Jiang Shaoliu nodded. His iron rod was not a heavenly weapon, but it might be an heirloom left by the master of the monkey race. Nevertheless, it was obvious that the broken iron rod was much more powerful than the black sword.
The black iron rod returned to Jiang Shaoliu after absorbing the black sword's fragments.On closer inspection, it seemed to have been somewhat changed;there were markedly fewer dents and notches on its surface.
"Hm, it's repairing itself," Jiang Shaoliu thought curiously. He turned to the ten hunters with a complicated look in his eye.
In the twomonths since the world changed, the strong have been killing the weak and taking their stuff, orfighting each other for possession of the magical plants. However, the broadswordsman and his comrades had never heard of anyone's magic weapon being absorbed by their opponent after being defeated.
Seeing the black iron rod consume the sword terrified them. What if he meant to kill them all as well and devour all of their heavenly weapons too…?
As Jiang Shaoliu walked closer and closer to them, they all walked backwards until they hit the wall of a building.
They had the courage to fight against Liu Haifeng, but they didn't dare to resist when faced with Jiang Shaoliu.
When he reached the broadswordsman, he stretched his hand to him and was about to speak when the man's features twitched and he shouted: "Please let my brothers go!Just take me if you want to devour my heavenly weapon!"
Jiang Shaoliu blinked at him. He scratched his hair awkwardly and slowly said: "I just wanted to borrow your phone.What are you talking about?"
Behind him, Xiao Bai bared his sharp fangs to show his dissatisfaction. Hewas a huge, hulking monster, but as straightforward as a child.He would only hurt anyone if they mistreated Jiang Shaoliu.
"You want to borrow myphone?" the man's eyes opened wide. "Don't you want to kill us and take our heavenly weapons?"
Jiang Shaoliu understood and grinned: "Are you all arrogant bastards like that guy?"
They looked at each other and seemed to relax a bit.The broadswordsman took out his mobile phone and gave it to Jiang Shaoliu."Brother, you really scared us when you looked at us like that just now!We wouldn't have been like that if you'd just said right away that you wanted to borrow the phone."
Jiang Shaoliu took the device and expressed his appreciation.He stepped away and called his mother.
An excited voice answered: "Shaoliu? Where are you now? Are you safe? Your father and I are in Shanghai.We've been very worried when we couldn't get through to you!Have you changed your telephone number? We have limited water and electricity here, what about you?"
A feeling of warmth filled his heart when he heard his mother's voice after two months.
His mother was shooting out questions like a machinegun.He could feel her joy and concern;it was motherly love. Jiang Shaoliu felt warm inside as he quietly listened.When she finally stopped, he smiles and replied: "Mum, I'm fine, I just…"
Before he could say more, his father took over the phone: "Shaolu, are you doing OK? Your mother and I worry about you."
"I'm still in Yungang city. Dad, don't worry about me, I'm doing fine here."
Shanghai is a huge metropolis on China's eastern coast, a global financial center as well as a famous cultural and historical landmark. The nation's elites were all holed up there, protected by the country's most advanced weaponry.
"Yungang?" His mother took back the phone: "Shaoliu, Xiaoyun is still there.She called us several days ago;there's somerich guy who's taking care of her,but we're still worried about her.Can you go check up on her, if it's convenient for you?"
Jiang Shaoliu hesitated.
He wanted to go to Shanghai to reunite with his parents so that he could protect them with his newfound power if anything happened,but he changed his mind upon hearing that his younger sister was staying with some random rich kid.
"That doesn't sound very reliable…" Jiang Shaoliu thought for a while. "Mum, I'm going to get Xiaoyun and take her to Shanghai with me."
Before he could hang up the phone, his mother quickly interjected: "Hey, I'm not done yet.Don't be too careless, Shaoliu. These monsters are eating people! Just stay with that rich guy if he is reliable enough."
Jiang Shaoliu agreed. Then he called his younger sister, Jiang Xiaoyun.
According to her, she never showed any interest in that guy at all;it was always him that fawned over her.Interestingly enough, theguy's name was Li Xiang, the son of the Hongfa Group's owner, Li Hongfa.
"The Hongfa Group…" Jiang Shaoliu considered this silently.
He had just killed Liu Haifeng, who was from the Hongfa Group. If it employed people who were that despicable, there had to be something wrong with the corporationitself.
After hanging up, he thought for a while and called his good friend, Zhao Yang.
A voice that was a little different and more mature than he remembered answered: "Hello, who's this?"
"Zhao Yang, it's me, Jiang Shaoliu." He wasn't sure he dialed the correct number.It wasn't like Zhao Yang to sound so serious.
There was a moment's silence.Then a torrent of words came from the phone: "Damn, you're still alive? I thought you've been dead for two months!I was really disappointed, to be frank!Have you come across anything unusual? I have. You know, I've got a heavenly magic sword. Know what I mean? My sword is yours, brother.I can protect you, so don't worry…"
Jiang Shaoliu was relieved his friend was doing fine. Knowing his parents and best friend were safe, his biggest concern now was his younger sister.
He returned the phone to the broadswordsman and asked: "Liu Haifeng wanted to steal your fruit.Is it something like this?"
He beckoned to Xiao Bai,who came over and lay down beside him. Jiang Shaoliu picked out a handful of fruits from his bags and showed them to the broadswordsman. "Take a look at this."
"Hmm…" He inspected them carefully. "They have a similar color and smell to the rare fruits, but they don't have that special glow.They can't be the real ones."
Jiang Shaoliu took back his fruits and said in a low voice: "Can you show me yours?"
With a little hesitation, the broadswordsman agreed and took out the fruit his party had found. He knew that Jiang Shaoliu could easily rob his group of their prize, but he judged him to be a good man.
When Jiang Shaoliu saw the real magic fruit, his eyes lit up.
The fruit was bright and attractive, with a delicious aroma, and exuded a faint, colorful glow.
"What are thesefruits used for?"
As he put back the fruit, the broadsword man carefully said: "This is a medicinal fruit which can make one more powerful. We haven't had time to eat it because of those monsters chasing us. There's another kind of medicinal fruit that's good for injuries.It's easily distinguishable by its strong fragrance."
"Amedicinal fruit?" Jiang Shaoliu frowned and asked: "What's the Lingbao fruit Liu Haifeng mentioned?"
Thebroadsword man nodded thoughtfully."The Lingbao fruit is just like a magic weapon, with a special glow and smell. Those who eat this fruit will have their bronze life rings turnsilver.Everyone's heard of it, but few have seen one."
Another man added: "It's said there are other Lingbao fruits that can make lost limbs regrow or even give you wings. Sounds incredible, but we've never seen one before."
Jiang Shaoliu kept silent for a while as he considered this. He was particularly interested in the Lingbao fruit's ability to change a bronze life ring into a silver one.
After thinking for a while, he asked: "Where do you live now? What's happened to the people of Yungang?"
"The survivors are separated into various factions," said the broadsword man."We are from the Yungang Union, a group of those who received magic power from Heaven who protect the civilians hiding in the air defense bunker west of the city. The military is holding the city center, where most of the rest of the civilians are."
Thinking of his two comrades who were killed by Liu Haifeng, the broadswordsman continued in an angry voice: "There're two other factions besides the Yungang Unionand the army. The steel industry giant, the Gang Xing Group,is based in the north of the city, while the Hongfa Group - a biopharmaceutical corporation - holds the south."
Jiang Shaoliu scratched his head. "Those are just private-owned corporations.How can they match the military or the Yungang Union?"
"The Gang Xing Group has been providing equipment for the army and it fabricates weapons for the fighters in Yungang. As a result, it's been able to recruit many of them into its service." After a moment, the swordsman continued: "I don't know much about the Hongfa Group, but I know it's not easy to deal with them because they have so many people with life rings."
Jiang Shaoliu climbed up onto Xiao Bai's back.
"Wait!" Seeing that Jiang Shaoliu was about to leave, the swordsman held up his magical fruit with clenched teeth. "We appreciate your help.Take this."
Xiao Bai had already stood up, the sun behind Jiang Shaoliu's back engulfing him with its glorious rays. "You deserve it for your hard work," he said.
Jiang Shaoliu patted Xiao Bai on his thick neck and whispered something to him. With a blast of wind, the two disappeared from the hunting party's sight.