This prejudice was the reason why the beastmen tend to keep their bloodlines pure and did not intermarry between tribes- though there were exceptions where the couples were willing to do anything for love.
Hence, there were not many mixed children between the tiger and fox tribes soon after. And after years of destruction and war, the foxes finally recovered their initial glory and grew more powerful with time.
Although the foxes were more powerful now, they still never left the tigers. The tigers needed the foxes, and vice versa.
One consisted of strong fighters while the other was a tribe of intelligent strategists. Both tribes were both ends of the spectrum so their partnership was perfect and beneficial to both.
The tigers tended to not mull over problems, they were all about action. Hence, they began to delegate the thinking jobs to the foxes. The foxes were not inclined to get physical either since they were not very strong.
Of course, this didn’t mean the tigers were dumb, they were just more straightforward individuals. They wouldn’t be this strong of a tribe if they were that stupid.
There were wise individuals among the tigers too but they preferred settling problems physically.
The tiger tribal lands. While the term ‘tribal lands’ was used, it had expanded up to a scale that resembled a city.
The architecture of this place reminded Ye Lang of the wilderness, everything about this place was rougher and tougher- not just the buildings and its occupants, even the surface of the roads were not as smooth as human-built roads.
Ye Lang estimated this city could contain a few hundred thousand people!
Upon setting foot on the tiger tribal lands, he saw many beastmen going about their daily lives and couldn’t help but exclaim, “Woah, so many foxy people…”
Tigress was silent for a moment. “Do you want to stay with them that badly? Oh wait, you’re already staying with one!”
Ye Lang had once explained the connotation of using the word ‘fox’ to her so she knew what he meant.
[Translator’s Note: calling someone a ‘fox’ = a calculating, manipulative seductress]
“Who?” Ye Lang didn’t understand.
“I’m talking about Athena…” Tigress pouted.
“Ah, right, where’s Athena? And Taeya?” Ye Lang realised both of them had disappeared.
“They’re probably celebrating their win. Why do you care anyway, they held you as a hostage! They’re already lucky I didn’t beat them up for this!”
If this was a real battle, Tigress would’ve gotten physical and attacked. One girl against two girls.
“I wasn’t a hostage, weren’t they bringing me to you? I should be thanking them,” said Ye Lang, clueless. He didn’t realise Athena was using him as a piece in their game.
“...” Tigress didn’t speak. After giving it some thought, she realised they did bring Ye Lang to her. Although the intentions were not right, the results were still the same. Thanking them was not a problem.
“Tai Ya, you’re back? Your father’s looking for you, he wants you to bring the human to him!” A member of the tribe came to pass a message soon after they arrived.
This showed Tigress’ father had been closely following the war, he had already known about the human before they arrived. This meant he also knew Tigress surrendered just for this human.
No one knew if her father would be upset about this. Would he question Ye Lang’s appearance? Would he blame Ye Lang for causing Tigress to lose?
“Alright, please let him know that I’ll be cooking for Master first. I’ll be there as soon as I can!” answered Tigress as if it was nothing. All she had to do now was to make Ye Lang his bowl of fishball noodles.
The most important thing now was to not let Ye Lang starve.
“Uh…” The messenger was stunned for a moment, not expecting this answer at all. He couldn’t believe cooking for this human was more important than seeing her own father.
Who was this human she called ‘Master’?
At this point, the rest of the people thought Ye Lang’s name was ‘Master’. They didn’t believe Tigress would voluntarily call anyone her master!
Tigress had already pulled Ye Lang away while the messenger was still at a loss for words. They went to her house, which was an average house that was similar to the other houses in the area.
This didn’t mean she was an ordinary person here. If she was a commoner, her father would not have a messenger who could pass her messages, nor would she play such an important role in this war.
Most importantly, if she was a common member, she wouldn’t have stayed here for eight years without going back to see Ye Lang. She would’ve been able to, at least, send him a letter. But she didn’t.
The buildings in the tribal lands were all similar. Even the most powerful leaders lived in structures similar to the rest. They ate the same food, lived in the same houses, not much difference between them.
Perhaps that was how they showed everyone was equal here!
At Tigress’ house, Ye Lang was sitting in the living room waiting for her bowl of noodles. Out of boredom, he stood up and started to walk around looking at all her decorations.
All her decorations were simple but clean.
Ye Lang knew Tigress cleaned her own house because she used to clean his room back at Ye Residence too, and this place was arranged in the same manner.
As he looked around, he noticed a huge photograph on the wall. It was an adorable little girl, he recognised this was taken when she was younger because he had grown up with her.
“Hey, Tigress, is this little tiger your pet?” Ye Lang saw a little tiger cub by her side in the photo.
“What tiger?” came Tigress’ voice from the kitchen.
“The tiger in the picture, the one hugging your leg?”
“...” There was a long silence, then another shout, “That’s my little brother!”
“Huh? How…. He looks exactly like a tiger… Uh, alright, I see that it’s a baby… But why does the baby have a whole tiger head?” Ye Lang peered closer and realised it was indeed a baby. To him, it was a peculiar baby but to the beastmen, this baby was a very normal baby.
“Because he has the best tiger tribe blood running through his veins!” Tigress said proudly. This was her brother, how could she not be proud?
“Oh.” Ye Lang understood though he didn’t ask: Why did Tigress only have a few tiger parts? And why was she so different from the rest of the tiger tribespeople?