Gu Yu casually swept a few big birds aside and marched on.
The big birds were sent tumbling away in the air, and after they finally managed to steady themselves, they pounced again at Gu Yu. There was simply no stopping that, almost as if they had had viagra for breakfast.
Gu Yu grew a little impatient. He released a single Flame Could Needle and made a 10-meter-radius circle with it centering around himself. That successfully created a "vacuum zone" filled with hot, charred dead birds giving off an aroma of burnt meat.
That white jade bird was standing on his shoulder with a dumbstruck face and a dull look in its eyes. It was like a cat that had seen a tiger for the first time: holy sh*t, so I'm not actually the ruler of this world?
Gu Yu looked around. He could detect a strange agitation floating around the town, disturbing the spiritual essence and irritating the birds, so much that they were lured here as if they were waiting for some treasure to be unearthed.
The agitation was too weak to pinpoint. He had not a single lead and had to wander around aimlessly in the town. About forty minutes later, he reached a road on the east side of the town and caught something. The next second, he turned into fog and drifted off in a gust of wind.
The white jade bird flapped its wings in horror and caught up with the fog as fast as it could manage. There was no way it would stay here alone—it would become some other bird's bi*th in no time.
The man and the bird were soon out of the town and reached the eastern suburb. They saw even more birds here which almost blotted out the entire sky. The fog then turned back into Gu Yu, who looked up and saw a mountain a couple of hundred meters tall. At the foot of the mountain was a stone tablet, which read: Important Historical Monuments under Special Preservation, Black God Temple of the ancient architectural complex of Zhijin—June, 2006.
He winced a little despite himself—that was such a coincidence! He was faintly detecting the strongest disturbance came from this place, but never expected it to be Fish Mountain itself. This had saved him an extra trip.
Fish Mountain was tiny and seemed to have been closed down for quite some time. The dark-red gate was peeling off and was tightly locked by two iron locks. The style of the knockers was quite unique. The base was a pair of beast heads with mixed features of tiger, lion, dragon, and horse, which probably represented some animal that could expel evil.
Even the streets of the county town were deserted, let alone this place.
Gu Yu broke the lock and the wooden gate opened with a squeaking moan. He walked in, the flock of birds flapping, twittering, and knocking into each other behind him, but none dared fly past the threshold.
He gently closed the door behind him, shutting off all noise outside as if he had entered another world.
The mountain was featured with wonderful terrains. Grotesque stones scattered the slope and dozens of stairs wound up somewhere quiet and deep on the mountain. There weren't many buildings inside. After a while, he only saw a wooden pavilion, which was just about halfway up the mountain. Beyond that was the Martyr's Shrine.
Martyr's Shrine was its official name. To the common folk, it was the Black God Temple.
The temple was not a big one. There was a courtyard, a main hall, a preaching room with a green glazed-tile roof, and an old pomegranate tree stood in the front yard whose winding trunk reminded one of a coiling black dragon.
That was strange. This mountain was a perfect tourist destination, yet the government of Zhijin seemed to have no intention to make any improvement or development plans. They simply left the temple to go to waste.
Gu Yu wandered around. The main hall was empty—the statue of "Nan Jiyun, the Black God Governor of Qian Zhou and Grand Master Of Glorious Happiness" was nowhere to be seen. The only thing worth noting was a plaque saying "Win People with Loyalty".
Flowers and plants flourished in the backyard. On the left side was a library with two pairs of couplets hanging outside: one was "Alongside the Mountains of Dayou and Xiaoyu and together with the Toad Cave, the knowledge stored in the three mountains are like the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon of West Lake", and the other "The sun shines brightly on Brocade City; the moon softly lights up the library".
Other than those, there was nothing to see.
Gu Yu frowned. The fluctuation of the spiritual essence was the most violent here, so much so that the birds dared not come in. But he was drawing blank on exactly what was hidden here and where it was hidden.
He spent quite a while in the temple before heading back out. He needed to find someone local to the area for some information.
Zhijin, the People's Hospital.
It was the largest hospital of the town, crowded with patients on a daily basis. Right now, it was overflowing with them. The corridors, the hallways, even the stair landings were filled with the wounded, who were sitting, slouching, or lying down all over the place.
The minor cases were mostly surface scratches, while the more severe ones suffered from damaged body parts. The most serious one, however, had either their stomachs or skulls slashed open.
We were looking at over a thousand patients here! No hospital was adequately equipped for such an inflow. Medicine for infection and tetanus prevention, painkillers, hemostatics, anaesthetics, etc., were almost all running out. The medical staff was multitasking around the clock and still could not keep up with the emergencies.
"102's wound opened again. Forceps! I need forceps!"
"We've run out forceps, and the tourniquets too!"
"Sh*t! Any bandages?"
"That's gone, too! We're using all the straps and towels we can find!"
"Aaaah, help me, help me…"
There was only so much a county-level hospital could do. As the disaster unfolded, the medical staff was also overwhelmed by the anxiety and depression. The air was filled with despair.
On the stair landing of the second floor, the You Brothers rejoiced at their good fortune.
A large piece of skin was ripped off from the back of You Le's head, which was now thickly bandaged. He was saying repeatedly, "It's all thanks to you, or I would have died up there. Old Uncle Liu was just behind me. A big bird dived down and his throat was torn out. I am so lucky to have a good brother like you!"
"You're my brother. That's the least I could do!"
You Yu blushed at the words of praise. He had been brandishing the broomstick fiercely and scraped his hands. Under the current circumstances, that minor injury was negligible. "I say, uncle and auntie, and dad and mum are the real lucky ones. Had they not been away, they would have come with us. God knows what would become of them."
"Yeah, you're right. I barely made it out alive this time. If I can get out of this mess, I will never catch a bird for the rest of my life," said You Le pensively.
They were still talking when a woman's voice began to broadcast. "Attention, please. Because we are still waiting for the relief supplies from Liupanshui and the provincial government, we are currently having a shortage in our medical resources in the hospital. In order to make better use of the limited resources and provide a better medical treatment for those severely wounded, we'd like everyone to check their number card, please. The doctors have marked the cards with different colors. The green and yellow ones are not as severely wounded, the police force will escort their owners to the hospitals in neighboring counties. Thank you for your co—"
The hospital erupted with angry yells at the announcement.
"I'm not going. Why me? Don't you know those birds are out there?"
"That's right. They can go all they want, but not me. I'm already 70 years old and what do I care? Let's see if you can drag me out of here!"
You Le checked his number card and a green tick beamed back at him. Crest-fallen, he said, "Xiao Yu, find me a pen, will you?"
"Where am I supposed to find a pen?"
"Then, when they come to check up on me, I'll pretend I'm really badly wounded. Work with me."
You Yu was the honest one. He tried to talk You Le out of it. "Brother, you're not that badly hurt. Let's just go to another hospital."
"Why? Forget about the police escorting they mentioned. How are they supposed to escort this many people? There are ten thousand birds out there, who can guarantee our safety?" You Le glared at him.
While the wounded were making their own plans, the hospital staff and the police had started the process.
"Comrade, please work with us!" a police officer spoke politely, but he did not waver a bit when he pulled an auntie up to her feet and hustled her downstairs. The auntie was howling louder than when she'd squeezed into a packed bus, sounding all hale and hearty. "Don't touch me! I'm telling you, I'm not leaving. Touch me again and I'm going to lie down right here…"
Like so, the first batch of the walking wounded was brought downstairs in a hubbub.
Several anti-riot vehicles were parked outside guarded by heavily armed special force police officers. As soon as they saw the patients, they rushed toward them with steel shields raised above their heads.
The flock of birds poured down as soon as they caught sight of the human beings. They smashed down and made banging sounds on the shields.
"Aaaah! Don't eat me! Don't eat me!"
The auntie was frightened out of her wits and could no longer think straight. She took to her heels and ran for her life. The rest panicked with her and everyone began to rush towards the vehicles.
Those at the back had no idea what was going on and simply bolted with the others. Everyone was crashing into everyone and those that had got on the vehicle held onto the chairs and began to kick at the others. "Get out! Get out!"
"Don't panic! Don't panic! Patients at the back, please go back to the hospital!"
The police officers shouted at the top of their lungs to keep the people in line, but the horror-stricken crowd could not hear a word. Immediately after that, screams were coming from the crowd.
"Aaaaah! My eyes!"
"How dare you!"
Just then, a clear voice rang out a short distance away and a long sword jabbed into the flock of birds as if it was descending from heaven. It was like a piece of machine landing on a pile of meat. Wherever it turned, a big bird was struck down.
The blade flashed and in a heartbeat, the sword had cleared out a safety zone.
"Drive when the vehicle is full. Those who cannot get on this one, fall back!"
The sword then slowed down a little and a person landed like a beam of light. It was a very handsome young priest.