A rugged, unlicensed off-road vehicle galloped along the main road.
The driver was a thin middle-aged man with a black beret and half a cigar in his mouth. The cigar lit up from time to time as he dragged on it.
"So, have you finished reading the files, Gui Hu?" Mr. Liu was sitting in the passenger seat in a simple alloy body armor over a neat, tight-fitting, white suit and canvas shoes.
Gui Hu took the cigar out of his mouth and replied: "Jiang Shaoliu is in his twenties and used to be a vet."
There was a bump in the road ahead and Gui Hu pressed on the accelerator, sending the jeep flying over a meter into the air, landing ten meters away in a cloud of dust.
"Mr. Wolf, check this out!" Gui Hu grinned and his exposed neck skin became silvered. He turned his face to the window and spat out his cigar, which pummeled the road like a tiny meteor, cracking the asphalt. "Am I strong enough?"
Mr. Liu, who also went by the alias Mr Wolf in martial master circles, closed his eyes and shook his head. "No, I don't want to look."
"Hahaha!" Gui Hu laughed. Then he suddenly became serious: "Mr. Wolf, only someone with a second silver ring could defeat Sha Xing. This Jiang Shaoliu is pretty damn impressive."
Mr. Liu opened his eyes and looked at him. "That's why I turn to you."
Gui Hu nodded and smiled, "So, do you think I'm awesome enough to take him on?"
Mr. Liu sighed. "Well, yes, you are."
Gui Hu lit another cigar. "Jiang Shaoliu will die today."
Jiang Shaoliu threw himself on the floor of the cave and covered his head with his hands.
His hedgehog barbecue disappeared in a ball of flame and smoke, littering the cave with smoldering smithereens.
After going through the huge hedgehog carcass, several pieces of shrapnel hit him but couldn't even pierce through his hedgehog-hide vest.
Jiang Shaoliu stood up with clenched fists. His stomach was growling and he was seeing red.
He was just about to eat that hedgehog.
Damn you, Gangxing Group!
He stormed out of the cave with homicidal fury.
The vines covering the mouth of the cave had been blown to bits. Jiang Shaoliu rushed out from the cave like a bolt of lightning, with muscles strained to burst and veins popping. Storm winds whirled around his fists.
Green flow burst from under Luo Dabiao's feet as he rapidly retreated while reloading the rocket launcher for a second shot.
"Die!!" Jiang Shaoliu roared and drew back his hand to throw a punch.
A silver-white figure leaned out from the canopy of a big tree and an alloy throwing knife twinkled green before almost hitting Jiang Shaoliu's belly.
Jiang Shaoliu sucked in his gut, feeling the edge of the knife scrape across his vest, then turned and swung his arm, sparks forming around his fist as he sent a blast of air Lei She's way.
Lei She jumped back up into the foliage of the tree and shouted, "Blast him, Dabiao!"
Without any hesitation, Luo Dabiao pulled the trigger. His body shook as the rocket burst forward with an explosion of fire and smoke and rushed onto Jiang Shaoliu.
Jiang Shaoliu launched himself off the ground and leaped over ten meters away out of the way, landing flat on the ground with his hands over his head.
Rubble and shrapnel buffeted him, leaving bloody bruises on his arms.
Jiang Shaoliu looked up.
Luo Dabiao was loading again, while Lei She was charging towards him, gleaming with silver light, his dagger aimed directly at Jiang Shaoliu's brain.
"You want to show me that trick again?"
Jiang Shaoliu didn't dodge. The muscles of his whole body suddenly tightened as he glared defiantly at Lei She.
The dagger slammed into him. The skin gave away but did not break, as if it was made of tough, elastic rubber rather than flesh.
"That's impossible!" Lei She cried.
Luo Dabiao's eyes were like saucers, his finger frozen on the trigger.
How could his body be so tough?
Jiang Shaoliu looked down at the dagger and pinched Lei She's right wrist with a grip like a vice. "Are you satisfied now?"
Lei She's wrist shattered; bone fragments pierced the skin and blood dripped to the ground.
Lei She almost bit through his teeth in pain, his eyes filled with desperation.
He suddenly stretched out his left hand and grabbed onto Jiang Shaoliu, screaming hysterically: "Fire now, Dabiao!"
"Captain!" Luo Dabiao screamed, his finger trembling on the trigger. "Goddamnit!"
He pulled the trigger.
Jiang Shaoliu grabbed Lei She's arms and roared wildly, pulling fiercely to rip both arms out of their sockets, spilling blood all over the floor.
"Aaargh!!" Lei She wailed hysterically, then he opened his mouth and clamped his jaws over Jiang Shaoliu shirt as hard as he could.
Jiang Shaoliu slammed him in the guts with a ferocious uppercut, sending Lei She's body on a neat arc through the air directly towards the oncoming rocket.
Lei She disappeared in a huge fireball.
Gizzards and blood flew all over the sky, raining down over an area of a few dozen meters.
Jiang Shaoliu dashed forward suddenly, crossing the cloud of dust that hung in the air and stopping in front of Luo Dabiao.
Luo Dabiao was holding the rocket launcher in one hand a rocket in the other. He was stunned to see Jiang Shaoliu standing right in front of him.
"Why does the Gangxing Group hate me so much? Jiang Shaoliu reached over and lifted him off the ground by the neck.
Luo Dabiao squirmed and tried to push Jiang Shaoliu's arms off him, desperately struggling for breath.
"Well, alright then."
Jiang Shaoliu tightened and loosened his grip.
Luo Dabiao's neck was broken. He fell down to the ground and his body twitched for a while before becoming still.
The body buzzed and shimmered in a blue light, and a bronze hammer materialized in the air, glowing and rotating slowly above the body.
The black iron bar excitedly rushed out from Jiang Shaoliu's mind and thwacked the hammer.
The hammer crumbled into powder.
"I was in a hurry before and didn't have time for you to absorb anything. You must be satisfied now," Jiang Shaoliu smiled at the floating iron bar.
The bar was rotating energetically in the air, whipping up a small whirlpool around itself. The remains of the hammer were swept up into the whirlpool and disappeared without a trace.
Satisfied after absorbing the hammer, the iron bar floated off toward the scorched, blood-speckled spot where Lei She had exploded.
"How can you take anything from that mess?"
Jiang Shaoliu shook his head and followed the iron bar, curious to see what it would do.
A strong wind blew as the iron bar rotated at high speed.
The pieces of Lei She's flesh strewn across the area began to glow, their light gathering and finally forming a swirling, flashing orb in front of the iron bar, which then coalesced into a sharp estoc.
The sword crumbled into powder.
After absorbing the powdered sword, the iron bar flashed and went back into Jiang Shaoliu's head.
"You've had your fill, but what about me?" Jiang Shaoliu rubbed his tummy gloomily. Suddenly, a good idea sprung to his mind.
Was there anything to eat on that master who was carrying the rocket launcher?
He ran to Lui Dabiao's corpse and went through his pockets, finding two packets of compressed energy bars, the same as the military had.
"Yes!" Jiang Shaoliu cheered.
He quickly shoved them down his throat and felt much better. Then he picked up the rocket launcher, loaded it and slung it over his shoulder.
"I've never tried one of these before," he muttered to himself. "I've got to find a monster to test it out on!"
He headed off into the forest.
After a while, something big oinked in the bushes.
A massive, black-maned boar, more than 8 meters tall, was lying in a heap of rocks with saliva running from the corner of its mouth, its terrifying tusks chipped and broken.
A heavily-pregnant red boar was nuzzling its belly, trying to wake it. Its coarse hair bristled up as it sensed danger.
Jiang Shaoliu was hesitantly standing on top of a large rock nearby.
That wild sow was obviously going to farrow any day now and its mate had only recently recovered from some bad wounds, its fur still missing in large patches on its body.
It would be a little cruel to kill them.
The male boar opened its eyes and rolled over, standing up in front of the sow, snorting threateningly and beating the ground with its front hooves.
"Have you ever killed humans?" Jiang Shaoliu slung the rocket launcher back over his shoulder and jumped off the rock, landing ten meters away.
The boars roared and retreated.
This human seemed so terrible, what was he saying?
"I'm hungry. Do you know where I can go to hunt something for food?"
The boars snorted apprehensively.
Jiang Shaoliu scratched his head awkwardly and smiled: "Oh, sorry, you can't understand me like Xiao Bai."
The boars shook their heads; they really didn't understand him.
"Well, bye-bye. Have a good baby… piglet." Jiang Shaoliu waved and walked away.
The boars looked at each other. They nuzzled each other on the face and then turned to leave.
It was not safe enough there; they had to find another place to nest.
Jiang Shaoliu smiled.
As they left, he didn't think about cruel killings any longer but came up with other new ideas.
He stopped, threw down the rocket launcher and began to practice his martial arts.
As he practiced, his earthly discomforts faded away, replaced by the Buddha's venerable and spiritual chanting in his ears. His skin began to glow softly.
He moved in a blur in the whistling wind, fist shadows flashing and disappearing rapidly around him.
The Demon Fist was not intended for slaughter. It focused on defending, just like the Ape Fist.
Now he was immersed in the mindset of the Demon Fist, and he became more familiar with it and could refine his technique.
Some grey-white impurities moved slowly in his minor meridians, washed away and flushed out by his true qi.
When he finished practicing, he stood still and quiet. Then he was inspired and suddenly changed his posture.
Filled with desire to be stronger, he fervidly practiced the Ape Fist. Punching at the sky with great force or diving like a dragon, he could hear the whistling of the wind and the indistinct roaring of the titan ape.
After this practice, he was relaxed but drenched in sweat. Steam rose from his skin.
The merciful Buddha and the violent ape. He could switch between them so perfectly, using one to make for the disadvantages of the other.
His stomach growled again.
Jiang Shaoliu looked down.
His tummy was flat, covered with a thin layer of grey-white impurities. He was hungry and smelly and… Well, he had had enough.
"I can't take it anymore!"
He picked up the rocket launcher and sprinted off into the undergrowth.