Jiang Shaoliu got out of the vehicle and Xian Bai immediately threw himself on him, affectionately sinking his big head into his arms.
The huge grey wolf behind him whined and sunk back, but it felt better after Liu Guang comforted it.
The black bear was looking much better. It sat in the back hesitantly.
Chen Anguo walked over to the black bear and patted it on the head. "I've named this guy Da Hei."
Da Hei nodded and grunted softly.
"Hey, he understands you!" Jiang Shaoliu said in surprise.
Chen Anguo shook his head, "Xiao Bai has been helping me train him. I've tested him yesterday and he has an IQ equivalent to a two-year-old child's and can understand simple commands."
"Wow, well done, Xiao Bai!" Jiang Shaoliu gently scratched the tiger's head. Xiao Bai huffed with pleasure.
The military was feeding him well and he could eat as much as he wanted. He had been enjoying himself in those past few days, especially since he could push the black bear around whenever he wanted.
"Why don't we get back to headquarters on foot? It's only three miles from here." Liu Guang jumped on the wolf's back and pointed to the distance: "Let's have Xiao Hui and Xiao Bai race."
Jiang Shaoliu jumped onto the tiger and patted him on the head: "Come on, Xiao Bai, don't lose me face!"
Chen Anguo didn't want to participate since he had to drive the armored car and Da Hei hadn't fully recovered yet.
"3, 2, 1…" Jiang Shaoliu clapped: "Go!"
The wolf and the tiger shot out at full speed.
Seventy miles southwest of Yungang city.
This area used to be Baita Airport, but after the great changes the landscape had stretched to ten times its original size.
Monstrous beasts roamed the land while tall waterfalls and deep streams murmured in the dense forests that had cropped up everywhere.
Rusting aircraft wreckage lay near a collapsed, seven-tier white pagoda. Thick vines grew over many abandoned ruins; rubble lay all around.
Three human masters were resting near the white pagoda. One of them stood up and squinted into the distance.
"That's the Valentine Valley and the Liang Duan cliffs," he said. "I heard they are named after the lady from the Gangxing Group who first discovered them."
Far away lay a great mountain which looked as if it had been cloven in half by a gigantic axe, in the center of which was a deep valley no more than two miles wide, with sheer cliffs on either side. The peak of the mountain disappeared in the clouds.
The second master didn't even look up. "What about them?" he said with a mouthful of energy bar. "There are more three-ringed monsters in there than rocks. The three of us alone have no business setting foot in there, unless you're curious about what being eaten feels like."
The third one looked up and glanced at the mountain, then he pointed his smart watch at it and began taking picture. "I'll put a photo on my Weibo Moments. Now we're as cool as her."
The first one was going to make a snarky comment, but then he spotted something far away. "Hey, what's that?"
Wispy clouds were rolling up the steep cliff faces like boiling water overflowing from a pot. A faint glow penetrated the clouds shrouding the peak of the mountain. The rosy clouds rising slowly from the Valentine Valley could be seen from dozens of miles away.
The second master spat out his energy bar. "Wow, is this because of a lingbao or lingwen fruit? Damn, what a show!"
The third master was red-faced with excitement. "My Weibo is going to explode when people see this! I'm gonna be famous!"
The glow kept growing brighter, while various monstrous roars began reaching them from the direction of the mountain.
The three didn't dare to stay there any longer and ran madly in the opposite direction.
Yin Manshu was frowning deeply at a photo with some short commentary on a computer screen on the top floor of the Gangxing Group's office building.
It had been copied from Jiang Shaoliu's Weibo, showing him in white coat, hugging a bandaged grey monkey which was kissing him.
The description was simple and short: Jiang Shaoliu, a kind-hearted vet volunteering in Yungang City for over 2 years at Huaguoshan and a few nursing homes.
There was nothing else.
"Manshu, Jiang Shaoliu killed Sha Xing to save a few military personnel," the CEO of the Gangxing Group reminded his daughter. "His personal information is being protected by the military and that's why we cannot get his full records."
Yin Manshu turned around and smiled sweetly, "Daddy, I don't like this guy. Can I kill him?"
"Sure you can," Yin Lianjiang caressed his daughter's hair affectionately. "I will always support you in whatever you do."
Yin Manshu smiled, "He will not stop me; he's too slow."
Then she walked across the room and opened the door.
A sweaty secretary was standing outside. "Mr. Yin, look!" she wheezed, out of breath, and held out her hand.
Yin Manshu looked down.
The iPad in the secretary's hand displayed a photo on Yin Manshu's Weibo Moments with the description: 'Something crazy happening at Valentine Valley, the greatest heavenly fruit is appearing!'
The view count was in the thousands and growing rapidly.
There were even some comments mentioning Yin Manshu:
"Breaking news! The beautiful Miss Yin is going to have a secret blind date and the one who gets the fruit will be chosen one! So who will be lucky enough to be her Mr. Right? See my WeChat Moments for real and reliable analysis of the top 10 handsome masters in Yungang."
"The inside story has been revealed, and how did that valley and the cliffs get their names? What sad experience does Yin Manshu have in her past? Why is she called the Ice Lotus? Click the blue button below and enter my Weibo to see details."
"What kind of person is Yin Manshu? Let's talk about her past romance with my second uncle's older cousin's childhood buddy!"
Yin Manshu smiled, her eyelash lined with frost. Her skin became pale and transparent as an ice sculpture.
It seemed as if the air inside the corridor was condensed as the marble tiles beneath her feet froze and cracked.
Ice began to build up on the secretary's hand and on the iPad. The screen flashed and cracked, then went black.
"Call the special task force! They're going with me to Valentine Valley." Yin Manshu gnashed her white teeth and added in a cold voice: "Find the one who started this rumor."
Yin Manshu left, but the female secretary was petrified and trembling, tears running down her cheeks.
Thank goodness, she was alive.
"Damn, this is a big event. We have to go."
Xiao Hui had lost the race. Liu Guang was feeling a little upset, but his eyes lit up when a signalman handed him a file.
Chen Anguo skimmed through the file and frowned but said nothing, then passed it to Jiang Shaoliiu.
The signalman wanted to say something but was stopped by Chen Anguo: "It's fine, we can show it to Doctor Jiang. He is in our group, like Liu Guang, and has taken our rewards tasks many times."
Jiang Shaoliu blinked.
Taken rewards tasks many times? Why did Lieutenant Chen say it like that? Was it now allowed to lie in the army?
He remained silent for a long while after reading the file.
It could cause great changes to the earth and it's light could be seen from more than ten kilometers away.
This fruit had to be something beyond anything anyone has seen so far.
Should he keep it or exchange it for contribution points? This was a hard question.
"Liu Guang," Chen Anguo said gravely, "did your fruit cause this much turbulence?"
Liu Guang shook his head. "That fruit was in a cave and was already ripe when I arrived, and I didn't see anything unusual. There were a dozen monsters with two or three life rings fighting for it, and I wouldn't have known it was there if it weren't for them."
"I've read on the net that there can be big or small disturbances when the fruit appears. You didn't see it because that fruit was underground. You just happened to be at the right place at the right time to find it."
Chen Anguo nodded. "Liu Guang only got the lowest quality lingbao fruit and he exchanged it for 100,000 contribution points. Of course it couldn't compare to the crazy stuff happening on the cliffs."
Liu Guang turned up his nose at him. "Well, you make it sound like it was a walk in the park for me."
Jiang Shaoliu and Chen Anguo looked at each other and laughed.
After a moment, Chen Anguo became serious again and said: "Mr. Jiang, the general will want to debrief you, but that fruit caused a great disturbance and I think the brass is now in a meeting to arrange for the military to recover it."
Jiang Shaoliu stood up and stretched his arms: "So we have to plan ahead, and we can go and look when the meeting is over."
Liu Guang nodded.
Chen Anguo hesitated and shook his head. "I only have two bronze rings, so I don't think I should go; I'd only slow you down. Besides, I can't act without orders."
The signalman said: "I will not go either, since I only have one bronze ring. I'm not afraid of dying, I just…"
Jiang Shaoliu walked out of the door.
It was just after noon and the sky was already dark. The massive rock hanging over Yungang City blocked most of the sunlight.
Looking at the otherworldly mountain, he was suddenly reminded of something the ancestor ape had said in his vision back in the cave.
"Use this, my heirloom, when the Disaster occurs again, so that the next generation may survive."
Jiang Shaoliu was silent.
The ancestor who left the heirloom of the apes mentioned a Disaster. Did he mean the monsters and the floating mountains
What was the Disaster, really?