The huge public shelter was like a sprawling underground palace, with many separate rooms of different sizes, some luxuriously decorated and others quite simple, with many people sharing a living space.
A young handsome man with red hair and malicious eyes was sitting on a mahogany chair in the elliptical meeting room on the lowest floor of the bunker. He was holding a glass of red wine with a shaking hand.
There were three masters next to him, two men and one woman.
"Sir, we've conformed that Jiang Shaoliu has killed Sha Xing. We have to take revenge!" one of them men, as scarred and ugly as he was ferocious and strong, explosively thrust his fist into the air. "Don't hesitate, let us attack him!"
The red-haired youth was the leader of the Yungang League, Chi Xiao.
"Tie Ying, are you questioning me?" Chi Xiao, who had a triangular face and a slender figure, stood up and asked the other two: "Gui Gui and Meng Po, what do you think about it?"
Gui Gui was a dwarf and spoke in a childish voice: "I have no qualms about your decision, brother."
The beautiful middle-aged lady took out a bright red stick of lip gloss and rubbed it on her lips. Then she took out a small mirror and looked into it, straightening out a rogue strand of her brown wavy hair. "You always make the right decision and I have no doubt about it this time as well. Well, I need to get my beauty sleep if we'll be going to Valentine Valley later," she giggled.
Then she stood up and gave Chi Xiao a wink. "Tie Ying and Sha Xing were very close. He's quick-tempered and you have to bear more responsibility."
Tie Ying became pale. His teeth chattering, he suddenly slapped himself on the face so hard he drew blood.
Chi Xiao walked around the table, the red wine rippling gently in his glass.
Tie Ying jerked and the blood ran down his face and dripped to the ground.
Chi Xiao leaned in and whispered in Tie Ying's ear, "This is your last chance. You would do well to remember it."
Then he finished his drink in one gulp and smashed the glass on the floor.
Gui Gui stood up. He was less than a meter tall. "Brother, I'm going to prepare. I just want to smell that fruit when we get it."
Chi Xiao patted him on the head. "Good boy."
Tie Ying lowered his head. "I'm going to prepare, boss."
"We'll start in half an hour." Chi Xiao sat back in his chair and leaned over the desk, supporting his forehead with one hand.
Li Xiang squinted at the video on the computer screen on the top floor of the Hongfa Group's main office building.
Bai Long stood behind Li Xiang confidently. "Brother Xiang, let me take the lead this time and I will get the fruit for you for sure. I've requisitioned the latest bio-capsule and I'm sure we will win even against the military."
Li Xiang switched off the computer and rubbed his eyebrows ponderously. "But that Lion Warrior is rather strong, even on his own. I'm worried. Do you have any comments about Jiang Shaoliu?"
Bai Long scoffed, "He has killed Sha Xing, Liu Jingcai and Gui Hu. But against me, he will collapse at the first blow."
"Yin Manshu is such a narrow-minded person and Chi Xiao is a bloodthirsty psychopath. They will not allow Jiang Shaoliu to hang around." Li Xiang rapped on the table with a finger. "Find a chance to help him out."
Bai Long blinked. "What do you mean?"
"A friend in need is a friend indeed." Li Xiang stood up and grinned, "We'll give him help when he needs it, and once he owes us a favor, we will get his breathing technique and combat forms."
Bai Long nodded appreciatively. "You really think of everything. I only know how to fight."
"You need a good brain," Li Xing patted him on the shoulder. "It's fine for now, but you must change in the future. The boss is getting old and he will not be in charge of the company for much longer. We will be the leaders of the Hongfa Group in the not-so-distant future."
Bai Long nodded. "Brother, you make the plans and I will be your helper. I will follow you wherever you go and I will not hesitate when you tell me to kill our enemies."
Li Xiang waved him off and said: "Go and prepare. According to the tech department's analysis, it will take at least two days for those fruits to ripen, so you have just enough time to get there. Take it easy."
Bai Long turned around. He had just walked through the door when was called back by Li Xiang.
"Bring the CR3 capsule with you. I will not allow any accidents this time."
The military headquarters building in the Yungang City Center.
The head of the group, a well-tanned man called Xu Jianjun, looked at the fifty-or-so elite warriors in front of him and said in a clear and vigorous voice: "Ling Yuetao will be in command for this operation and the command center will be responsible for intel and support. We must get the fruit, do you understand?"
The fifty-odd men replied in unison: "Yes, sir."
"I can't hear you!" Xu Jianjun yelled.
The masters filled their lungs with air and repeated in thunderous chorus: "Yes, sir!"
Xu Jianjun rubbed his ears and shouted loudly: "You're too soft, I can't hear anything!"
The task force breathed in deeply. Standing in the front, Ling Yuetao's eyes glittered silver as a gale like a hurricane rushed into his lungs.
"Ling Yuetao, stop!" Xu Jianjun showed a terrible face, "I will beat you if you make me deaf."
Ling Yuetao's face became red as his enormous breath got stuck in his throat. Then he opened his mouth and exhaled slowly to the sound of sporadic laughter from his teammates.
"Well done." Xu Jianjun's became serious as he stood to attention and shouted: "Salute!"
Ling Yuetao saluted and everyone followed him.
The fifty-odd men queued up behind the armored cars that would take them to Liang Duan Mountain.
The driver of the leading vehicle laughed, "Captain, I think you could have knocked down the building behind him if you let out that breath."
Ling Yuetao shook his head: "Probably not, but I'm sure I could blow him away."
A burst of laughter.
Ling Yuetao was the best martial master the military had in Yungang City. His codename was Lion Warrior.
A military garrison in the southern suburbs of Yungang City.
Jiang Shaoliu was wearing his new camouflaged combat suit with a camouflaged knapsack, standing tall as the golden sun reflected off his face.
Xiao Bai was bouncing and jumping around beside him, growling restlessly because Jiang Shaoliu wouldn't take him along.
"Xiao Bai, you are not strong enough. Our enemies are all even stronger than Mr. Chen. You would end up as someone's dinner if you went there." Jiang Shaoliu scratched the tiger's head, watching the armored vehicles in the distance.
Liu Gang and Chen Anguo had gone with the task force, leaving behind Da Hei and Xiao Hui. The signalman looked at Jiang Shaoliu with a puzzled expression: "Doctor Jiang, why didn't you go with them? The mountain is really far and you will be exhausted when you get there if you go on foot."
Jiang Shaoliu shook his head and made no explanation. He just pointed at Xiao Bai and the other two and said, "Please take good care of them while we're gone."
Mr. Luo nodded and said sincerely: "Oh, don't worry about them. They're really enjoying themselves. We have great food here since we have such good cooks in our kitchen staff. Mr. Bai is great with meat, Mr. Song is excellent at chopping salads, and as for Mr. Li…"
Jiang Shaoliu turned around and set out into the rising sun.
The huge tiger, wolf and bear sat there growling, staring at his back.
The signalman sighed: "Well, I wasn't done talking to you…"
After running for half an hour, Jiang Shaoliu was covered in sweat.
"Again?" He reduced his speed. The true qi inside him slowly settled down, but his stomach was growling furiously.
Just two hours ago he had completely stuffed himself at the base canteen.
But now he was starving again.
"The food in the army is really good..." Jiang Shaoliu took off the knapsack, which was filled with more than a hundred packages of compressed biscuits, which all had the same bland flavor.
Lazily chewing the identical compressed biscuits, Jiang Shaoliu began to think. "It's Mr. Bai who cooks the meats, he's really skillful; and Mr. Song really has talent since he can make carrots and cabbage taste like beef… Well, what's Mr. Li good at? Hmm, I think I'll have to find out next time…"
In a short while, he finished ten packages of compressed biscuits.
"Sure enough, the wilds are more suitable for me." Jiang Shaoliu thought it was ironic.
He had to once again go to the danger zone after many miles' journey and only a couple hours' rest.
It was his fate.
He resumed running and turned on his smart watch on the go.
It had a small screen, but his heightened sense allowed him to see it clearly even with his arm swinging back and forth with each step.
Jiang Shaoliu had watched the videos of Valentine Valley posted to the Yungang City public groups back at the camp. The newest ones weren't very clear since they were taken from a great distance.
There were doubtless fearsome monsters gathering there, and probably even more weaker ones. It would be far too dangerous to take videos from close up.
"Damn, why do they ruin other people's reputation just to get more attention? Or… could it be that this is the truth?" Jiang Shaoliu skimmed through the posts about Yin Manshu.
The netizens had found everything, including the detailed history of the Gangxing Group and Yin Manshu's childhood experiences. Some of them even made malicious guesses supported with various evidence indicating their reliability.
"Wow, it's all about the Gangxing Group's CEO's daughter, Yin Manshu, who has three silver life rings. Do they want to be famous at the cost of their lives? Why would they risk offending her?" Jiang Shaoliu continued reading.
Suddenly, his eyes light up.