405 Playing With the Cubs
Bai Qingqing touched the blackened stone wall and smiled bitterly. "Let's just stay here. I don't wish to return to the peacock village."
Parker knew that Bai Qingqing's sad memories were evoked. He walked to her side and squatted down, then stroked her head and said, "In that case, I'll go to the peacock village to retrieve your things. It's dangerous for you to stay by yourself. I'll use some rocks to block the entrance of the cave first."
"Mm. I don't have many belongings there; just one tube top that Curtis made." Bai Qingqing specifically instructed. She didn't want to see anything that belonged to Muir anymore, for it would only add to her frustration.
Parker nodded to express that he understood. He found several large rocks nearby and blocked the cave tightly, only leaving a small hole the size of a fist.
The cave turned pitch-dark, and it took quite some time to adjust before Bai Qingqing could see things in the darkness. However, she could only make out the vague silhouettes.
The leopard cubs weren't much affected, though. After drinking their fill, they were in good spirits, and they began to survey their new abode. Shortly after, they disappeared from Bai Qingqing's view.
Bai Qingqing called out to them worriedly. When she didn't get a response from them, she supported herself against the stone wall and got to her feet. She began to walk into the depths of the cave.
The deeper she went in, the darker it got. Bai Qingqing's eyes could no longer sense any light; it was no different than if she were to keep her eyes shut.
"Babies!" Bai Qingqing's voice carried a hint of anxiousness. She didn't dare to move around randomly, so she could only use her foot to detect the path ahead of her.
As though sensing their mother's emotions, one cub pounced at Bai Qingqing's leg.
Bai Qingqing heaved a sigh of relief before bending over to lift him up.
"Mischievous. You can play when Daddy returns. Let's play outside for now. Be good," Bai Qingqing said in a gentle voice.
The little cub sounded like he was replying to Bai Qingqing with those two meows.
The other two little cubs came running to Bai Qingqing's feet as well, using their heads to rub against her ankles.
Bai Qingqing led the cubs to the side of the cave and randomly picked up a tree branch and started playing with them.
The little cubs were just like kittens, who showed curiosity in moving objects. The instant Bai Qingqing dangled a tree branch before them, the three of them looked over in unison. When the tree branch was dangled to the other side, those three heads cocked sideways uniformly, shifting their heads left and right as though they were obeying commands.
Because of them, Bai Qingqing's mood improved greatly. She gently tapped Eldest's forehead with a tree branch, and Eldest instantly raised his front paw in an attempt to grab it.
As the tree branch was too thin, Eldest didn't manage to grab it. Second came over to join in the fun as well. When he leaped over from the side, due to his short limbs, which had yet to develop, he came crashing face-down on the ground.
"Pff!" Bai Qingqing burst out laughing. She reached out a hand to stroke Second's mouth. "Does it hurt?"
Second, who didn't show much reaction initially and was prepared to crawl up and continue to grasp at the tree branch, stopped playing with the tree branch after his mother stroked him. As though he had suffered a great grievance, he started to rub his face against his mother's hand and sob.
His reaction tickled Bai Qingqing. Knowing that her baby was fine, she continued to tease them with the tree branch.
Third seemed to have a more bashful personality. His eyes stared curiously at the tree branch, and he looked tempted to leap up to grab it, but he couldn't seem to catch up with the pace.
Bai Qingqing deliberately went to tease Third. Third happily waved his paw, then Eldest and Second came pouncing over from the side and managed to bite the tree branch one after the other.
Third still didn't manage to join in the fun.
There was bound to be stronger and weaker cubs in a litter.
Parker and Winston were the typical powerful ones. Bai Qingqing couldn't tell which of her cubs was the most formidable one, but clearly, Third was the weakest amongst them.
"You need to work hard." Bai Qingqing caressed Third. Unlike the other females, she was most biased towards this one.