"According to a senior government official from the disaster management department of Telangana State, Indus, since May 1st this year, the extreme weather has resulted in as many as 167 deaths statewide, induced by heat strokes. It was reported by Indus Times that high temperature and droughts had taken the lives of hundreds of people across the country this year and approximately a quarter of the country's population is threatened by the shortage of food and water."
"Officials of the state of California, Uncle Sam, announced that on the 20th of this month local time, two homeless elderly people were found dead from hot weather. They were a 72-year-old male and an 87-year-old female… it was reported that on the 20th, the temperature of Phoenix, Arizona reached 47.2 degrees and 48.3 degrees on the 21st. The historical high of the city was 50 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on June 26th, 1990."
"Starting this July, Mountain City has recorded 21.3 days with temperatures above 40 degrees. It is expected that until mid-September, the weather of Mountain City will remain sunny, hot, and rainless… up till now, fifteen districts and counties including Changshou, Dianjiang, and Tongnan are experiencing droughts. A population of 21,000 is affected by a temporary shortage of drinking water and 473,000 mu of crops are suffering from drought."
"Liaodong and its surrounding areas are entering the state of emergency response to drought and disaster relief. Reporters learned yesterday from the Provincial Department of Agriculture that up till now, drought area of crops have reached 6.194 million mu, 864,000 mu are severely affected, and 242,000 mu are facing total crop failure."
"All xxx primary schools, middle schools, and universities have entered summer vacation. The Ministry of Education has issued reminders advising students to stay indoors and limit the time spent outside…"
"Latest news: twelve countries including Uncle Sam, Indus, Sicily, and ours intend to push talks aiming for a common deliberation on the changes and influence brought by the global extreme weather, as well as to agree on cooperative measures to cope with them…"
Entering July, the high temperature was affecting the country in an almost barbaric manner.
For the first time, urbanites began to panic and waver over their status and folks of the mountainous areas and countrymen were for the first time growing a superiority complex. Naturally, a verbal dispute took place between the two groups again.
Of course, more people kept them minds occupied by finding a place to stay away from the heat. Some guys even quit their jobs, moved into the mountains, and settled down there. Days with 40 degrees and above usually did not last more than three or five days—a week tops… nothing like this had ever happened. The temperature had been remaining there for over a month!
"Sigh, it won't be an exaggeration to say that life is becoming impossible for the people!"
Lying on a bough of the old tree, Gu Yu was reading off news of all over the world from his phone, which was making his heart sink.
What was happening to the entire country did not exclude Bai Town. Droughts were affecting a vast area of farmlands. Some farmer had committed suicide by drinking pesticide from the pressure of losing money for several years in a row.
Bai Town was his hometown and it would be self-deceiving to say that it did not worry him. But there was nothing he could do. Before he reached the Human Immortal state, he couldn't make the rain-praying talisman.
It was time like this that the authorities were the ones to be counted on. Natural calamities resistance measures aside, the several heat-dispelling medicines manufactured by Emei Pharmaceuticals were an outstanding service for the people.
Be it the ageratum tea, mulberry and chrysanthemum drink, peppermint pellet, cure-all perfumed satchel… regardless of the size or ways of application, as long as they were back in stock in the pharmacies, they were sold out in no time. To some extent, the medicine had indeed slowed down the pace of the spreading disaster.
As for the family of four of Phoenix Mountain, their life had been simple and plain lately. All they were doing these days was taking pills for cultivation, building the paper mill, expanding the herb garden, and having finished refining the Flying Message Talisman while they were at it.
It was a very convenient talisman. Branding it with the mental force imprints of the four beforehand and activating certain imprint when using it, the talisman would automatically locate and reach the person wanted.
They hadn't tested the longest distance it could send the message over. With his current capability, he estimated that the maximum distance he could cover was from Shengtian to Bai Town, which was a little over 100 km. He had refined five in a go. Apart from the one he experimented with, there were just enough for each one of the four.
Putting away his phone and jumping down the old tree, Gu Yu was about to return to the cottage and his cultivation when a laughter rang out from afar, knocking against his eardrums like falling barbells. "Hahahahahahaha! Those dumb*sses! I'm laughing my a*s off!"
His temples were throbbing again. Turning around, he saw indeed that it was Little Soap swaggering back from the front mountain. He couldn't help but ask, "Caught someone again?"
"Caught? That was self-defense! This is private property, no trespassing, ok?" Xiaojin ran to him, yelling, "Brother-in-law, I say we shut down that lousy tourist area! It's not like we need that tiny bit of money. They just keep coming as if we're handing out free food! Some even came with beddings!"
"It's all because of the heat. They won't affect us."
"Like hell! Some idiot is trying to jump in every day. Then they get trapped and I am the one saving them. They trespassed in the first place! We have to go all the way to care about their safety? Fine! I'm done with saving their a*sses. Next time, you go!"
Oh my, that glib tongue of hers. The brother-in-law was not given a chance to interject.
She wasn't exactly wrong. With the hot weather, people of the nearby towns and villages were all coming to the mountain to keep away from the heat. The folks of Phoenix Fair would bring their beddings and washing basins so that they could do business in the daytime and sleep in open air at night.
It was cool, spacious, with gentle breeze and pretty clouds, and no mosquitoes. Where else could they find a place like this?
However, as the visitors increased, trouble also came along—they simply could not stop thinking about getting inside the wire fence. That entire area was under the control of the spiritual ginseng and one would be trapped in Mada Mountain as soon as they got close.
The disoriented and confused intruders would then began to wail at the top of their lungs, and would then be knocked unconscious by Xiaojin and thrown out.
Rumors began to spread, involving legends about "astray ghosts" and aliens, which scared the folks at first. However, after a few more tryouts, they realized that not only was it not dangerous, it also came with a Recall spell, sending them back to their respawn pool. That was neat! Everyone now was eager to find out exactly what was behind the fence.
Those spoiled children!
"Fine, fine, I know it's a lot of work for you. Just leave it be for the time being. Sealing up the mountain is unnecessary at the moment."
Surrendering to her sharp tongue, Gu Yu waved her off.
Little Soap gave him a snort, then looked around, "Why, where's my sister?"
"In the training field."
"I'll be with her."
Little Soap ran away happily and Gu Yu resumed his walking back to the meditation room. A couple of steps out and the ringing phone stopped him. Even more irritated now, he checked the screen—it was Old Shui.
"Hello, Younger Brother-in-law! There's a visitor here down the mountain. His name is Wang Qi and he wants to see you."
"I see. Entertain him for a moment. I'll be right there."
Hanging up, he found that rather strange. Didn't the man come once at the beginning of this year? Why was he here again?
"This place is indeed blessed by excellent Fengshui settings. I'm drying out in the air-conditioned rooms these days. How lovely it would be if I could just stay here."
In the living room of the manor, Wang Qi sipped his tea and savored the natural coolness of the mountain. The envy in his voice was genuine.
"Sure. We have plenty of empty rooms here. You're welcome to stay as long as you wish." Gu Yu could smell bad news at the sight of the man. "Now, what instruction have you brought me here this time?"
"Not an instruction, but an invitation."
"Oh? For what?" He was intrigued.
"Haha, business opportunity, of course."
Wang Qi grinned. "Interested in a trip abroad?"
Gu Yu blinked as the news from earlier flashed through his mind and he saw what Wang Qi meant. "Talking with other countries now?"
"Well, that was quick."
The guy picked up an osmanthus cake, bit down half of it, and slowly took another sip of his tea—he might as well be out on a picnic. "The weather this year was so abnormal that demonstrations have been carried out for half a month in Uncle Sam. The reasonable and sensible choice for governments of all countries now is to do something to appease the general public."
"The reasonable and sensible choice…" The expression annoyed Gu Yu. "Be as reasonable and sensible as you want, but you gain nothing from this. So, what's the real reason?"