this fermented soybean sauce is quite expensive, I didn’t feel any regret in letting her use it.

When the fish were done roasting, I ladled two bowls of fish soup for us. Afterwards, we sat together eating the roasted fish and drinking the fish soup.

Shiloh was very happy with the fish that she had roasted. When she was eating, she chewed and ate the fish bones and even licked the branch clean. On the other hand, I ate a bit more carelessly. I didn’t bother with the parts with lots of thorny bones like a typical prodigal youth. As a result, my leftovers ended up in Shiloh’s stomach.

Even though I wanted to make a remark about this being an indirect kiss, I immediately realized that I had been doing this the entire time after giving it some thought. And so, I felt a little embarrassed to worry about this issue at this point.

After the both of us ate until we had our fill, Shiloh and I were lying on the ground with similar positions; gently stroking our now-plump stomach and sighing with satisfaction.

I turned my head over to look at Shiloh and found the corners of her mouth slightly raised upwards. Though it was a very small degree upwards, it was clear that she was smiling.

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“It would be great if things could always be like this.”

Shiloh said.

I responded:

“It can be; I can dig out a pond near here next year and fill it to the brim with fry. When those fry grow up into fishes, we can come and fish for them. When the time comes, I’ll let the world know that we were the ones who established this fish pond.”

“Next year.”

Shiloh repeated this statement, then pursed her lips and said:

“I’ll definitely come.”

The weather was beautiful, the warm sun’s rays sprinkled itself onto the earth.

The clouds, high and distant; the sky, a pure and clean blue. It was a scene that made it hard to imagine that there were gods living high above those clouds.

Only the numerous forms of life on this boundless mother earth.

It was just like this that Shiloh and I lay down together without a peep from either of us. On when the warmth from the fish soup and roasted fish started dissipating did I state:

“Let’s go back.”

Aleya and Felita will be waking up soon.

Shiloh repeated my words:

“Let’s go back.”

She placed her dainty hand onto my hand. In response, I put my coat onto her, pulled on her hand, and headed back towards West-Resisting City.

Afterwards, in an area still a little ways from the city gate, we met a veiled woman in the middle of the cement road.

Her expression wasn’t as cold as Shiloh’s, but it also didn’t have any tenderness.

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The instant Shiloh saw her, she stopped her steps as if she were a mouse that had seen a cat.

The young woman stood there without making any actions, without saying a word, without looking at me; her sight was focused on the one next to me, Shiloh.

After a period of silence, her veil fluttered slightly and a simple atmosphere-changing sentence came out:

“How much longer are you going to play house? Young Family Head.”

Shiloh’s hand slipped out of my grip and hung down by her side. She lowered her head and as her petite body trembled, the smile on her face faded at a visible speed. The corners of her mouth that were raised upwards with so much difficulty dropped back down and she transformed back into her usual appearance.

In that instant, all semblance of goodwill I had towards that woman disappeared.


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