The breathing was kept in a rather strange rhythm. At times, it was loud and jarring, at some other times, it became faint and feeble. Its tempo unpredictably varied. Overall, it had a rather complex system.
Chu Feng was a man of exceptional sagacity, but initially, he still struggled with keeping up with the pace. At times, the irregular breathing rhythm gave him feelings of drowning, leading him to a prolonged episode of acute coughing.
The golden calf opened its eyes and saw Chu Feng's ineptitude in handling the breathing pattern. A grin emerged on its face. The calf was making a mockery of him.
"What're you laughing at?" Chu Feng glared at it. He finally had a first-hand experience the exact feeling of Zhou Quan. Mocked by a calf, he was tempted to clobber it.
The morning glow was glittering with a blinding shine. It had an exuberant vital essence. The golden calf sat in its tub, in a balanced, cross-legged position. In and out, it breathed the mystical elements that flowed in the air, gathering the essence of the sun and the moon.
As the calf exhaled and inhaled in this peculiar fashion, its body became increasingly gleaming and lustrous. Its body seemed as if it had been casted with pure gold that had become more and more extraordinary.
Along with a growling sound, a fume of white mist vaporized into the air from its nostrils. Then, accompanied by an explosive sound, the white mist blasted in mid-air. It sounded like a deafening thunderclap, both terrifying and startling.
This sudden outburst gave Chu Feng a start. If that sphere of white mist had been projected onto a man, he thought, he or she would have been blasted miles away upon impact. As to whether the body would be blasted into a mess of flesh and blood, it was anyone's guess.
"You're good, baby cow!"
Chu Feng was astounded. This was only an exhale of a calf, yet it had already proven to be deadly.
"Can you teach me your breathing pattern?" He was passionate and expectant. "The breathing exercises you just did seemed have led up to this fatal blast of air. Am I right?"
The golden calf was heaved with joy. It raised its head in a sense of profound confidence and pride.
Since he had witnessed the extreme pride that the calf had taken in his breathing exercises, Chu Feng's instinct told him that this breathing exercises must be something terrific and something highly extraordinary.
"Are there any back stories to this breathing exercises?" Chu Feng asked. He knew that for a calf this small, it was almost impossible for it to come up with a whole set of breathing exercise.
The golden calf suddenly seemed rather nervous. It looked vigilant and alerted all of a sudden.
Was this going to be more mystical than he thought? Seeing how nervous it had become all of a sudden, Chu Feng was surprised.
"Can you teach me your way?" He asked with a pious look.
He always had an underlying apprehension that one day, when hell broke loose, he could possess some sort of power for self-defence. He did not want to be helpless.
It was evident that human was the only species left on earth that was yet to evolve in this episode of chaotic changes. Even vines had grown into a lawless monstrosity that could pull off a satellite from space.
In days to come, the world would be filled of an all-pervading sense of gloom and danger.
And this was only the tip of an iceberg.
Therefore, Chu Feng had a sense of emergency. He wanted protection and security. He wanted to live in this ever-changing world. This golden calf was a magical creature, and this gave Chu Feng hope.
The golden calf was a bit irresolute. It continued to sit there in a cross-legged position with a pondering look.
"You know that I can bring you to that strange little bush I saw on the bronze mountain one day," Chu Feng said with a smile as he attempted to allure it into agreement. "But the premise is that I have the power to ensure my life in this world of chaos," Chu Feng added.
The golden calf seemed to have made up its mind almost in an instant. It sounded a growl, then it solemnly nodded its head.
Chu Feng was delighted. He did not expect that the calf could agree with him so promptly.
He had been worried that the calf might perhaps obstinately persist on some stubborn tempers that would result in him being completely ignored by the calf.
The golden calf pointed towards the sun with one of its fore hooves, then it beckoned Chu Feng with the other hoof, signing him to also face east. Together, under the glittering morning glow, they resumed that strange breathing rhythm once again.
Chu Feng was a fast-learner. This time, it wasn't a disappointing exception either. He mimicked the breathing pattern of the calf. He breathed in and breathed out in a passable imitation of the calf. The breathing was loud and jarring at times, then it diminished to something weak and feeble. Again and again, it formed a seemingly harmonious cycle.
However, it was nothing substantially harmonious for Chu Feng. He almost choked himself for a few times with a stuffy feeling in his chest. After a while, he felt dizzy and had a headache.
This was clearly an abnormal occurrence, since his laborious struggle had been dramatically juxtaposed by the calf's ease and relief.
The calf's eyes were closed, displaying a great sense of relaxation and leisure. There was even a scent of pleasurable fragrance emanating from its body.
Chu Feng stopped because he realized a serious question. This breathing pattern might be something otherworldly and something extraordinary, however, it might not be suitable for all human beings. Forcible application might end with serious or even deadly outcomes.
The golden calf sensed the eeriness in the air. It opened its eyes with a dubious look. It seemed as if the calf was questioning why Chu Feng had ceased his action.
Chu Feng was straightforward. "I'm a bit worried. I'm not sure if this practice is a suitable for us humans."
To his surprise, the golden calf nodded before giving it a second thought. It was a very definite affirmation.
Chu Feng wanted reassurance, so he asked, "Are you sure it's going to be alright? What system does this breathing pattern belong to? How is it applicable to every species?"
The golden calf was surrounded in a haughty atmosphere. The calf raised its head and had a grin on its face like a Cheshire Cat. Its posture was evident of its great pride and conceit. It behaved as if it had possessed the greatest magic and power in the world.
The golden calf sat in the tub with one of its hooves pointing above and the other pointing down. "Moo, moo, moo…"
"Ok, ok. I know. 'You alone are honored in Heaven and Earth'," Chu Feng hastily said.
He sat down and gave the breathing exercises another try. He managed to match his breathing pattern exactly with that of the golden calf, but the effect was still minimal. He felt nothing queer or marvellous.
Chu Feng adhered to the exercise unremittingly, refusing to give up.
Although the system followed a strange and complex rhythmic pattern, he still managed to memorize the whole set of this exercise. He had done nothing amiss, but effects were yet to appear.
Nothing seemed to have taken effect, yet nothing seemed to go awry either. Until suddenly, another rumbling sound of thunder shattered this seemingly perpetual silence. That golden calf made a deafening bellow that carried some sort of strange forces and strengths.
At this very moment, everything started echoing in unison.
A lightly scented fragrance suffused the atmosphere. A sphere of white mist enveloped the entire place while the rumbling thunder still sounded.
Chu Feng heard continual ringing in his ears, then he felt his body, his mind and his spirit all resonated with the vibration in the air. He could hardly hear anything but a faint hissing sound.
The hissing sound gradually crescendo, then he realized it was following the exact breathing rhythm of the golden calf.
The pattern perfectly synchronized with the pace of the calf's breathing rhythm.
He could even hear the sound of the calf's flowing blood. Its sound acoustically resonated with its breathing pattern. He realized that only as the two sounds functioned together in harmony could any extraordinary effects be given rise to.
Bellow, thunder and mist appeared all at once. Chu Feng could feel a sense of godly essence coming into his body.
Chu Feng opened his eyes. The mist had dissipated, then all went into the body of the calf. He nodded at the calf as a form of gratitude.
Chu Feng now understood. Until just then, he was only practicing the superficial "form" of this very breathing pattern as he tried to imitate the action of the calf. It was only now that he started to take in the essential "spirit" of this breathing system.
The "spirit" of a breathing system had been passed to him by the golden calf through a very special means. This "spirit" deserved to be called as an esotericism, since in practice, form without spirit was worth nothing.
He started to keep his mind on resuming the practice of this breathing pattern, and now, after he had taken in the "spirit", everything started to feel different. The effects were immediate. Bathing in the rising sun, he felt both vigorous and spirited.
He had been experiencing an unprecedented feeling of relaxation and comfort on this particular morning. Every single one of his pores felt loosened and relaxed. He felt a stream of warmth surging within his body.
Chu Feng kept his body unmoved, fully immersing himself in the breathing pattern. The golden morning glow scattered on his body, casting a layer of faint golden luster on his face.
The golden calf was wide-mouthed and surprised. It gazed at Chu Feng for quite a while until Chu Feng finally opened his eyes again.
The sun had risen high and above. Chu Feng felt that his body was full of strength and vigor. Although he had only slept for less than three hours last night, he still had an unspeakable feeling of leisure and relief.
"How magical!" Chu Feng exclaimed in admiration.
It was a sense of comfort and contentment that he had never felt before. His body was permeated with a glittering luster. His vigor was abundant and plentiful. He felt his body and his core had become a grand reservoir to provide himself an endless source of strength and energy.
He wanted to continue, since to him, these exercises felt like heaven.
However, the golden calf stopped him, hinting that no more was needed for today.
"Only this much for a day?" Chu Feng seemed surprised.
The golden calf nodded.
This, to Chu Feng, came as a surprise.
Chu Feng then went inside the house and did a thorough cleaning and dusting of the room that had been vacant for years. His housekeeping was then followed by him going out for shopping.
To his surprise, the shopping center was quite empty. He had to walk some extra miles before he could finally gather some necessities that could last for at least a few days.
Clearly, all the recent reports on all kinds of strange occurrences had made everyone quite jittery. People had rushed to collect and stock up on the necessities needed in case of an apocalypse.
"Zhou Quan was right. I reckon we should give you a name. Otherwise, I don't know what to call you." Chu Feng had been considering to ask the calf for its original name, but the calf only replied with a few bellows. Those, to Chu Feng who clearly could not speak the words of the bovine language, meant nothing.
"Demon Ox could be a good name," He advised.
But his suggestion was soon welcomed by the golden calf with a disdainful look, partly because it always thought that Zhou Quan was an overwhelmingly idiotic person, and as such, the calf could not care less about the name suggested by him.
In the end, Chu Feng had to invent a few more arbitrary names for suggestions, but amongst them, the calf seemed rather delighted when hearing the name, "Yellow Ox".
Chu Feng was astounded. There were still some other creative names on top of Chu Feng's mind, but none of them seemed to be able to shake the calf out of its fond with the name, "Yellow Ox".
Chu Feng had a rather strange look. He wondered how Zhou Quan would react to this name when they meet next time. Zhou Quan had exerted himself in finding the name, "Demon Ox", but who would have thought that this calf would rather be plainly called as "Yellow Ox", a bleak and barren name that could even seduce yawning from the most boring person in the world.
"How about we think of another one?" Chu Feng suggested.
"MOOOOO!" The Ox glared with a look that suggested its discontent.
Its body was shining with a golden luster. This was its treasure as well as its pride. "Are there any more facts that the calf wishes to hid?" Chu Feng conjectured. For instance, gold might have flowed in its internal vessel in which the blood and qi circulated, and this made it especially fond of the name that encompassed the word, "Yellow". "Can this possibly be the case?" Chu Feng questioned.
It was noon. Chu Feng prepared some fresh straw for Yellow Ox along with some pears and apples. He also fed himself with some simple dishes.
Then, he carefully withdrew a stone box from his bag. The box was the same three-inch cube that he had found at the foot of Kunlun. It was still simple and unsophisticated.
The yellow ox showed an unusual look in its eyes when it saw the stone box. It quietly crept up to Chu Feng.
"Don't! This is not something you want to eat!" Chu Feng warned it.
Yellow Ox stared at those seeds in the box. One of them was black as a charcoal, the other was flattened, and the last one looked all shrivelled and pathetic. Having seen the state of those seeds, Yellow Ox instantly put on a disdainful look on its face.
"Don't scorn them." Chu Feng was purposefully trying to sound mystical. "These are not some ordinary seeds."
He knew that the more he talked in this way, the less Yellow Ox would be interested in the seeds themselves. Otherwise, there was of every likelihood that Yellow Ox would just come over, gulp and swallow all three seeds down its throat. In that case, no one would be able to prevent the inevitable death of these seeds.
Yellow Ox shook its head as it scornfully laughed at Chu Feng.
Chu Feng dug a hole in the yard, then he said, "Ok, let me tell you. I want this first seed to become Hsi Wang Mu, the second to be the Fairy of the Ninth Heaven, and the third… hmm… leave me for now to think about it."