There was a whole array of intimidating heavy weaponry around the gatehouse and they didn't want to stay for a moment longer.
"Sir, why don't you ask them to join the army?" a young soldier behind him suggested. "We're always recruiting strong masters, right?"
"There are recruitment ads everywhere," the officer replied in a low voice, watching the dust rise behind Xiao Bai. "Such a powerful person needs no invitation to join the army. We can only hope that he is a good man. Alright, dismissed."
Jiang Shaoliu had a good feeling. The monsters posed no threat here within the walls.
As they went further, more houses and people appeared. These were all ordinary people, who looked fearful as they saw the giant figure of Xiao Bai in the distance. A few excited children ran around and pointed fingers.
Some parents hugged their children in fear that it might hurt them.
They assumed that Jiang Shaoliu was a great master who could tame a monster and looked at him with respect.
He stopped not far from a middle-aged woman. "Hello, can you tell me where the nearest police station is?"
Next to her was a little boy with big eyes. He stretched his hand toward the south and piped: "Hello, Uncle, you need to go that way and ask there."
"Thank you, little boy." Jiang Shaoliu smiled and threw him a fruit from the basket. "Catch."
As they moved on, the streets were filled with more and more people hard at work and the ruined city was showing more signs of recovery. The imperiled nation revealed its tenacious will and resilience, as everyone was fighting against death and disaster to rebuild their homes.
There were recruitment posters on the sides of the road and large screens were playing looped clips of humans defeating monsters in order to give people a sense of confidence in overcoming these difficult times.
Sitting on Xiao Bai's back, Jiang Shaoliu was looking around at all the army recruitment posters and big screens when his eyes fell upon an old bus stop sign. He recognized the name of the stop - the police station should be only two stops away.
"Hmm…" Jiang Shaoliu patted Xiao Bai's large head, "There's a fee for replacing an ID card, but I don't have any money."
The ID card was in the wallet he'd lost together alongside his phone during the chaos two months ago.
The tiger shook its head and chuffed conversationally.
"Well, let me call Xiaoyun first."
Even though times were harsh, the people of Yungang City were still good and kind-hearted. It was not long before he borrowed a phone from a nearby pedestrian.
"Hello, who is it?" answered his sister's voice.
"Xiaoyun, it's me." Jiang Shaoliu said calmly. "I'm in southern Yungang. Where are you now? I'll come to you."
Jiang Xiaoyun sounded very happy to hear her brother's voice. "I'm a little busy now, Brother. Just come to the Hongfa Group, I will be there soon."
Then she hung up.
"Well, that was quick," Jiang Shaoliu scratched his scalp
He returned the phone and jumped back up on Xiao Bai's back before following the road signs towards the Hongfa Group.
Located in the southern part of the city's industrial area, the Hongfa Group was based in the biopharmaceutical industry and its facilities occupied an enormous 1,000,000 square meter lot, one of the biggest enterprises in the city.
Ever since the great changes, Li Hongfa, the CEO of the Hongfa Group, had spent a lot of money to purchase many surrounding middle and small-scale enterprises and set up a huge Hongfa production base. The corporation continued to accumulate resources from the local area, including many fighting masters, to build up a private army and become one of the four greatest powers in the city.
The military just acted as peacekeepers in the south area of Yungang city and it was the Hongfa Group that was really in power.
There were at least twenty security personnel guarding the Hongfa Group's main gate. The leader, Sun Yongbiao, was a huge, hulking figure. His muscles stretched his dark blue uniform taut and the electric baton on his waist had a conspicuous dent on the top.
"Captain," a guard pointed to the distance, "look, there's a monster coming."
Sun Yongbiao frowned. "Where is it?"
The twenty guards scrambled to look outwards.
"How did he get so close without being noticed?" Sun Yongbiao growled and opened the side door beside the main gate to step outside.
Jiang Shaoliu jumped down from Xiao Bai's back and walked towards him: "Hello, I'm here for Jiang Xiaoyun."
"Jiang Xiaoyun?" Sun Yongbiao looked him up and down.
Jiang Shaoliu had long hair and pale skin, with many cuts and bloodstains on his clothes. He didn't have a proper means of cleaning himself up since he didn't have any money.
"I've had a long and arduous trip over here," Jiang Shaoliu explained sheepishly, a little embarrassed to enter this big company headquarters looking like that. "I'll clean up as soon as I see my younger sister."
Sun Yongbiao's hand rested on his baton. "Are you Jiang Xiaoyun's elder brother?" he frowned.
"Yes," Jiang Shaoliu nodded. "I've just called her and she told me to meet her here."
Sun Yongbiao had heard Jiang Xiaoyun's name before - she was the CEO's son's girlfriend - but he was not sure whether Jiang Shaoliu was who he said he was. He snorted: "You can't just come and go as you please. You cannot enter without the boss' permission."
Big companies had their rules and Jiang Shaoliu nodded understandingly. "That's fine, I can wait outside."
The more polite Jiang Shaoliu was, the more suspicious Sun Yongbiao felt. "Well, go and wait farther away from here. You're making the company look bad."
"What did you say?" Jiang Shaoliu gave him the stink eye.
Behind him, Xiao Bai growled and stared at Sun Yongbiao like he was about to rush him.
Twenty guards filed out of the guardhouse one by one, sparks fizzing on the menacing electric batons in their hands.
"Xiao Bai…" Jiang Shaoliu warned, then said in a cold voice: "They have their rules. We'll try again later."
Jiang Shaoliu turned back to leave. Xiao Bai growled but reluctantly followed him.
"Wait!" A hint of greed flashed in Sun Yongbiao's eyes. "Your pet is too dangerous. I have to detain you according to our company's rule. Come with me."
As he spoke, he reached out with a bronzed arm to grab Jiang Shaoliu's shoulder.
"You don't want to do that." Without turning around, Jiang Shaoliu powerfully struck Sun Yongbiao's bronzed hand.
Sun Yongbiao moaned in pain, his hand red and trembling. Xiao Bai whipped his tail and struck him on the waist.
His ninety kilogram body flew ten meters out like a sandbag before dropping heavily to the ground.
Sun Yongbiao struggled to stand up, roaring: "He attacked me! Take him down!"
The twenty security guards charged forward with a battle cry, surrounding Jiang Shaoliu and Xiao Bai, attacking them with their batons.
"Just stay out of my way!" yelled Jiang Shaoliu, dancing between the flailing batons like a nimble dragon and striking with both fists.
The first guard to be hit staggered back and knocked down several of his comrades like bowling pins.
Jiang Shaoliu kicked away the batons as they fell upon him, forcing the guards to retreat with sore arms and dislocated shoulders.
"Fight harder! Take him out!" barked Sun Yongbiao through gritted teeth, "It's on me!"
The ten remaining guards exchanged menacing glances. One of them took out a sharp dagger and lunged to thrust it into Jiang Shaoliu's guts.
Xiao Bai braced to charge, but Jiang Shaoliu pressed down his head with one arm and with the other struck the dagger head-on with a blast of compressed air.
The dagger vanished from view, while the guard fell down screaming, one arm twisted backward in a sickening angle.
Five electric batons fell on Jiang Shaoliu's back simultaneously, but he barely noticed them at all. He suddenly whipped around, striking all the batons out of the guards' hands.
"Come on, men!" Sun Yongbiao's whole right arm and shoulder became bronzed. He tore off his shirt, roaring "Kill him!!!" as he rushed at Jiang Shaoliu.
"Do you want to die?" Jiang Shaoliu was too angry for mercy. His whole body twisted half a step, every muscle adding its energy and momentum into his fist, his unstoppable fist.
The twenty security guards gaped dumbfounded. A few bent down to vomit at the gruesome sight before them.
Sun Yongbiao lost half of his body. His heart was beating wildly inside the sticky, exposed bones and flesh as he lay twitching on the ground with bulging eyes.
Jiang Shaoliu was covered in blood, bits of flesh with a sickly metallic smell slowly dripping from his fingertips.
Xiao Bai crept up behind Jiang Shaoliu, hissing loudly. Saliva dripped from the tiger's massive fangs.
Many dozens of security guards could be seen running in from all directions.
Some of them brandished batons and some of them had sharp daggers in their hands, while a few carried riot guns.
Jiang Shaoliu quickly reformed his fighting stance, arms filled with energy flailing through the air and sending out turbulent blasts of wind.
Even a hundred men were not much of a challenge for him.