Chapter 12: Cubbie
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The little black dragon’s body stiffened and struggled slightly, but failed to break free.
Bowen was still sleeping, so Ning Chu didn’t dare to make too much noise, he hugged the little black dragon tightly, trying to restrain the volume so as not to get too excited, “I’m not dreaming…”
The little black dragon was forced to tilt his head, and his eyes fell across Ning Chu’s shoulders to Third Cub behind him, who scratched his neck innocently and tiptoed away.
With the cold breeze blowing on the balcony, Ning Chu calmed down and rubbed his head against the little black dragon in his arms, “Did San San bring you here? You… You still remember me, right? I’m Dad…”
Ning Chu leaned too close, the little black dragon’s nose was full of his scent, the soft clothing and side skin of his face pressed against his scales.
He struggled again, lifting one claw to press Ning Chu’s lips, stopping him from continuing.
…Aside from his appearance, Ning Chu hadn’t changed at all. He still liked to reach out for hugs and call himself his father.
Ning Chu pulled down the little black dragon’s paw and gave it a gentle squeeze, “I couldn’t find out anything about you after I came here… I was worried about you.”
The little black dragon’s dark red eyes flashed, and the other front claw hooked around Ning Chu’s collar.
Bowen inside the room seemed to roll over and asked in a daze, “Hugh, are you there?”
Ning Chu immediately shut up and saw that Bowen didn’t seem to notice before he raised his voice and replied, “Mn… it’s me. It’s me, did I wake you up?”
The room was quiet and Bowen seemed to have fallen back to sleep.
Ning Chu made a silent gesture and carried the little black dragon into the room.
Third Cub was already lying on the pillow, his eyes were closed and he was pretending to be asleep, so Ning Chu lay down and pulled up the quilt, covering the little black dragon with him.
The little black dragon sensed his intention and started to struggle again.
Ning Chu was afraid that the noise he made would wake Bowen up again, so he held him down and kept his voice very soft, “Sleep first.”
The little black dragon was uncomfortable, since Ning Chu didn’t sleep with the dragon cubs even before. Often, he was busy even at night, or would just disappear for a while.
Wuuth then looked at the other dragon on the pillow, at how well Third Cub has adapted. He was only asleep for a little while and had already turned his belly up, tail casually on the corner of the pillow.
Ning Chu noticed that the little black dragon didn’t seem too happy about it, so he covered up the blanket and felt for his horn in the darkness and whispered, “Cubbie, I missed you.”
Once upon a time in the game, Cubbie seemed to be the least close to him, but Ning Chu knew that he was just outwardly aloof, but in reality, like other little dragon cubs, he always liked to follow him. He wouldn’t be too blatant, but would quietly follow Ning Chu, watching him run around on Dragon Island or observing him playing with other little dragon cubs.
Once Ning Chu was in the back of the mountain to chase away the Blazing Dragons that were harassing the rabbits, but the ordinary dragons didn’t really listen to the command. But occasionally Ning Chu found he had been following on his own, and wanted to get close to him; but he would dodge away again.
Ning Chu called this kind of behavior shy, so he always tried to catch him with a good hug, but every time no matter how Ning Chu manipulated the game character to run, he simply couldn’t catch up.
Then the day before his accident, Cubbie finally stopped avoiding his touch and let him hug him briefly.
Ning Chu also touched his dragon’s horn for the first time, and when he tried to do the “face rub” interaction, he slipped away. Except for the fact that he would initiate contact with Cubbie, Cubbie’s usual status was very solitary.
Probably because of the legendary rank, other dragon cubs dared not bully Cubbie and would offer him food, but they wouldn’t play with him either.
Ning Chu always worried whether he would be too lonely and unhappy, and later he crossed to this other world, but not even half a news of Cubbie was heard, so Ning Chu was more anxious, afraid that he had some other difficulties.
The little black dragon in his arms quieted down, Ning Chu’s tone was somber, “I didn’t mean to leave for so long, don’t be angry.”
He had only found Third Cub and Fourth Cub, and Third Cub was only a little bit rusty when they first met, while Fourth Cub didn’t want to be separated, expecting him to appear at Dragon Island every night.
Now facing Cubbie, Ning Chu was apprehensive, as if… He had been chasing after Cubbie for so long, and Cubbie had finally accepted him, but he suddenly disappeared.
Anyway, Ning Chu was very surprised and happy to see Cubbie tonight.
Without the constraints of the game, Ning Chu didn’t have to bother with point and click interactions, as he lowered his head and kissed randomly, not knowing where to kiss, his cheek rubbing Cubbie’s slightly hot scales.
The little black dragon’s breathing stalled, so anxious that his claws came out, but afraid of hurting Ning Chu, he immediately retracted them,and his back and tail collapsed into a line. He calmed down and thought to himself that in Ning Chu’s eyes, he was probably no different from the other dragons.
He would have hugged the Scarlet Flame Dragon affectionately, telling the same things to him, and probably kissed him too. But as the little black dragon was thinking this, his body honestly stopped struggling.
Ning Chu woke up in the middle of the night, and was already sleepy, he yawned and gently patted Cubbie’s back, “Go to sleep first…”
He closed his eyes as he spoke, and soon fell asleep in a daze.
The little black dragon under the blanket quietly came out, went around to the other side of the pillow, raised his wings and slapped Third Cub awake.
Third Cub got up with a start, a black and a red, two small dragon cubs silently looked at each other.
Third Cub knew that he was in the wrong and lowered his head, [He never woke up before when he was sleeping…]
Who knew that today coincidentally, he happened to bump into Ning Chu.
Wuuth didn’t dwell on this and went straight to the point, [Where’s Little Five?]
He vaguely smelled her scent around, but didn’t know exactly where he had put her.
Third Cub flew to the end of the bed and fished out a key from Ning Chu’s jacket pocket, then dug under the bed and carefully dragged out a suitcase.
When Ning Chu wasn’t in the dorm, he would sometimes open the box to look at the dragon egg, and he was so good at unlocking the box with the key in his mouth that he didn’t make a sound.
When the box was opened, a green dragon egg appeared in front of Wuuth’s eyes.
The egg was intact, with a brightly colored egg shell pattern, thickly padded with hay and cotton balls around the edges, and a small piece wrapped in a ball next to it.
Third Cub followed Wuuth’s line of sight and stretched out his claws to pick up the small piece of stuff, [This is a dragon crystal stone, Ning said he was afraid that the stone would scratch the eggshell, so he wrapped it up.]
In fact, the dragon egg was not that fragile, but Ning Chu was afraid Little Five would be born frail again.
Wuuth circled around the box twice, sniffed, and rubbed the egg with the horn in the middle of his forehead.
It was indeed Little Five.
The little black dragon squatted in front of the dragon egg and looked at it silently for a long time, asking Third Cub to lock the box again, [How did he do that?]
Third Cub pushed the box back in, [Ning only told me that it was not born to him.]
Putting the key away, Third Cub plopped down on the bed, [Are you leaving?]
He knew that Wuuth had no intention of revealing himself in front of Ning Chu before he came, and now…
But Ning Chu was so happy to see Wuuth, when he woke up and found Wuuth gone, he would be very lost.
The little black dragon didn’t answer, he also flew up to the bed and crouched at the spot above Ning Chu’s head to look down at him.
This face was completely different from the one in his memory. The old Ning Chu looked like he was wearing an ill-fitting shell, with stiff mechanical movements, a face that always had the same dull expression, and only possessed different emotions when he spoke.
Now he took the shell off and became a human being.
He was breathing, and had a heartbeat.
When Third Cub first said he had met a human who resembled ‘Ning’, Wuuth had wondered how ‘Ning’ could be a human.
He shouldn’t belong to any race in this world, even if he had to guess, he thought he should be from the dragon race.
Yet at this moment looking at Ning Chu, Wuuth didn’t feel half as incongruous, as if this is the way he should be under his shell.
The little black dragon changed his position, carefully avoiding Ning Chu’s hair, and moved closer to sniff. Ning Chu was sleeping soundly, his breathing was slow and steady, and his long eyelashes were well defined.
Although Wuuth had a human form, he had no concept of the beauty of human looks, he only found Ning Chu very good-looking.
He just looked a little weak.
The little black dragon’s eyes were full of scrutiny and criticism, sizing up the quilt-wrapped Ning Chu from head to toe. He had won so many times in the arena, probably because of the contract with the Scarlet Flame Dragon.
He was too weak.
Wuuth thought to himself, Ning Chu still had the unhatched Little Five with him, even if Third Cub was around, he wasn’t at ease.
Besides, since he had already been discovered… If Ning Chu didn’t know his other identity, then he just needed to… not change into human form in front of him in the future.
After Wuuth figured it out, he found a suitable place to lie down by the pillow.
Seeing this, Third Cub knew that he wouldn’t leave again, so he also prepared to rest. His previous position was occupied by the little black dragon, so he simply nestled in the side of Ning Chu’s neck and shrunk himself into a ball.
In the middle of the night, Third Cub was woken up by a squeeze.
He opened his eyes and found that the little black dragon had switched spots with him again.
Resigned to his fate, he got up and returned to his usual place.
The next day, Ning Chu woke up early, and when he opened his eyes, he met the eyes of the little black dragon crouching on the pillow and looking at him.
Relieved, Ning Chu turned to his side and hugged him, murmuring, “Cubbie… So you’re still here.”
He was afraid of waking up and realizing that he had only dreamed last night.
Bowen’s alarm clock went off and Ning Chu skillfully pulled the covers over the two little dragon cubs.
The curtain on the opposite side of the bed opened and Ning Chu pretended to be unwell and said in a muffled voice, “Bowen, I have a headache today, so I won’t go to class.”
The little black dragon hid under the blanket, listening to Ning Chu skillfully lie to skip class, his tail gently moving a little.
Bowen wasn’t surprised, nodded with a yawn, got up and went to wash up, “Hmm.”
When Bowen left the dorm, Ning Chu immediately lifted the covers and got out of bed, locking the door behind him. He pulled out the box under the bed and showed the dragon egg inside to the little black dragon, saying excitedly, “This is Little Five! She should be breaking her shell soon, I…”
Ning Chu’s voice trailed off as he stroked the egg, “Do you know about this?”
The little black dragon squatted beside Ning Chu and nodded gently. He had already seen it once last night and wasn’t so excited about it, but Ning Chu didn’t care.
Cubbie used to be such a quiet and silent character, but he always took good care of Little Five, every time he would take the oat grass that Little Five offered, and then quietly put it back into her bowl.
Ning Chu sighed and put away the dragon egg.
There was no Cubbie in the game’s contract menu, so he couldn’t sign a contract with him, which meant he couldn’t communicate with him either.
Ning Chu still had some questions he wanted to ask, so he asked Third Cub to help translate the message.
“Did you find Cubbie nearby and that’s why you brought him here?” Ning Chu asked as he squeezed Third Cub’s paw.
Third Cub took a look at the little black dragon and gave an “aowu”.
“I know Fourth Cub is on Dragon Island, but where are the other dragons?” Ning Chu asked again, “Does Cubbie know where Boss and Second Cub are?”
Chilly was on another island taking care of the juvenile dragon cub, and Blast was MIA.
In fact, Wuuth and a few other dragons hadn’t heard from the Gale Dragon in a long time either.
By roughly translating and then passing to Ning Chu it turned out that First Cub was now occupied with something and Second Cub was nowhere to be found.
“Mn,” Ning Chu turned his head to hug the little black dragon, “If only I could sign a contract with you too… Is it because your breed hasn’t been discovered yet?”
He still didn’t know Cubbie’s real name and ability, and couldn’t even sign a contract.
The little black dragon couldn’t understand the meaning of the second half of the sentence, only that Ning Chu said he couldn’t make a contract with him.
How could he be with other dragons… He swept a glance at Third Cub, who was lying on the side licking his claws, with cold eyes.
After asking what he wanted to ask, Ning Chu talked about his situation, “I’m a student now, so sometimes I have to go to class during the day, and at night I have to earn money.”
Earn money? The little black dragon looked up. Was he short of money?
Ning Chu said while buying two skinned rabbits from the game store, giving both little dragon cubs a share.
“When I’m not in the dormitory, you must hide well. Don’t be found by others.”
Ning Chu’s expression became serious, “There are bad people looking for magic dragons outside, so you guys should stay by my side, so I feel more at ease.”
The little black dragon was silent for a moment, biting down on the rabbit’s leg.
Perhaps the school was indeed a good place to hide, those people must not be able to guess that magic dragons would follow a first-year student.
When the time was right, he could take Ning Chu with him to get out of here and return to Dragon Island.
Ning Chu stayed in the dorm until the afternoon, during which time Bowen returned at noon to join him in the cafeteria, and the two little dragon cubs hid under the covers together.
Wuuth looked at Third Cub who was next to him, [Every day is like this?]
Third Cub thought it was fine, so he curled up in the bed sheet, [Yes… But only for a while.]
He liked following Ning Chu, so even though he had to hide, he didn’t feel uncomfortable, especially since Little Five was also in the dorm.
Wuuth pressed on, and when the people in the way finally left, he immediately came out from under the covers.
Later in the afternoon, Ning Chu went to Crow Market.
Wuuth knew he was going to the arena and turned back into his human form, “I’m going out.”
Third Cub plopped down on the edge of the bed and wagged his tail in response.
Yesterday Wuuth was defeated without a fight, and Ning Chu’s name was raised a few more notches. More challenges were sent in, and this time there were even a few in the top 20.
Ning Chu didn’t want to take on challenges with too high a ranking for the time being, since he would still get the same number of points if he won anyway, so he might as well take his time.
He still chose two with similar rankings to his own and gave them to Donald to arrange.
Donald squeezed his eyes at him, “Tell me honestly, why did Wuuth admit defeat yesterday?”
Ning Chu was confused, “I don’t know.”
His face didn’t look like he was pretending, and Donald wondered, “You two really don’t know each other well?”
“More than that,” Ning Chu emphasized, “I don’t know him at all.”
We’ve only met once or twice, and we’ve bet with Bowen.
“Then…” Donald was even more puzzled, “Wuuth came backstage to find you after the match yesterday.”
Ning Chu was stunned, “He was looking for me?”
Ning Chu was wary, “He’s not trying to back out, is he? He said he would admit defeat, and the bets are over…”
Donald laughed, “Of course not, he just asked and left.”
Strange… Ning Chu put on his mask, “I really don’t know him.”
As the battle was about to begin, Ning Chu entered with his round shield.
As soon as he appeared, a loud cheer erupted from the viewing platform.
Some people thought Ning Chu had lost yesterday when Wuuth conceded, but that didn’t stop Ning Chu from gaining a whole new group of fans.
Some students even made their own support signs, holding up a big “Ning” and shouting “Victory!”.
The expression under Ning Chu’s mask was incomprehensible, and he turned his head away from it, only to stumble upon a familiar figure.
An… unexpected person.
Wuuth had actually come.
He must’ve arrived late, the viewing platform has long since run out of seats, so he stood at the very top of the railing, looking far away at the arena at Ning Chu.
His aura was so strong that students around him didn’t dare to crowd him, so they consciously left a large circle of seats open, which was very conspicuous.
Naturally, others noticed Wuuth’s arrival and were talking about it.
“Am I hallucinating… Wuuth also watches other people’s battles?”
“Then I’m also hallucinating…”
“They must know each other! They must! I want to know who ‘Ning’ is…”
Ning Chu, “…”
If he wasn’t sure his memory wasn’t wrong, he probably would’ve believed it as well.
Ning Chu withdrew his eyes and stopped caring about Wuuth outside the ring, concentrating on the battle.
After winning two matches in a row, Ning Chu subconsciously looked up before retiring.
Wuuth was still in his original position, like a statue. There was a break between the two matches, and he seemed to be standing there without moving. Ning Chu hesitated for a moment and waved his hand in Wuuth’s direction.
Wuuth had come to see him… Right? Although he didn’t know him well, he should respond out of courtesy.
Seeing Ning Chu waving at Wuuth, the crowd outside was so excited that it almost confirmed the suspicion that they knew each other.
However, when Wuuth saw this scene, he turned around and walked away.
Ning Chu didn’t care, and then also left the arena.
He first went to visit the Cloud-Winged Dragon at the animal farm and fed it food and medicine before returning to the school dormitory.
Bowen was taking a shower and the door to their bathroom was finally fixed today. Ning Chu, the one who was the cause of it all, offered to pay for it, and Bowen didn’t refuse.
Ning Chu sat on the edge of his bed, took out the money he made today, and counted it.
He won two games and earned 400 gold coins, but betting odds weren’t high, so he only earned 2 purple gold coins. Ning Chu recharged all the money into the game, bought a cut of opaque fabric and planned to cover up the bed like Bowen did.
There were all kinds of tools available in the mall, and when Bowen came out of the shower, Ning Chu was almost done.
Bowen squinted at it, “Where did you get this curtain? It’s quite nice.”
“Outside the school gate, I picked it up randomly.” Ning Chu said casually, he pulled the curtain, put on his pajamas and went to take a shower.
When he came back, the little black dragon was squatting in the middle of the bed with a small bag in front of him.
Ning Chu picked it up and looked at it, “Whose is this?”
He turned his head, Bowen wasn’t in his bunk, probably went to visit another dormitory.
And this seemed to be… a storage bag.
Third Cub lifted one side of his dragon wing and pointed at the little black dragon.
Meaning, it was…
Ning Chu was surprised, while opening the pouch,, “Where did Cubbie get this thing…”
There was a space magic in the storage bag, so nothing could be seen from the outside, but when Ning Chu put his hand into the bag, he took out a round thing.
A purple gold coin.
Was it money?
Ning Chu carried the storage pouch and emptied out all the contents inside.
Purple gold coins kept pouring out from the pouch, piling up a small hill on the bed.
Ning Chu was dumbfounded, “This, this…”
The pile of purple gold coins was about 200, and there were several gold and copper coins mixed in it. He was stunned for a moment and hurried to put the money on the bed back first.
Before Bowen returned, Ning Chu carried the bag, “Are these really Cubbie’s?”
Not to mention how Cubbie had a storage bag, where did he get so much money?… It couldn’t be that… Ning Chu immediately denied this thought, his cub wouldn’t do such a thing.
The little black dragon seemed to sense Ning Chu’s thoughts and was very unhappy, turning his head and flying to the inside corner of the bed with his back to him.
Third Cub came over and bit Ning Chu’s sleeve and tugged it, “Aowu…”
It told Ning Chu that these were really Cubbie’s and told him to take them without worry.
Ning Chu held the pouch, both touched and relieved.
He moved closer to the bed and picked up the little black dragon, “Cubbie is great, he has saved so much money.”
Ning Chu lowered his head and kissed the dragon’s horn on his forehead, “I still have money for myself, I’ll keep this for you first…”
The little black dragon claws were propped against Ning Chu’s face, before he rolled over to break free in panic, returning to the pillow and squatting on it as if nothing happened.
Ning Chu temporarily didn’t intend to charge the money in the storage bag into the game, he was afraid to put it elsewhere or that it would be lost, so he bought a small box with a lock from the mall.
He put the storage bag into the box and hid it under the bed, right next to the dragon egg.
At night, the bed curtains blocked out all the light and Ning Chu was sleeping.
The little black dragon rose in the darkness, squeezed the Third Cub out of his place just like yesterday, and lay down right next to Ning Chu’s neck.