The sniper felt like a mountain was pressing down on his head and his skull was about to crack. "We are from Gangxing…" he struggled under Xiao Bai's feet and tried to reach for the pistol on his waist.
Jiang Shaoliu stepped down.
"Ow!!!" As the sniper's arms were twisted and broken, he growled, "I've already called headquarters! Our boss is going to take revenge on you for sure! Screw you! Aaah!!"
Xiao Bai roared and dug his claws into the sniper's body, tearing him to ribbons.
The two remaining masters didn't even dare to breathe, the smart watches on their trembling arms pointed at the bloody scene.
Unfortunately, they didn't take pictures of Jiang Shaoliu killing the python, but only of him slaughtering the people.
Jiang Shaoliu turned back and looked at the place where those two were hiding.
Behind him, Xiao Bai growled menacingly, ready to charge at any time.
"That's enough…" Jiang Shaoliu shook his head.
They were just watching and didn't shoot. He didn't want to kill innocents.
"I'm The Vet and I've just killed a white python. Please send someone for the corpse." After sending the message, Jiang Shaoliu relayed the coordinates to the military and turned around to jump on Xiao Bai's back. "Let's get out of here."
The two masters didn't come out of the bushes until Jiang Shaoliu and Xiao Bai were long gone.
"Who the hell was that? He's so fast, even the sniper couldn't hit him!" said one of them. "He even took out the guy with the life ring with one hit!"
The other was busy with his smart watch. "I've anonymously uploaded the video to the internet, and the picture is clear."
The video drew a lot of attention and caused a great uproar on the net over the next few days.
"Damn, who's that? He's terrifying!"
"He's pretty good, but he just seriously offended the Gangxing Group… Hey, is that a python? That's one big snake!"
"That white tiger's so cool! Is it his tamed beast?"
Gangxing Group office building, in the north part of Yungang City.
On the first floor of the emergency management center, a middle-aged man in white training clothes frowned as he watched the video on his computer. "The entire 5-man team was defeated in only a few seconds. That young man sure is strong."
A beautiful female clerk beside him said gently, "Wang Wenlong and his team had sent a request for support just before his death and our support team is already on their way, sir."
"Get more people, find him and kill him." The man pointed at Jiang Shaoliu on the screen: "We cannot allow ourselves to be disgraced because of him."
Four armored off-road vehicles roared on the road, at least 5 people in each car with a bright 'X' on the front of their uniforms.
A short martial master in one of the cars played with his knife dexterously. "Sir, I've watched the video. Do you think that guy will go into hiding now? It won't be easy to find him in that huge danger zone."
The leader, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was a thin little man wearing an alloy steel claw on his hand. "Mr. Liu has ordered us to kill that guy using any means necessary. Be more cautious than Wang Wenlong was, and we won't fail this time."
On the main road outside the danger zone, the convoy passed a military semi-truck and two armored military vehicles.
"It's that white python!" the leader clenched his fist and growled: "Speed up!"
A rhinoceros-like behemoth lay bleeding all over, blood spraying from its nostrils as it struggled for breath.
Its front leg had been broken by Jiang Shaoliu and half of its rib were caved in. It's massive horn had broken off.
This rhinoceros was much bigger than Xiao Bai, towering two meters above the great cat. Its skin was stronger than steel. When it was bronzed, the beast became a mobile fortress.
Unfortunately, it met Jiang Shaoliu. It could do nothing to defend itself from that fist.
"Rhinoceros meat tastes quite good. It's a bit chewy but very nutritious…" Jiang Shaoliu advanced with his fist raised.
He was getting hungry and wanted to finish this battle as soon as possible.
15 minutes later, the smoke was already curling up above his cooking fire and Jiang Shaoliu began to roast large chunks of rhinoceros meat.
Xiao Bai sat nearby, sniffing the smoky scents that wafted towards him, his feline face full of expectation.
He had cunningly hid during the battle, but came out to help once the fight was over.
The rhinoceros was ready. It was already dark and Jiang Shaoliu was eating the roasted meat as he lay against Xiao Bai's flank. He touched his thick fur and said, "We might be facing monsters with three life rings soon. I think we should split up temporarily. I'm not sure whether I can take care of you if we come under attack."
Xiao Bai chuffed and moaned. He could understand and let his big head droop gloomily.
Jiang Shaoliu closed his eyes. "Stay in the territory of the one-ringed monsters and look for heavenly fruits meanwhile. Fight them if you think you can, or just run. Be careful."
The two snuggled together to sleep beside the warm fire.
The night was cold and windy up in the mountains, and terrible things could be heard growling and creeping through the thick forest.
The moon hung high in the sky, much bigger now than before the disaster happened, its pale light washing the mountains in ghostly hues while the nearby murmuring stream scraped and polished the pebbles on its banks as it had since time immemorial.
The sun was rising when Jiang Shaoliu woke up. He washed his face and brushed his teeth, then ate some leftover rhinoceros for breakfast.
"Come here, Xiao Bai, let me give you something for security," he presented the tiger with half of the rhinoceros horn.
He had carved his telephone number on the horn. The tiger would know what to do if it being was haunted by a human master in the single-life-ring monster area.
Xiao Bai whimpered sadly and let his head droop to the ground.
"Oh come on, Xiao Bai, you are the king of the forest," Jiang Shaoliu said in a choked voice.
It was not easy for a man to shed tears, but they were just afraid of separating. Xiao Bai disappeared into the undergrowth.
Jiang Shaoliu wiped his moist eyes and walked away.
He was now nearing the core of the danger zone, where a three-life-ring monster could appear at any time. At least he didn't have to worry about Xiao Bai.
After climbing over hills and leaping over rushing streams, he suddenly stopped.
Before him, a steep cliff rose up to the sky and dense trees blocked his line of sight.
There were sounds of a commotion up ahead. It sounded messy, like a group battle.
Jiang Shaoliu slowly crept forward through the foliage.
There was a large flat shelf halfway up the rocky bluffs above him, on which two persons in camouflage uniforms were fighting a monster.
"A pangolin with three life rings?" Jiang Shaoliu stared.
The heavily armored pangolin was at least twenty meters from head to tail, almost as big as the python.
It had a triangular head and strong limbs with huge claws. Its interlocking scales were all bronzed and it was rushing around the two men and whipping them with its tail while white steam shot out of its nostrils with every breath.
There were snipers sitting on the branches of the trees growing on the rocky shelf.
One of the two men fighting the pangolin was incredibly fast. He was holding a long sword and almost flying as he elegantly zipped and danced in circles around the giant beast, only the tips of his toes barely touching the ground.
Jiang Shaoliu's eyes light up. "Liu Guang!"
It was him! Well, no wonder they dared to fight that pangolin.
The other man's face was covered with camouflage paint, but he looked familiar.
"Hey, is that…?" Jiang Shaoliu looked behind the pangolin.
At the back of the rocky shelf was a cave entrance about seven or eight meters high. Above it grew a green plant, its leaves as clear as crystal jade as they fluttered and shivered in the wind.
"So that's why the pangolin doesn't escape. It's going to fight to the death," Jiang Shaoliu realized.
The pangolin found this fruit and was waiting until it ripened. It must have dug the cave so it could wait in peace, but it was found by Liu Guang.
Last time Liu Guang found a Lingbao fruit, he exchanged it for a downtown villa, which was big news throughout the entire city. This fruit must be pretty good too, considering the pangolin was so desperate to keep it for itself.
That pangolin was surprisingly agile and extraordinarily powerful. It seemed as if its four feet were stepping on the air, while the thick tail could easily crush rocks.
A shot echoed across the mountains.
The pangolin blinked its eyes to block and the flattened bullet ricocheted off its adamantine eyelid.
The eyes were its main weakness, as every other visible part of its body was covered in impenetrable scales.
Liu Guang rushed like a whirlwind, flying through the air over the giant beast and accurately sliding his sword into the thin gap between two scales while the monster was distracted.
The pangolin screamed in pain and lashed wildly with its tail while Liu Guang sprinted away, trying to hide himself.
Facing up against the wild pangolin with a mighty roar, the other man charged directly at its front, waving a large special alloy combat knife in the air.
Its big body shook while the man stumbled backwards.
Jiang Shaoliu squinted.
Now it became clear that this master who was using the big alloy knife was actually the officer he had meet at the gate the first time he entered the southern region of the city.
As a lieutenant with two stars on his shoulder, his family name was Chen and he was in the life-ring monster area for the tasks.
"Lieutenant Chen, distract it and let me give it the killing blow!" Green air flowed in ripples under Liu Guang's swift feet.
Lieutenant Chen nodded and moved forward again with the knife. He was about to act when the rocky ground under his feet cracked.
The pangolin scuttled away and contracted its triangular head turned around to stare at its plant.
The tip of a flower appeared from the stem of the green plant and bloomed. A fresh aroma wafted in the breeze.
The fruit was ripening.