“Alright, that’s enough! Andy, stop scaring these rabbits. Let alone kill them, haven’t you been feeling nauseous at the smell of blood recently? Sit over there and eat your Crunchy Grass!”
In the end, Sita came up to stop their confrontation. She sat next to the bonfire with her legs spread wide open, tossing some hay into the fire.
Eim immediately pulled Black and White to stick together, of course, not forgetting his rabbit father either.
The large rabbits, his father, brother, little cousin and third aunt, were pulled out of his clothes. These rabbits were pitiful, the moment they could see light, they were frightened by the fierce beasts surrounding them, and one of them even fainted.
“Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, don’t run around…” Eim whispered, using both hands to stroke the rabbits’ fur soothingly. The largest rabbit stuck out its tongue, lightly licking the back of his hand.
“What’s up with those rabbits?” Sita noticed stone tags hanging from each rabbit’s neck. This stone could only be found in the Vash tribe, and only by becoming a resident of the tribe could people get a small piece of stone, which was used as their identification.
But now, these rabbits actually had Vash on them.
“They are… This is my dad, brother, and other relatives.” Eim softly replied.
“Ah?” Sita showed an incredulous expression. “Your dad is a rabbit? But you…”
Sita looked at the rabbit and back at Eim, “But you’re human!”
Black and White also stared at Eim unblinkingly, and the females of the other carnivorous species also pricked their ears to listen.
“He is my dad.” Eim gently looked at the furry white rabbit. Although he didn’t know how long his dad was kept in the chicken coop, his fur was still very clean, as a result of Eim’s grooming efforts.
In this uncivilised continent, no one would normally take the time to study the evolution of animals into humanoid forms.
No one knew for sure which species was the first to transform.
No one knew how long it took for the first humanoids to accept that this transformation was a type of evolution rather than an unusual mutation.
Some species could evolve faster, while others did not evolve at all. Animals could have been part of the same species, but end up with inherent differences due to the ability to transform.
Those who could transform became the hunters, while those who couldn’t became the hunted. Which was why while Tooth did a registration for Eim into the tribe, he never thought of doing so for his father and brother.
Rabbits that could not transform would only be rabbits, a type of food.
It was during such a period when dwellings like Vash, where many types of carnivores lived together, started popping up. People were no longer classified into groups by their original forms, and only those who could take on human forms were seen as equals.
Together with their humanoid companions, they would hunt their past companions. This may sound cruel, but it was necessary for survival.
The snow rabbit tribe living in a remote area was in the early stages of such evolution–
“Unlike here, most members of the snow rabbit race are unable to transform. It’s just that every so often, cubs like me are born: with no fur, not good at running and jumping, and looking completely different from other rabbits.
The snow rabbits did not like such cubs as they were difficult to raise, and even if it was possible, they would still leave eventually.”I’m not very sure if it refers to them leaving as in the cubs dying or the parents just literally leaving.
Eim spoke slowly, left hand lightly stroking another rabbit, “This is my brother from the same litter. In the entire litter, only Brother was born a snow rabbit. The rest of us were humans– The term ‘human’ was something I learnt about later, which referred to beastmen that looked like me.
“Dad worked very hard to find food for us to eat, and to raise us. Eventually, Brother could also search for food, so he would take care of us with Dad. In the winter, when there was no food to eat, they would leave their own food for us to eat.
“Parents of the snow rabbit species would take care of their children until they could find food on their own. Normal rabbit cubs can leave their nest at the age of three months, but for us with humanoid forms, even when we were a few years old, we were still incapable of being independent.
“I always thought, wasn’t Dad strange? Why didn’t he find it weird that his children didn’t grow bigger even after so long? But Dad didn’t understand such things, he would continue taking care of me as long as I couldn’t be independent. We were probably his first litter, and perhaps even his only litter.”
Eim stroked the rabbit’s snow white fur.
“Four years ago. Rum, Dad’s other humanoid cub, started looking for food himself. But one day, he left and never came back.
“Only I knew that Rum left with people from another tribe. Knowing that there were similar people there, he no longer wanted to stay with Dad and Brother. He thought that he was different from Dad, and weren’t suited to live together…
“But Dad didn’t know this, and even if I tried to explain to him, he wouldn’t understand… Dad spent a long time searching for him, and after that event, Dad’s physical condition became not very good.”
Rabbits that could not transform, could only be rabbits. They were incapable of understanding human speech, and had poor memory.
“Dad often forgets many things. He would even forget the way home. But he remembers me, always… I am his cub, so he is my dad.
“Actually, I once thought of going to a place with other people to live, but I can’t bear to leave Dad and Brother. Since Dad and Brother can’t transform, they are considered food in the eyes of other beastmen, so I’m scared that they would one day be eaten.”
Eim pinched the ears of the big rabbit in his arms. Looking at the rabbit squint in comfort, Eim’s mouth hooked into a smile, full of satisfaction, yet with a trace of sadness that Black could not understand.
“A rabbit’s lifespan is only twenty or so years. Dad is now very old, and at that time, after the earthquake… I thought I would never be able to see Dad again…
“Thank goodness Carat helped me to find him.
“Until the time comes, I will stay with Dad, no matter where we go.”
The big rabbit kicked his legs, comfortably sleeping in Eim’s arms.
The nest also got extremely quiet. The light from the fire fell on the walls, surrounding everyone in warm orange light.
“You guys will stay together.” Black said in low spirits.
“A twenty year old rabbit is too old, no one here would eat it.” From not far away, someone muttered.
As a result, the atmosphere in the nest completely calmed down.
作者有话要说： 这个故事的前传有：移民侏罗纪，重返侏罗纪，含苞待放的元帅阁下这个故事的发生年代，在以上的故事年代之后 I’m leaving this in raw form because I do not know how to phrase this. But it is something like the sequence of events for this story.
Translator has something to say:
Another sad chapter. Eim’s story makes me weep. QAQ