Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Jing Man looked at the little tree person for a while and asked, “What is a good name for our second child?”
Although his eyes did not fall on Mu CangZhou, this sentence was obviously asking him.
The two of them had previously discussed when they made the co-parenting agreement that the children would take the surname of whoever was closer to them.
Mu CangZhou lowered his eyes, as if he also remembered this agreement. A few moments later, he said, “Let’s start with a nickname, there’s no rush.”
That’s true, he was the one who was in a hurry. Jing Man suggested, “How about following Xiao Jin’s name and calling them Xiao Mu or Er Lin?”
Before Mu CangZhou could say anything, he saw the little pale golden dragon on the bed turn sideways, revealing his brother’s full face. Tilting his head towards Jing Man, his claws rested on the broken pieces of eggshell, his tone was salivating, “Daddy, does ZhiZhi want to eat the eggshell?”
“Of course ZhiZhi wants to eat it, don’t touch other people’s things.” Jing Man looked back at Mu CangZhou and saw the approval in his eyes.
The little name “ZhiZhi” was really much better than his own.1
He sat on the ground level with the two children, peach blossom eyes gazing at the wood-colored little child, surprised that such a cute little creature was actually a child of his own bloodline.
Unlike Xiao Jin, who clung to him directly after hatching, ZhiZhi was now as quiet and silent as they were in the egg. Not sure if they were shy or hated or feared himself, Jing Man held his breath and looked nervous as he slowly reached his hand over. His bony hand was warmed by the daylight, as if he was holding a ball of sunlight.
The branch full of peach blossoms was slowly transferred into Jing Man’s hand.
“ZhiZhi, I am daddy.” Jing Man stroked the second child’s peach blossoms and patiently introduced himself, “This one on the side is your father. You are the second child of both of us, Xiao Jin is your brother. Oh yes, Big Bear will be back tomorrow, he is your dog brother.”
“Big Bear is counted as a son now, right?” During the conversation, Mu CangZhou also sat down.
The two followed Xiao Jin’s example and rambled on and on, speaking to ZhiZhi, gradually familiarizing them with their scent.
The little treant was still silent, but the emotions in their eyes rose and fell, and gradually relaxed. A peach blossom branch rubbed against Jing Man’s hand for a while, and then slipped into Mu CangZhou’s hand.
Xiao Jin was very resourceful and coincidentally sat in front of Mu CangZhou’s hand, using his body to block his father’s contact with his brother.
He still clearly remembered the scene when his father did not give him food, his brother just hatched, and couldn’t not eat! As the older brother, only he could save them!
Due to the second child being born after the dragon child, his heart matured a bit, and the relationship with his father became better.
Jing Man’s peach blossom eyes were blooming with laughter, very satisfied. He took Xiao Jin’s coveted eggshell and placed it next to the little treant, “ZhiZhi, be a good and eat the eggshell.”
ZhiZhi showed a dumbfounded expression, holding the eggshell over and opening their mouth to take a bite, but nothing came off. They dropped the egg shell fragment and spat it out twice, sulking.
Mu CangZhou laughed at this, “Treants use their roots to absorb nutrients, ZhiZhi grow some roots.”
ZhiZhi understood, they put their palm on the eggshell and began to try to absorb the nutrients into their body through the ‘roots.’ When they tasted it, ZhiZhi was very surprised, and their little face showed an insatiable expression, and in a short time they absorbed a small piece of the eggshell.
After watching the second child eat in a special way for a while, Mu CangZhou remembered something. He whispered to Jing Man, “ManMan, I’m going home.”
As soon as Mu CangZhou stepped out of Jing Man’s house, ZhiZhi, who was eating dutifully, sensed their father’s departure.
The expression on their face became frantic. They dropped the eggshell, stood up on their two small wooden legs, walked on the bed, wanting to get down, and cried out with a wail. This was the first time the child made a sound, and Jing Man didn’t expect them to start bawling.
Seeing this, Jing Man and Xiao Jin looked at each other in confusion, their mood was also nervous.
Jing Man hurriedly held the second child over to comfort, “What’s wrong with ZhiZhi? It’s okay, don’t be afraid.”
In his head, he did not combine the two events of Mu CangZhou leaving and ZhiZhi bursting into tears, and secretly guessed that the little treant had absorbed too much eggshell and was not feeling well.
“ZhiZhi, don’t be afraid.” The dragon child looked at his brother being intimate with his father and felt some envy. So, he came over and hugged his father’s arm, rubbed his cheek, and finally made a strong effort to squeeze his body into his father’s embrace.
When Mu CangZhou arrived at Jing Man’s bedroom with the clothes he bought for the little treant, he saw this scene –
Jing Man looked tense and hugged the two children, unable to comfort them.
ZhiZhi had tear stains on their face and their eyes were tightly closed as they whimpered in their father’s arms. Xiao Jin also had a bitter look on his face, curling the corners of his mouth, his brow furrowed tightly.
He really can’t imagine what happened in these few minutes, obviously just now was very happy. Mu CangZhou frowned and asked, “ManMan, what’s wrong?”
Jing Man was also confused and unsure, “ZhiZhi seems to be unwell.”
“Let me take a look.” Mu CangZhou came over and found the tiny body trembling slightly, their brow furrowed and looking very weak.
“ZhiZhi?” He gently touched the treant on the face.
The latter smelled their father’s scent, their eyes swished open, and the peach blossom branch at his side quickly hooked his sleeve and shot up.
This image was somewhat familiar.
Mu CangZhou’s heart sank, remembering something that happened a few years ago in the second world – the Forest of Trees.
Not quite the same as the wooden humanoid of the Sky Blue Star, the treants of the Forest of Trees leaned a few degrees deeper into the trees. In other words, they were more like some kind of trees that were able to communicate and think.
Although they were able to become human, except for the flowering period when they fell in love, they preferred to live in their original form with their roots intertwined in the earth and their leaves held in the clouds.
Treants in love were also simple. Together with the selection of a piece of water and fertile feng shui, they would live together. They would tangle their roots together and birth more children.
In the Forest of Trees, each newborn little treant would have an invisible bond with their parents. This bond was invisible and colorless, easily untraceable, but it was the bond that sustained the life of a young treant, and if it was broken, the young would die.
His and Jing Man’s mission in that world was to replace several children’s parents’ tragic death and establish a life-bond with them. It was also a period of extremely quiet and peaceful life, which allowed the two to gradually become friends towards each other.
At that time, Jing Man’s second form was a peach blossom tree…
Mu CangZhou was afraid that ZhiZhi had inherited that part of the genes of the treants of the Tree Forest, and had tied the life bond that linked their fathers to them.
So just now, when he walked away, ZhiZhi felt unwell, and began to cry.
Mu CangZhou was not very worried about this because as soon as the little treant was a month old, this bond would break itself. During this time, he, Jing Man and ZhiZhi, the three of them would have to be inseparable.
Mu CangZhou’s gaze fell on Jing Man, this guy now had amnesia, and he did not have a very good explanation.
The author has something to say:
Mu CangZhou: It’s difficult for me.
Their naming sense is horrid:
Xiao Jin = Little Gold (male gold western dragon)
ZhiZhi = Branch Branch (gender fluid peach tree person)