He dropped his axes and curled up tightly on the ground like a shrimp before slowly relaxing.
Jiang Shaoliu landed on his feet and turned to the other attacked.
Then he shook the arms suddenly and flew the body away, which smashed into the half sky with the broken limps in a splash of explosion.
"You just, you…" the master with the hammer ground to halt before Jiang Shaoliu, his face spattered with blood and pieces of intestine. He slowly retreated, his frozen arms hanging in the air. "You, you just…"
"I'll kill every last one of you," Jiang Shaoliu rasped through gritted teeth.
Then he punched.
The hammer master flew backwards like cannonball. The halberd master had no time to dodge and they collided with a clatter.
Jiang Shaoliu roared in rage and as he focused his qi on his legs before bursting forward, the stones under his feet exploding in all directions..
The two masters screamed as their pupils contracted and the bronze color faded from their skin.
They were both hanging limply on Jiang Shaoliu's arms, convulsing.
"Seven left." Jiang Shaoliu jerked his arms and the two bodies fell to the ground, struggling for a while before becoming still.
Terrified, the gunmen stopped shooting, trembling fingers frozen in the trigger guard. One man wet himself and collapsed to the ground.
Jiang Shaoliu bent down and began slowly picking stones up from the ground with a terribly calm face.
"Run! Let's get the hell out of here! He's a demon, a demon…" one master screamed in a faltering voice and turned around to run for it.
A stone tore through the air like a meteor and struck a big tree in front of him. Branches flew in all directions and the trunk collapsed, blocking his path.
The man just barely dodged when Jiang Shaoliu already landed on the trunk, tearing off a large stretch of bark. He turned around and stood up straight, staring at him grimly.
"No, no, please don't kill me…" he dropped his rifle and burst into tears, kneeling down at Jiang Shaoliu's feet.
"Fuck, kill him!" The other masters in the distance snapped out of their stupor and aimed their rifles at Jiang Shaoliu once again.
Jiang Shaoliu bent down and clasped his fingers around the sniper's neck, lifting him up in front of himself.
The sniper shook violently as a volley of bullets bit into his back.
Jiang Shaoliu loosened his grip and the twitching body silently fell to the dirt.
"You will never escape," he growled.
They all had to die.
He leaped out again, sprinting towards them and throwing stones nonstop.
The stones whistled amid the trees like rockets zooming across sky. A series of sonic booms echoed across the quiet forest.
One of the gunmen had just hid behind a tree when the trunk was pierced through the center, leaving a big hole. He looked down at his belly.
Guts were slowly sliding out of the massive hole in his abdomen as his strength rapidly left him.
One of the masters hid behind a large rock and carefully leaned out to see what was going on.
A pebble smashed into the rock right next his head with an explosion of shrapnel and blood.
Half of his face was gone before he had the chance to scream, brain matter slowly leaking out to the bloodstained ground.
Five, four, three…
Now only the last one remained. Jiang Shaoliu slowly walked towards him with a cold look in his eyes.
The last gunman stood frozen still with a blank expression, mechanically pulling the trigger even though his weapon was out of bullets.
His face was ghostly pale as he continuously repeated, "Demon, demon, demon…"
"Get me Yin Manshu on the phone." Jiang Shaoliu stopped right in front of him and glared at him sternly. "Now!"
The gunman trembled and stepped back slowly, "I don't know anything! Don't kill me, I don't know anything…"
Then he burst into tears while a large urine stain spread from his crotch.
"Do it!" Jiang Shaoliu roared into his face, grabbing him by the head and casting him down to the ground. Blood splattered on the earth.
Blood flowed from the back of his head as the man's arms and legs trembled. His Adam's apple bobbed up and down as he tried to speak in vain.
Jiang Shaoliu slowly increased the pressure through his arms and the man's head gradually turned purple as stones cracked beneath him, until his pupils were dilated and his eyes became blank and matte.
Jiang Shaoliu loosened his hands and exhaled slowly, the broiling rage in his chest steadily abating.
The last of Yin Manshu's team was dead.
"Yin Manshu…" Jiang Shaoliu's eyes glittered. He raised his hand and tapped buttons on his smart watch to contact Liu Guang.
Beep beep beep…
"Is that you, Mr. Jiang?" Liu Guang's electronic voice came out of the smart watch. "Starting to regret not taking the armored car with us, are you?"
"I need a favor," Jiang Shaoliu said through gritted teeth. "Get me in touch with Yin Manshu."
"Yin Manshu?" Liu Guang sounded surprised.
Jiang Shaoliu clenched his fists. "Yes, that's the one."
After a moment's silence: "Hold on, I'll see what I can do."
The call ended.
A vein popped on Jiang Shaoliu's forehead as he stared at his smart watch screen, fists clenched.
A group of over thirty masters walked through an area inhabited by two-ringed monsters. A young, long-haired girl in a tight combat suit that outlined her slender figure took the lead, a thin layer of frost forming under her boots with each step.
The Ice Lotus, Yin Manshu.
Her smart watch rang.
"Hello?" Yin Manshu stopped walking and frowned at her watch. "Is this Lion Warrior?"
As soon as the call connected, Lin Yuetao's clear voice rang from the watch: "Miss Yi, I've a friend that wants to talk with you. Could you speak to him, for me?"
"Your friend?" Yin Manshu smiled coldly. "For you, anything."
Lin Yuetao hung up. Not ten seconds later, her watch beeped again.
A man's voice came through, calm and humorless.
"Four friends of mine have just been killed. I only met them ten minutes ago and didn't even know their names."
Staring at the four freshly dug graves before him, Jiang Shaoliu raised the watch right up to his lips and said in a voice like granite, "I have avenged them."
A pool of ice began to form under Yin Manshu's feet. "Jiang Shaoliu…"
"For every brother of mine you kill, I will annihilate an entire Gangxing Group squad." Jiang Shaoliu spoke softly, but clearly: "You will see, Yin Manshu."
A layer of frost began building up on trees and rocks around her.
Her voice was so piercingly cold that Jiang Shaoliu could almost feel his eardrums freeze solid: "You'd never have the gall to say that if we were back in Yungang."
Jiang Shaoliu looked up at the sky.
The floating mountain still obscured the sky, it's lower slopes lush and green, with many tall trees visible. It was also possible to spot pavilions, terraces and stone plazas among the trees, as well as great monuments and statues.
"There's no sky in Yungang," Jiang Shaoliu said in a voice so hard even the Ice Lotus trembled. "You will regret crossing me."
He hung up, staring grimly at the graves in front of him where the bodies of Han Hu, Eagle Eye, Sword Three and Sword Four lay in eternal rest.
"I'm sorry." He bowed to them and left.
There was a small waterfall some distance in front of him, with a small pool at the bottom, by the sound of it.
He walked there slowly and contacted Liu Guang again: "Thank you."
"Not at all. Besides, I just asked Lion Warrior to help you out," Liu Guang said nonchalantly. "You can thank him later."
Jiang Shaoliu nodded. "All right, I will find a chance to show my appreciation."
Then he hung up, lost in thought.
It wouldn't be easy for him to return this favor, since Lin Yuetao, the Lion Warrior, was the foremost master of the military in Yungang.
Sector 2 was covered in tall trees and taller mountains. Some trees were covered in vines and some rose straight up to the sky to a height of two hundred meters.
Some hills were formed entirely of rocks, without any vegetation on them. There were also several rivers around the foothills of the mountains, and waterfalls tumbling down from the high cliffs above.
Jiang Shaoliu reached the waterfall, which tumbled into the pool beneath like a raging sea.
The pool was clear, ripples shaking the dark reflections on its surface.
Jiang Shaoliu felt much better in the cool mist beneath the eternally crashing waters. He took off his combat suit and jumped into the pool in only his boxers.
Rejuvenated by the cold water, Jiang Shaoliu tensed his muscles and contracted the minor meridians under his skin.
The stubborn grey-white impurities had been loosened, and though they were not completed cleared out, small bits began to break off into the stream of true qi flushing his meridians.
More and more clumps of impurities diffused through his skin and floated away on the water before slowly dissolving.
The hot true qi surged violently through all the branches of his minor meridians with such apish energy that it made his muscles shake.
The last of the meridians were cleared and now nothing at all obstructed the flow of his true qi, which made him boom with enthusiasm.
Gradually, his skin began to turn red as tendrils of white steam rose from the water around him.
The cloud of steam hanging over Jiang Shaoliu's head made his spine itch and his limbs jitter.
This was the perfect time to create the golden abyss.
His stomach began beating violently, just like a heart. His bronze stomach ring shook fiercely, alternating between silver and gold.
Jiang Shaoliu couldn't help but roar to the heavens like a great ape, the echo of his voice causing small rocks to tumble down the cliff into the pool.
The golden hoop inside his mind gleamed and buzzed, immediately restoring his life ring to its bronze color.
He wheezed and sweated, weak with overwhelming hunger.
He felt like he's just come out of a desperate battle.
Dragging his exhausted body out of the pool, Jiang Shaoliu picked up his combat suit and began washing the bloodstains off it. It was very easy to clean thanks to its special composite fabric.
Soaking them in the cold pool, Jiang Shaoliu rubbed the clothes gently with his hands, which caused the fabric to tear, exposing the composite metal fibers inside.
"Goddamnit." Jiang Shaoliu stared at his hands incredulously.
He barely touched it…
"Is it a fake one? It can stop bullets but it tears apart from a gentle rub?" He blinked and thought for a while, then clenched a fist and punched a nearby rock.
His fist went straight into it like a hot knife through butter, instantly atomizing the entire stone.
"I've improved so much in my power and speed!" he stared at his fist and the thin layer of stone dust beside him. "Did I do that?"
His smart watch rang.
"You should read the latest news, Mr. Jiang," Liu Guang said anxiously. "You're a wanted man."