Walking on the stone steps, one couldn’t help but feel disquieted by a sense of insignificance. When compared to the everlasting presence of this sacred mountain, everything seemed to be dwarfed and appeared insignificant.
Chu Feng was nimble on his feet. Dressed in a windbreaker, he clambered up the mountain along its long stone steps. Other mutants were clambering up the stairs with him. Some came from the Eight Vision Temple; some came from the Hollow Jade Temple; and some came from the Roaming Jade Temple.
It had been a battle fought between the strongest battalions, but since it was over, this place now belonged to these people. They were here to look for their opportunities.
There were just as many mutated beasts on the mountain as there were mutants, however, if not more. There was a buffalo with a silver horn, a domestic cat with a body covered in golden fur, and a hedgehog whose back was strewed with snow-white pricks.
These were the strongest kind of each of their respective species. They might not seem threatening in size, but their presence filled the air with fright and terror.
Chu Feng believed that some of these creatures were at level eight or nine of the Awakening Realm; however, none of them seemed to have reached the same level as the beast kings yet.
Some of the mutated beasts had morphed into humans, but some of their typical characteristics were still retained. For example, there was a vixen in the crowd who had just about every bit of charm of a human female. She was a bewitching beauty, but there were still a few snow-white fox tails protruding out of her bottom.
Obviously, she had deliberately kept those body parts after eating the fruit, because those body parts were mostly the origin of her power and strength!
The mutants and the beasts co-existed with each other peacefully on this mountain. Every individual was keeping their heads down, busy clambering up the mountain. This was something that Chu Feng had not expected. He had thought that people would beat each other to a pulp in order to make their way up to the mountain’s peak, but the reality seemed to suggest otherwise.
Before the world was hit with upheavals, Chu Feng used to frequent this mountain. Things really had changed after the upheavals. The mountain had grown vaster and grander, and it was almost the same height as the vault of heaven.
Few words were exchanged between people. Everyone was hurrying on their way.
Chu Feng walked with big strides. Wind whistled by his ears as he scurried forth in subsonic speed. He couldn’t wait to reach the place where the mysterious ancient trees were said to grow. He might not have the luck to find a blooming bud, but at least he could find somewhere to plant the seed that he had brought with him.
Chu Feng scurried like the wind, leaving most of the mutants behind him.
The Heavenly Southern Gate was still standing. The upheavals seemed to have failed to make it collapse. Like an iron soldier, it still stood erect over the stone path!
Chu Feng was getting close to the peak of Mount Tai.
Nowadays, the Heavenly Southern Gate seemed to have something immortal in its style as it stood inundating in a sea of fog and cloud. For the past few months, Mount Tai had grown much greater in height. Most of its mountain body was high above the troposphere.
Surrounded by mists and clouds, one might have the wrong impression of being in a heavenly palace.
Chu Feng arrived. He darted to a high ground near the peak of Mount tai.
The fog was dense. The sceneries looked like a combination of truth and falsehood. Nothing looked real, but Chu Feng was certain that nothing was formed by his imagination.
The place had a sense of surrealism, and the fog also felt quite unusual. Chu Feng noticed that his god-like instinct seemed to have been blocked by the mists around him. No wonder why the beast kings’ instinct seemed a lot less sharp than it used to be.
The peak of Mount Tai was called the Height of Jade Emperor. This was also the highest point of the mountain.
Chu Feng clambered over the top. Rays of evening sunlight trickled down the precipitous cliffs, rendering the place a lot more holy and pure.
The Height of Jade Emperor was larger than Chu Feng had imagined. The place was flat and spacious. It felt almost like a different world that was drastically different from the rest of the mountain.
Walls had collapsed, and debris of a past civilization piled up on the rubbles. This was the historical remains of an ancient city, but civilization of humanity could not stand the test of time. What was once a structured city was now only a pile of sacred ruins.
Chu Feng didn’t bother to dig into those ruins. Even if there were anything that was worth digging for, most of them would have already been taken by the beast kings.
Where his interest lay was whether there was any strange soil buried under these ruins.
Soon, he found a giant tree that was so thick that two people wouldn’t be able to put their arms around it. Although the branches had dried up and withered, the trunk was still glistening with a peculiar luster.
"A holy tree under recovery?" Chu Feng paused near the tree, then he crouched down and started digging up the dirt. He wanted to test and verify the guesses that he had made.
Chu Feng was astounded by his discovery. A sudden surge of emotion flooded his mind. Beneath the superficial layer of soil, there were patches of strange soil sparsely congregating. Each patch was about the size of a human fist, but its color seemed rather dim and dull. "Maybe they don’t have as much mysterious energy contained in them," Chu Feng murmured to himself.
But, this should be enough, right?
Chu Feng was overjoyed at the success. He believed that this should be enough for that snow-white seed to take roots and sprout, no matter how "edacious" the seed might be.
Suddenly, his instinct of danger fired up. It was a sharp sting at the back of his head.
Chu Feng’s pupil constricted as his breath bated. With a swish, Chu Feng quickly threw himself out of the imminent danger.
An iron lance glanced off his head, then with a bang, it pierced into the ground.
This lance would have pierced through his head if his reflex was a tad slower.
Chu Feng looked frosty. His blood ran cold because he could tell that whoever was taking aim at him must have been a heartless and vicious killer.
It was a mutant who was standing in the distance. He wore a cloak that covered his whole body up to his face. He and Chu Feng were both human beings, so why was he so vicious against him?
Chu Feng now realized that this place was not safe. Danger was around every corner. He needed to be on high guard against every single individual that he encountered.
"What did you find?" the mutant’s voice was coarse. He had been watching Chu Feng since the moment he started digging the soil. He thought that Chu Feng must have made some invaluable discoveries, and he wanted to seize the fruits of it.
"It’s none of your business!" Chu Feng coldly replied. At the same time, he was poised for a fight. For Chu Feng, this man didn’t exactly seem like a good kind, and given that he put Chu Feng’s life in jeopardy in the first place, this man was certainly not deserving of Chu Feng’s mercy.
Chu Feng ran up to this man’s face just in the blink of an eye. His fist was already in the tiger position. With a boom, his fist crashed into the chest of that man.
The man was taken aback. He realized that he was no match for Chu Feng.
"I beg for your mercy! We both came from the human race! Let me live!" he shouted, but at the same time, he was still desperately trying to thrust his lances into Chu Feng’s chest.
Both lances were splintered into pieces. Chu Feng could easily smash through an iron wall, let alone a pair iron lances.
The man was sent flying. He then crashed into a boulder as blood spurted out of his mouth.
"You kept on stressing on the fact that we both came from the human race, but then why did you attack me, and why did you want to claim my life? If I let you off scot free today, someone else might be harmed by you tomorrow. You are a piece of trash and the scourge of the human race, so today, I feel honored to help our race cleanse of scums like you!"
Chu Feng picked up the iron lance then penetrated the man’s chest with it.
He turned around and walked away. The holy tree that he had just found was not the only one at Mount Tai. He needed to find somewhere quiet and remote, somewhere that no-one would set foot on to plant his seed.
Chu Feng headed into the depth of the dense fog. The deeper he reached, the safer it would be.
The Height of Jade Emperor was spacious and flat. Chu Feng had walked ten li and still saw no end. On the path he walked, however, was a tree. The tree was not a withered one; it had new shoots growing out from the trunk, and the fresh leaves perching on these shoots were sparkling and glistening. The leaves were eerily purple. "This tree must be extraordinary!" Chu Feng murmured.
Chu Feng dug out the surface dirt and immediately, a dazzling sight was revealed. There were many chunks of strange soil buried under. Each was about the size of a human fist. They all seemed to have contained a rich source of energy.
"Much better quality! Much more effective soil!"
If no-one was around, this would be the most ideal site for seed planting.
"What are you doing?" a mutated beast loudly scolded, "it’s been an agreement signed by the leaders from all species that every tree and every blade of grass here must be preserved and protected. Otherwise, the whole species would be exterminated!"
This beast was in human form. He must have been at least a quasi-king of some kind, or he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to evolve to gain the human form.
"Nothing. I was just having a peek at things over here." Chu Feng turned around and walked away. He tried to avoid conflicts with people if conflicts were not necessary.
Nothing was more important than to break through the barrier between the Realm of Awakening and the Realm that a beast king resided, and the fate of that snow-white seed was the key to achieve this.
Suddenly, Chu Feng felt that something was pressing on his mind. Ahead of him, a giant powerful creature had just soared into the air. It then disappeared amidst the dense fog.
"A quasi-king!" Chu Feng’s heart palpitated.
He had had dealings with these quasi-kings before. He knew how dangerous these creatures were better than anyone else.
Especially when he realized that the giant beast he saw just then looked like a peacock, Chu Feng was alarmed. Was the peacock coming for him?
Chu Feng was secretly taking precautions against anything that could happen. He pretended to be calm as he walked further into the depth of the mists.
"Get out of my way!" in the distance, that peacock was scolding the crowd. It looked as if the peacock was looking for something, or even someone.
Chu Feng kept his head down, desperately wanting to get himself out of the way.
"What are you doing? Are you bullying us because you think we humans have no-one who dare to stand to you?" To Chu Feng’s surprise, mankind also had its own quasi-king. Right now, he was confronting that peacock.
"Humph!" the peacock sneered. It then turned around and flew away.
Chu Feng was heading further into the depth of the mists. He was not afraid of getting lost; he was only afraid that he hadn’t gotten deep enough.
"You shouldn’t delve any further, young man. The road ahead will be so dangerous that even the beast kings are afraid of entering there. The fog is going to be way too dense!"
An elder warned him with the best of intentions.
He told Chu Feng that the beyond the point where he stood, danger would be around every corner. It would be a place where those who entered would never return.
Chu Feng thanked him for the warning. He made a detour, but in the end, Chu Feng still managed to enter that place.
Just as the old man had warned, the fog was indeed thick and suffocating. People could easily lose their way and their bearings in here. However, between the vapors of this misty air, Chu Feng could vaguely smell a sweet and delicate fragrance.
"The rumor is real. There is a sacred tree blossoming, but no-one could find where it is!" Chu Feng was astounded.
He had reason to believe that the rumor was real. The reason people couldn’t pinpoint the location of the sacred tree was that the tree must have been hiding somewhere deep in the Multiverse.
But Chu Feng didn’t feel compelled to find this sacred tree; instead, he still aimlessly headed deeper into the mists, looking for a good spot to plant the seed.
At last, Chu Feng came across an ancient tree. A few new branches were sticking out from the dead old trunk. Here, everything was quiet and serene. Not a single soul seemed to have treaded its feet on this place.
"This is the spot!"
Chu Feng started digging. As expected, there were quite a sizeable amount of strange soil hidden under the surface dirt. The strange soil was glistening with a rather enticing luster. There was no better place to plant the seed than here.
Just like last time, Chu Feng placed the seed in the stone box then buried it under the strange soil!
Chu Feng sat cross-legged under the tree, quietly waiting for something to happen.
This seed he found at Kunlun Mountain was too mysterious. During the latter half of the night, the crackling sound of a sprout breaking through the soil broke the deadly silence of the place. The seed was growing!
A glint of silver broke through the dirt, shining with its unparalleled splendidness against the backdrop of the dark night. The leaves were silver-white, sparkling and crystal-clear.
Chu Feng was overjoyed at the success. Success or failure hinged on tonight.
This could mean a major breakthrough for Chu Feng. If he succeeded, he would have no fear to fight his own way back to the city of Shuntian.
He tried to hedge himself off from the outside world, otherwise, his mind would be unsettled. Huang Xiaoxian was threatening him with the lives of his parents.
And there was Kong Sheng. First, he demanded entertainment and reception from Jiang Luoshen at Bodhi Genetics, then he went to the headquarter of Deity Biomedical Group specially for Lin Naoi. His intention behind his action was clear as day. He wanted Chu Feng to feel humiliated so that Chu Feng could walk right into a trap.
Chu Feng settled his mind and gazed at the growing sprout.
This time, the seed seemed to have become even more mysterious. Its growth was accompanied by snow-white fog, like a dancing goddess. The growth was rapid too. From the first couple of fresh leaves to the rapid elongation of its stalk later on, the whole process only took less than a few minutes.
In the blink of an eye, the plant was already over a foot tall.
This time around, it was no longer a vine but a little silver tree. The main trunk had three silver branches with silver-white leaves growing on them.
Half an hour later, the tree already reached the height of a man. The body of the entire vegetation was silver-white and glistening.
"It’s still growing!" Chu Feng was shocked.
The tree was almost two meters tall. Chu Feng noticed a few cracks crawling over its main trunk. The silver-white barks peeled off the trunk one layer after another, like the scales of a silver-white dragon!
The tree was becoming old and strong, like a dormant dragon!
A soft wind brushed the treetops, causing the leaves to rustle. The rustling sounded like a sequence of melodious tune that was made when jades collided with each other. Everything about the tree was rather mysterious.
Chu Feng knew that this tree meant no trivial matters to him. This tree should get him to even break through the realm in which the beast kings were. His opportunity was here!