"The storm's coming," Chu Feng murmured. He dreamily stared out of a small window at the dark horizon. Occasionally, a shooting star streaked across the dark night. The sight was transitory and forgettable.
The mutants would surely converge here for the fruits that could mold an ordinary into a skilful fighter like Silver Wing, Kong Kim, Fire Spirit and White Tiger. How could this not perturb one's mind and one's desire?
For the truly skilful mutants, their arrival at Taihang Mountains could be imminent.
With each mutant crossing path with each other, fights would be inevitable. Some might achieve fame for the victory of one single battle, while others might have the fate of a shooting star. Their existence would be proven to be transitory, and their once-acquired superhuman abilities would soon be forgotten and lost in the depths of the mountains.
All in all, a storm seemed imminent.
"Is Lin Naoi also coming with the same purpose?" Chu Feng frowned. In the near future, this region would be bound to disturbances. Various beasts and birds of prey would no longer be the only latent danger creeping in the area, but the mutants who desired for fame and power would perhaps wreak a grander havoc than the indigenous inhabitants of the mountain.
He was aware that Deity Biomedical Group had always been a giant in its related field and industry. Nowadays, the inclusion of Silver Wing under its brand made it all the more invincible. Even an alliance of mutants could do little to challenge its position.
In a residence at a nearby town.
Ye Ge wore a sullen look on his face. Only moments earlier, he was accused by his superior for divulging the secrets about the tree in Taihang Mountains so soon to the outside world.
Qingyu Zhu did not look exactly joyous either. The consistent smile on her face disappeared. As a co-leader of her expedition team, she was held accountable for the incident too.
Deity Biomedical Group had been watching Taihang Mountains since a long while ago. They deployed a team of their best fighters and pinpointed the location of the strange tree.
But man made plans and God laughed. Who would have thought that the secrets would be exposed and be thoroughly known to the public before they could take any actions?
As a result of this unwanted exposure, their initial advantage started swaying further and further away from them as more and more mutants decided to join the competition. Fights for the fruits seemed all the more likely now.
So understandably, the top executives had become all raging and furious.
Zuo Jun clutched onto his communicator, glaring furiously at the screen. An extreme hatred for the person who was constantly calling him had surged up in him. When the call came, he would answer the call at once then hurl his raging invective at the person on the other side.
"Zuo Jun, wake the hell up!" Ye Ge snapped. He was a mild and placid man on his usual days, but today was clearly not that day. He was exacerbated. "You were traumatized by someone, so did you leak the information about our operation to that person before you lost your memory?"
Zuo Jun was astounded before his face turned pale as a sheet. He fiercely shook his head. He dared not to admit to such accusations, or there would be no good fate for him.
"Impossible! I'm not a weak-kneed and spineless person. I was free of my flesh as I fought, so how could I be a traitor and betray the company?" Zuo Jun was emotional. He stood up on his feet and roared, explaining himself.
"It's impossible for us to leak the information either, so I suspect that it was the other two teams divulging our secrets." Another mutant in the room echoed.
Although all of the teams were members of Deity Biomedical Group, the competition was fierce between them.
"Maybe it was leaked by some of our opposition forces, such as Bodhi Genes. Their members also recently came to Taihang Mountains," Qingyu Zhu said.
Medicine was also one of the core businesses for Bodhi Genes. Similar to Deity Biomedical Group, they had also been the leading body of the field.
The company started with a hint of mystery attached to it. It was said that many old monks in their hundreds were invited in addition to many of the top experts at biomedical fields.
They used a number of advanced instruments ahead of its time to perform a variety of tests and examinations on the monks.
Later as the company gradually expanded, it became more and more famous and influential in this post-civilization era.
"I can't believe these people could be brazen enough to step on the soil that we have claimed possession of," a mutant expressed his discontent.
"Maybe they have sensed the advantage we have led here, therefore. they muddied the water by leaking the information to the public," Qingyu Zhu said.
Many other mutants frowned. Bodhi Genes would be a formidable opponent if they also wanted a share of the spoils. They had recruited a team of invisible beasts as well. Kong Kim, for instance, would stand up to Silver Wing as an equal.
"Let this be the worry of our executives. We only need to deal with the issues we have been assigned with." Ye Ge started to calm down.
They all knew that before long, hell would break loose amongst these mountains. Fights would be bloody, and no-one would walk out unscathed.
Qingyang Village. The yard.
Wind blew. Thunders rumbled. These were no longer the sounds of the nature, but the sheer disturbance in the air caused by the wavering of a man's bare fists. Chu Feng was practicing boxing. His every move had become profoundly different. A mystical force formed a layer and enveloped his fists.
Petals and leaves swirled up as he faltered his fists.
Finally, with a soft roar came a plume of white smoke from within his nostrils and his mouth. The plume flew around the circumference of the yard before returning back to his body.
He mastered the eighth position of Demon Ox Boxing Style!
Even for Yellow Ox, the rate at which Chu Feng progressed seemed astounding.
However, on the days that followed, his progression ceased from cruising on. He toiled away for two consecutive days, but was still far from mastery. This last position was slightly different and slightly special. Its pattern and its rhythm did not chime in at all with the very first position of the style.
He halted his practice. He wanted a break. He went to the kitchen to prepare himself some treat for the progression he had achieved thus far.
However, the fridge was empty, and so was the freezer. There was only a beefsteak remaining, but if Yellow Ox had seen this, it would be more than likely for it to go berserk on him.
"No, I think this is the time for me to brace myself to the adventure into the great depths of Taihang Mountains!" Chu Feng was determined.
Nowadays, almost all supermarkets had been emptied by the surging crowd from the neighboring villages. Meat was nearly impossible to find.
There were a few bags of grains and cereals stored in the house, but his high demand for energy meant that these were not even nearly enough to sustain his everyday intake of food. He needed meat.
"Yellow Ox. Let's move into the mountains!" Chu Feng shouted.
If he were to venture into the mountains, Yellow Ox would be an almost mandatory companion to bring along with. It came from these mountains, so it knew about the mountains better than anyone.
Yellow Ox coldly reacted. It moved sluggishly. The profound laziness that had developed in its temperament had paralyzed its limbs, robbing it of movement.
"Pork Chops, gone. Turkeys, gone. I think you will have to eat grasses from now on. So if you're not coming, be my guest," Chu Feng threatened.
Chu Feng's threats were effective to say the least. They drove Yellow Ox immediately off the bed. It could not bear the ideas of a diet without meat.
Finally, it agreed to come with Chu Feng into the mountains.
Taihang Mountains spanned across the horizon. The ridges formed a continuous curve in the distance.
Chu Feng led this expedition dual in a due east direction. They cut through the orchid forest then entered the great mountain range right after a twenty-li trek through the jungle.
There had always been a lot of wild animals in the mountains. It was the law that prohibited the locals from hunting.
The mountains had been the ancient habitats for boars, leopards, macaques, roe deer, reindeer, badgers and etc. since the beginning of time. Of course, wolves were also amongst them.
With the speed that Chu Feng and Yellow Ox travelled, it did not take long for them to barge into the mountains.
Chu Feng was also quite meticulous to his surroundings on their way there. He checked on every tree and every bush to see if there were any strange fruits. All in all, this was a place where few people had trodden.
Sadly, nothing was found.
"Wait! Where are you going? It's dangerous there!" Chu Feng suddenly halted his pace.
Yellow Ox rushed ahead towards a towering mountain in the distance. Mist wreathed the mountaintops where horrifying beasty roars originated. Occasionally, one could see a monstrous bird of prey encircling the mountains before disappearing in the misty fog high above.
Yellow Ox stood, feasting its eyes on the view, then signalled for Chu Feng to go there.
"It is a perilous place to go. There are too many ferocious animals there!" Chu Feng's expression shifted.
He was aware that that very mountain was not part of Taihang Mountains in an ordinary sense. It came with the thousand other primitive mountains during the upheaval.
But admittedly, it was a truly majestic mountain. It could easily dwarf the Himalayas or the Everest. Its height could measure well beyond tens of thousands of meters as it pierced into the layer of cloud above.
Great trees of an ancient age soared into the sky. Vines had grown thick as a tree. Apes whistled as tigers roared, rendering the mountains all the more primitive.
Chu Feng stood far from the mountain, but he could feel a dreadful and horrific gusto of air that was suggestive of death and destruction blotting out the sky and covering up the earth. "Combat experience!" Yellow Ox wrote the two words on the soggy soil. It looked serious and solemn. This was the reason it brought Chu Feng here. It pointed out the issue that Chu Feng currently faced, and that was the lack of real combat experience.
Chu Feng's expression slightly shifted. It suggested his hesitation. He had never planned to even go near the beasts and birds of prey that resided amongst the primitive mountains.
"Moo!" Yellow Ox urged.
"Okay, okay. I will listen to you this time!" Chu Feng gritted his teeth and agreed to accept the challenge. He knew Yellow Ox would not harm him by any means, and moreover, its suggestions were quite reasonable as well. Giving how close he was to the full mastery of Demon Ox Boxing Style, there was really nothing that should make him be worried or hesitant about.
Perhaps, Demon Ox Boxing Style came from an environment of such cruelty.
At last, they went near the mountain's body. It was so vast and boundless that Chu Feng felt as if he had stepped onto the edge of a highland plateau of unmatchable vastness.
The florist was verdant, but all were of the primitive type.
"They can't get out, but I can go in?" Chu Feng asked.
Yellow Ox confirmed by nodding its head.
"Then, will I be able to come back out again?" Chu Feng was doubtful.
Yellow Ox nodded again. It assured him that as long as he was not killed by the beasts or the birds of prey, he could easily backtrack his trail and make his way out.
Chu Feng was in a daze. He could not understand the principle behind this, but on the other hand, Yellow Ox also refused to say anything anymore.
Although it was still quite a distance between him and the mountain, he could already see some of the ferocious beasts he had never even heard of before. Some had the body of a lion, but there were bony spurs growing along its spine. It was at least ten meters tall, striding across the forest.
Chu Feng swallowed hard and felt ever so daunted. "Am I even remotely a match to that monstrosity of a beast?" Chu Feng thought.
Yellow Ox enjoined him not to take on fights when he entered the forest. The most important task was to survive. He would need to ensure his safety first before attempting to hunt down any appropriate opponents.
Finally, Chu Feng stepped over the boundary of the mountain and entered a world of unknown.
He had a glimpse of the towering multitude of trees, and of the immense matted jungle. Great trees soared above to cut out most of the light, rendering the air below all the more chilling.
Yellow Ox warned him to move and walk in the way that was taught in the boxing style. He must tighten up his muscles and seal off the breath of his body.
Chu Feng followed its order then quickly departed from the position where he stopped.
As expected, the forest was full of latent dangers. The flora in the distance rocked and waved before a beast with the size of a house and a body of a leopard suddenly emerged and pounced itself onto the spot where he just stood on. It had a pair of horns, and that made it all the more fearsome and ferocious than it already was.
In the distance, Chu Feng hid behind a bush of grasses, clearly catching everything in sight. The scene sent a chill up his spine.
He realized that there was still a lot he needed to learn. A primitive mountain like this one was truly capable of consolidating one's skills and instincts for survival. He could only qualify as a master of the skills he had after he left this mountain alive.
Chu Feng no longer repelled Yellow Ox's idea. He wanted to put all his heart and soul into this invaluable training session to steel himself to be the strong man he longed for.
The time for a total war between mutants was about to come. Therefore, despite the profound risks that were associated with this expeditionary adventure, it was also a chance for him to transform qualitatively into a totally different person. It would train him well for the challenges to come.
A fist-sized spider suddenly cropped out in front of Chu Feng as he walked through the jungle.
Without a second to spare, he threw a punch right into the flimsy body of that damnable spider. Blood spattered at once.
He quickly examined his fist, worried that it might be poisonous.
Yellow Ox sluggishly shook its head, meaning that he did not need to be worried, and that Demon Ox Boxing Style was much stronger than he thought.
Chu Feng ran into many monstrous looking beasts on the way. Once, he was almost tackled by a twenty-meter bird of prey. Admittedly, it was an alarmingly dangerous situation.
The bird had a body saturated in blazing flames. It crashed into a rocky cliff as it chased Chu Feng. The cliff was then melted by the bird's inferno blaze.
It was unbelievably dangerous here!
Chu Feng did not go toe-to-toe with the bird. He disappeared from the bird's sight after scurrying further into the depths of the jungle.
As he passed by an oddly quiet section of the jungle, his instinct told him that more than likely, a ferocious beast would jump out at him at any moment.
Here could well be the nest of a fear-inspiring beast, daring other less ferocious animals to approach
All was ever so unsettling, simply because it was too quiet.
However, Yellow Ox insisted to keep walking forward.
Suddenly, the scene he caught in sight made his hair stand on the end. He saw a tiger with a body thoroughly composed of white fur. There was not even a streak of marking consisted of fur in a different color. Its body was more than six meters in length, and its claws were cutting sharp, glittering with a cold and piercing gleam.
"It's not a tiger!"
The beast had three tails. Every single one of them was shining with glittering luster. With a light stroke, the tail turned a boulder into a thousand pieces!
Yellow Ox wrote on the ground. "This is our dinner."
Chu Feng's eyes were widened in disbelief. What a monstrous beast this was! "This is for dinner? You kidding me?" Chu Feng whispered in a voice quivering with fear.
This is for dinner! That's right!
Yellow Ox seemed certain. It solemnly nodded, signalling for him to fling himself upon the beast and kill it!
This was a relatively open area. Neither plants nor trees were obstructing his view or in the way of his movement. The ground was dry and firm instead of soggy and soft. There was a cave engraved on the cliff, and that was obviously the nest of this monster.
Meanwhile, this six-meter monster opened its inexorable eyes, looking over at Chu Feng. It sensed his intrusion.
"Roar!" With an ear-piercing howl that caused an earthquake and tottered the hills, it turned into a dazzling flicker of white glint, pouncing itself at Chu Feng at a lightning speed. All happened so fast, and all escalated so quickly. The wind suddenly turned foul. It had an offensive smell of blood, which was suggestive of a sanguinary slaughter.
"I'll take my fist and ram it down your sassy throat!" Chu Feng shouted. He gritted his teeth, greeting the charging beast with his iron fist.