People pretended that they didn’t hear anything, but underneath those seemingly emotionless faces, they found it to be such a bloody amusement to see that their dragon-slaying hero was being lambasted by his own mom, and he couldn’t even talk back.
These people were holding back their laughter because they didn’t want to spoil such great fun. They wanted Wang Jing to humiliate her son on the phone as much as she could. It had been a great show for them. These people were pure evil.
"Hey, you little prick, why don’t you talk to me? I’m asking you to be home in three days, you hear me? And what is that name? Demon King Chu? Do you have any idea how bad that name sounds? When you were little…" Humiliation came after humiliation before Wang Jing started talking about all the embarrassing anecdotes that had happened when Chu Feng was a young and innocent child.
Chu Feng’s face turned green from embarrassment. He quickly changed the topic of their conversation before he quickly ended the call. He wanted none of those embarrassing anecdotes to be overheard by these people around him.
"Hey, Brother Chu, what’s the matter? Why did you hang up? We want to hear what happened when you were little. Did you go peeking at your neighbors while they were showering or did you take a piss at your daddy’s wine bottle? Are there any spicy stories?" This group of fellows were having a good laugh at him.
"Hey, Brother Chu, I heard that your mom wanted you to get married, right? Well, that’s easy, my daughter is fair as a flower and beautiful as the moon. I don’t mind you to be my son-in-law. I think you should consider my offer," the Horse King said.
The horse king was three meters tall. He looked like a giant with a shiny bald head after phase-shifting into human. He was raking up things from the past, looking all expectant and hopeful.
Chu Feng shuddered. Judging by that bald head and that insane height of this horse king, Chu Feng supposed that apple wouldn’t fall far from the tree. Chu Feng guessed that his daughter must be at least two and half meters tall. The mere thought of marrying a female giant gave him the creeps.
The black yak then joined the party as well. He poked at Chu Feng’s hip and said, "Mate, you should go meet the horse king’s daughter. I think she is quite a sexy babe indeed. Even I have a crush on her. She is dubbed the ‘Snow Lotus of Kunlun’. She is a woman of real beauty with flesh of ice and bone of jade. Her dazzling beauty could make the fish sink out of sight and wild geese fall out of sky. She is a real beauty, a real sexy lady!"
"Get lost!" Chu Feng wished he could give the yak a good, clean beat-up. "You bloody bastard! Why don’t you join family with the Horse King by marrying his daughter? You guys will become more closely related through marriage. Isn’t that what you want? Son of a b*tch!" Chu Feng cursed under his breath while looking askance at the yak.
The Horse King was fondling his big bald head just then, but hearing what the yak had said, he suddenly stood up and shouted, "Ay! Watch it, Old Black! Did I just hear you say you have a crush on my daughter? This is what they called, ‘a toad lusting for a swan’s meat’! My advice to you is that don’t crave for something you’re not worthy of, and don’t ever try to make a move on my daughter, you hear me?!"
This crowd of people couldn’t decide how they should react to this. Should they laugh or should they be serious?
The Weaver King was dressed in a suit of green. Her green hair was smooth and velvety; her flesh was soft like congealed fat. Her lower jaw was pointy, and her eyes
were big and watery. She asked, "Oh, Chu Feng, my little brother. Why will you ignore what is close at hand in favor of something that’s far afield? What do you think of me? Do you think your parents will be satisfied with me being their daughter-in-law?"
Chu Feng didn’t utter a sound. "If I bring her home, what will I say when my mom asks where she’s from? Am I going to tell the truth and say that she’s from the cave of silken web? I’m sure that’ll scare her wits out!" Chu Feng thought to himself.
Chu Feng realized that this was not a place where he should be staying. "I need to get out of here!"
At last, this crowd of people started to talk about the real business. Every king from Kunlun wanted to pay a visit to Himalayas. It was not that far from Kunlun, and that ancient temple sounded tasty and enticing.
Even the old llama, the Horse King’s master, a man who was usually as mute as a bronze statue in a dilapidated temple, had been excited by the news.
But right now, he was not here chit-chatting with the crowd just as usual.
"My master is training that lion. He wants the beast to be converted so that they can go on adventures together, but I’m always quite worried about his safety though. That old lion is quite a terrifying beast. What if the lion suddenly turned against my master when he’s least expecting it?" the Horse King said.
But the old llama seemed confident in what he was doing.
Lately, the llama had been chanting sutra to the old lion on a day-to-day basis. It was said that in doing so, the lion could be converted.
"Brother, let’s not act rashly on this one. Let’s wait for the old llama, and then we’ll all go together," Chu Feng said to Yellow Ox. Chu Feng was still having scruples about this. After all, even the peacock and the golden crow had almost lost their lives at that place.
"Rest assured, brother. I will be cautious." Yellow Ox nodded. He had phase-shifted to become a little boy again. In the middle of this jungle of grown-ups and giants that the other beast kings had phase-shifted into, Yellow Ox was the odd one out, but one had to admit that he did look the prettiest among the group.
Chu Feng wandered around at Kunlun for another two days. Many beast kings invited him for a drink or two, and by the end of all these, Chu Feng had made friends with almost all the beast kings. For the beast kings, life spent without having to worry about anything was a life of boundless joy, and now, after triumphing over the West, they were enjoying this worry-free and care-free life.
Every beast king had occupied a mountain for themselves. Each had a bunch of subordinates working under them. Normally, these subordinates would come together to wine and dine, drinking toast after toast to each other. They were living a life free from worldly cares.
Chu Feng was very jealous. He thought it might be a good idea for him to frequent this place in the future to fool about with these people to kill some down-time.
"Where’s the Mastiff King?" Chu Feng asked.
"He’s meditating in seclusion. The Mastiff King wants to severe the seventh shackle, but it’s not easy. The earth and the heaven have only just recovered. There’s simply not enough resources for those who are already strong and powerful to continue on their path of evolution any further," someone said.
Later, Chu Feng was told that Yamen did come to Kunlun, but the Mastiff King didn’t really seem to care about him. The two only exchanged a few words for a brief moment before Yamen was sent off.
Yamen was still all smiles when he left Kunlun. He didn’t seem angry at all. He then ventured to the East. Obviously, he was on his way to meet with other kings and experts with six severed shackles.
"This dude is asking for trouble!" Chu Feng frowned.
The kings at Kunlun were shrewd and astute. They had guessed what Yamen was after.
"I think even though no kings or experts will ever agree to what he’s asking, there is no denial that after this, the whole world will know that there’s a god existing in an uncharted domain, and the consequence of this will be that the whole world will be thrown into a state of panic again."
"You’re right, and I think even the tycoons may start panicking. In this elevated state of fear and panic, no-one will become the vigilante who goes hunting for Schiller. Moreover, even if someone finds out the whereabouts of Schiller, he won’t dare to tell anyone else. Without anyone telling us his whereabouts, we’ll never be able to find him since no-one else outside Kunlun has the ability to deal with Schiller."
People now understood what Schiller was really after.
Some seemed very worried. They were not sure how capable that "god" was, and they were not sure that whether they themselves were capable enough to stand toe-to-toe against that "god".
"Fear not, people. We will have evolved to a much higher level when that ‘god’ can finally make his way to our world. By then, he’ll be nothing to us," an old beast king said.
Before Chu Feng left Kunlun for home, the black yak solemnly told Chu Feng a very important piece of news.
"Do you still remember that old Mountain Tortoise from the sect of Kongtong? He and the White Snake from Taihang were some of the longest living kings in our world. I was told these long-living kings have all been having some sort of strange feelings recently." The black yak seemed very serious.
"They feel that the world is about to change again!"
The Mountain Tortoise and the White Snake had been living for thousands of years.
They had experienced more than a dozen upheavals during their lifetime. Time and time again, they had developed a special "instinct" for these kinds of things. They knew when an upheaval was about to happen, and what change it would bring. Without these instincts, they wouldn’t have lived for so long.
"The post-civilization era has been hit by many mysterious upheavals, and every time it happens, it will always make the world turn upside down!" the black yak said.
"Upheavals help the world recover from damage done by the war. It’s a rebirth for Mother Nature. While it can mean disaster for the ordinary beings, it can be a blessing for those who have evolved. Last time it happened, it was twenty-one years ago."
Chu Feng gasped in astonishment. He now realized that beings like the Elder Lion King and the old llama might have already evolved to become kings twenty-one years ago.
Chu Feng questioned, "Are there people who evolved even earlier than that?"
"Yes. We believe that for every upheaval that has happened in the past, there are a certain number of people who have been successfully ‘awakened’, but we don’t have any proof for that. So far, people with six severed shackles are known to be the highest-ranking ones that exist in this world," the black yak said.
Although the Mountain Tortoise and the White Snake have lived for thousands of years, they were not fortunate enough to find any opportunities that could help them evolve. It was said that even the Elder Lion King evolved earlier than the snake and the tortoise.
"According to the Mountain Tortoise, before long, the world will reach a stage where nothing will ever make sense anymore. Nothing will ever be the same. At some point, we’ll all become extinct!" the black yak whispered.
As a living fossil, the Mountain Tortoise had been through many historical and the various upheavals that happened in between. It was unfortunate that during all those years, never had he acquired any opportunities to help him evolve.
However, the tortoise believed in his instinct. He believed that the world was on the edge of a new coming era.
Chu Feng had an earnest look on his face. "If their instinct is accurate, then that means we’re about to witness another fierce round of competitions," Chu Feng murmured to himself.
Right now, the world was in a steady state. Everyone had found their positions in the society. Nothing would change anymore because everyone had reached a specific level that was fixed for them. No-one could make any further breakthroughs or advancements.
If one had to achieve a breakthrough somehow, they would have to wait until the world underwent another upheaval. Each upheaval could allow the lower ranking ones to overtake those who were at the top.
"Hence, I need to remind you that if one day, the upheaval does happen, you will have to keep an eye out for anything that could potentially help you evolve. You can’t afford to fall behind. You MUST make a big leap forward!" the black yak warned Chu Feng.
Yellow Ox nodded as well. Although the calf knew a lot of things, his instinct on things like this was still not as sharp as the Mountain Tortoise. The tortoise was a living fossil after all.
"Why would the Mountain Tortoise divulge such important secrets?" Chu Feng questioned.
"Because in a few weeks, the tortoise will stop by Kunlun temporarily. He will be here with us, witnessing the grand opening of ‘Home of Myriad Gods’," the black yak said.
The pilgrimage ground and Kunlun were the special ones amongst all the sacred sites. Many people had had their eyes on these places because they believed that on these mountains, there were still some opportunities that were yet to be explored and used.
"But you’re right. This is a very important secret. At this stage, it is a secret shared only between the Mountain Tortoise, the Mastiff King, the old llama and a few kings and experts with five severed shackles. Then, there’s you two. So, you two have to keep your mouths shut about this, alright?" the black yak said.
Chu Feng nodded, but at the same time, he was afraid that this secret wouldn’t be a secret for long. The fact that the Black Dragon King, Schiller and the Elder Lion King led an entire Eastern Punitive Expedition had somewhat implied that these guys had most likely known this secret. They wanted Kunlun Mountains for themselves so that they could have an early head-start.
Chu Feng felt heavy-hearted. The second round of this fierce contest was about to start. No-one could afford to fall behind in this race because that would not only mean that he was going to fall heads down from the kings’ altar, but he would also become an easy target for others to prey on!
Chu Feng realized that the crisis had come.
"The upheaval is a risky time for us, but it can also be our blessing. It’s going to be a matter of life or death!" Chu Feng sighed.
The black yak said, "Therefore, if you wanna get married, go get married fast. Then, hurry the hell up and come back here. If the competition is really going to start again, I’m sure there’s no better place for you to begin this race than to begin it here. Remember, this is the Home of myriad Gods, and it’s not just a name!"
Chu Feng left Kunlun with a mixture of emotions. Somehow, even he had sensed that there was something different about the air he breathed, the water he drank and the earth he walked on. It felt as if everything were getting ready to get turned upside down one more time. "This time, I won’t fall behind!" Chu Feng swore, "And I’ll rise above everyone else!"
Before he left, the Black Bear King came pestering him again. The bear held Chu Feng’s hand then started nagging away. This old bear was quite thick-skinned. He told Chu Feng that his grandson was in Shuntian at the moment. "Feng, you must look after my grandson, please? He’s so little. He’ll be so helpless if you don’t take care of him," the old bear mumbled.
Chu Feng was speechless.
"That goddamn black bear must have done no good to the city when I was away!" Chu Feng thought to himself, "So now we have this old bear coming at me, nagging away with all these bullsh*t! I know you are giving me advanced warnings so that I won’t go berserk on that son of a b*tch when I find out what troubles he has caused to the city of Shuntian!"
On his way back, Chu Feng stopped at a Western City to reunite with Zhou Quan. He stayed in that city for another two days.
Chu Feng, Yellow Ox, and the black yak had agreed to grant Zhou Quan a long holiday home before they went to Vatican City. Zhou Quan was allowed to go home to see his relatives after they came back.
The cows did keep their words. They gave Zhou Quan a long holiday in the end. Zhou Quan had spent the past few days in this Western City in which their new home was settled and built. His parents and his elder brother were all in the city.
"We’ll meet in Kunlun!"
Zhou Quan shouted when he said goodbye to Chu Feng. At the moment, he was still having two pairs of horns; he was still combing his hair all the way back; and he was still powerful and strong.
Two days later, Chu Feng’s plane landed in Shuntian.
When they landed, Chu Feng turned on his communicator and saw that there were a lot of news about him on the internet.
Ever since he "resurrected" from death, many people were making conjectures as to what he had been doing during the time when he was "dead".
Many people used their detective skills and tried to connect the dots. What they found in the end startled them.
During the time when he was rumored to be dead, a lot of big things had happened. For example, Vatican City was apparently "nuked" by someone. Who did it? No official answers had been given. Or, there was another example. Remember that list of Eastern Punitive Expedition personnel ranked in terms of power and skills? Well, apparently someone had turned it into a list that was ranked in terms of tastiness!
These events might seem irrelevant to Chu Feng’s "death", and the two might seem to have no connections all. But, the fact that every single horror took place during the time when Chu Feng was playing dead made it difficult for people to believe that Chu Feng was innocent in all these.
What the hell happened?
Naturally, people then went on concocting all kinds of "conspiracy theories". It’s in air quotes because we all know what happened. [wink wink]
"God Chu is coming back!"
"Although I know that our beloved God Chu is the main ‘villain’ behind all these ‘horrors’, I just want somebody to confirm it for me!"
This had been a topic of hot debate amongst people across the globe.
People wanted to know the truth. They wanted to see the proof. And those big companies and tycoons had been especially keen on this.
Many big companies and tycoons had been waiting for him to come back. They all wanted to be the first to extend the olive branch.