It had been a night at which Chu Feng had an especially sound sleep. He fell into deep slumber as soon as his head hit the pillow. There were no dreary dreams troubling him throughout the night either.
As for Yellow Ox, the night had proven to be quite a struggle. The calf looked both pale and out of sorts by the break of dawn. The continual needs to unload its gassy stomach had made the calf run to and from the bathroom, or rather the site of the dump, continuously. How it wished it could barge into Chu Feng's room and teach him a lesson.
However, the calf was too embarrassed to make its struggle known to Chu Feng. It never wished to be the butt of the joke for anyone, so it certainly would not want to be made a laughingstock for Chu Feng either.
After five or six times of painful visits to the bathroom, Yellow Ox finally could not stand the pain. It was, however, only thanks to its strong constitution that it could endure the pain this long. If this were to happen to another person, it would be of every likelihood that that person would have collapsed by now.
The brilliant moon shone above as Yellow Ox sneaked back and forth like a guileful thief. It then slipped into a storage room, ransacking the place before it finally found a bottle that looked the same to the one Chu Feng bestowed it with.
The calf unscrewed the bottle cap then swallowed almost half-of-a-bottle worth of medicine. Chu Feng had said that the medicine would bring about an immediate effect upon use, and sure enough it did. The calf no longer felt the pain in his weary tummy or the burning sensation down at its bottom hole. It swaggered back to its room then lied on its back with all four limbs stretched out on the bed. The calf could finally take a break from the tormenting suffering.
In the morning, Chu Feng woke up almost at the same time as Yellow Ox. The two stood in the yard, facing east, looking at the rosy dawn and the morning glow that had filled the sky. The two then started the special breathing exercise.
Chu Feng could feel the marked change and notable results that the breathing exercise had brought to him. Especially when the light of the dawn cast its warmth onto the world below and penetrated the souls of those who bathed within, the comfort that ran through the veins of the two was unspeakable.
In the end, Chu Feng felt as if he were left in a burning furnace. His skin felt scalded by the boiling sweat profusely spouting out from his pores. It was not, however, a disquieting experience. It was, indeed, something purifying, something transformative that enabled him to become a man totally different from his older self.
As expected, that strange sight emerged before him again when he opened his eyes. His body was cladded in a layer of golden fine gauze that looked both real and magical. As Chu Feng finally ended the breathing exercise, the gauze was again absorbed by Chu Feng's burning skin.
In the distance not too far away stood the master of this exercise itself. Yellow Ox was admiring the achievement of its student. The special breathing exercise had shown the most powerful aspect of itself on Chu Feng, which, when considering the short amount of time Chu Feng had only spent in practicing, was impressive and unbelievable.
This was a form of evolution. The was the most desirable result of the breathing exercise. It disassembled the flesh and bones of Chu Feng's human body, then it helped reassemble them in a way that allowed many of his life indices to be drastically improved. In a similar way, it also greatly enhanced the constitution of his body.
Yellow Ox's dogged belief that Chu Feng's ability must have all been thanks to the petals that landed in his palm at the peak of Kunlun Mountains. They must have been some of the best catalysts that played a key role in expediting the rate at which the evolution occurred to him.
However, Yellow Ox knew that everything had its expiry date, and so was the effect of the catalysts.
The calf's heart suddenly fluttered with excitement when the words "pollen" and "catalysts" reminded it of the seeds that had been planted. The calf hurried to the parterre, but to its disappointment, the seeds were yet to sprout or grow.
However, the calf still had hope in them. After all, they were brought back by Chu Feng from Kunlun Mountains. Based on the information it had gathered so far, the calf knew that it was, for sure, an unusual place.
Yellow Ox bellowed, then without a warning, the agitated calf charged at Chu Feng. It wanted to avenge for the night of diarrhoea that it had to endure yesterday.
"You Demon Ox! Are you going after me? For real?!"
Chu Feng was taken aback. With a hop and a skip, Chu Feng dodged the bull's charge. He even managed to land a punch of his fist on the calf as a form of retaliation.
In the end, Chu Feng chose to escape. Like the adage went: "A wise man knows when to retreat." He knew that the calf was having a sulk, and it certainly wished that it could stuff all the rest of the skewers into his mouth.
He came to Grandpa Zhao's weaponry workshop in the end. He wanted some sharp knives this time. The real-world combat had made him realize that, with the strength which he newly acquired, a stagger could help him deliver a deadlier blow to a mutant than either of an arrow or of a crossbow shot.
Chu Feng briefed Grandpa Zhao a few things regarding the design of the blade and the effect he expected from it before he was met with agreement.
"Sure, I will get your batch of staggers ready when you need it," Grandpa Zhao candidly responded. "So, you seem very interested in this kind of stuff recently? Why is that?" he then asked. Grandpa Zhao was a man of a big and square frame. The crew cut on his head perfectly went along with his physique. Overall, vigor and energy would always be the impression first called in mind for anyone who met him for the first time.
"Yes. I've always been interested in cold weapons. I used to prefer bows and arrows, or crossbows in the past, but only recently had I discovered that staggers could prove to be a weapon fiercer and swifter than any weapons if used correctly," Chu Feng said.
"I have to call you wrong this time. Bows and arrows had always been the best choice of weapons in the past… but sadly, the making of good bows and arrows had been long lost in history." Grandpa Zhao sighed.
"The wheel of times is constantly spinning forwards. No matter how good of a weapon bows and arrows might prove to be, guns and firearms are always there to trump them on the list," Chu Feng said.
"Not necessarily." Grandpa Zhao shook his head.
Chu Feng was astonished. He knew that Grandpa Zhao's craftsmanship was handed down from his great grandfather. This weaponry workshop was also renowned to the local as well as those across the nation.
It was said that Grandpa Zhao's forbears had all once been the craftsmen of some of the deadliest weapon in history.
However, after generations of constant improvement on their craftsmanship, whether the weapons made by the ancient in the past would stand the test of time and still prove to be as reliable and as sharp was anyone's guess.
"Some of the weapons made in the ancient times were quite unusual to say the least. Bows, for instance, did not only shoot arrows, but it also carried a mysterious force of some sort. Together, the weapon would deal massive damage," Grandpa Zhao explained. "But," he then added, "these weapons had mostly gone down in history. They were now nowhere to be found or nowhere to be heard."
Chu Feng was astounded.
"These bows were magical, so an ordinary person wouldn't have the ability to cope with the force that the weapons exuded. It was said only the Taoist priests and Buddhist monks in their hundreds could pull the bowstring, but only slightly even coupled with great force."
"That's incredible! So, are you saying that the older a person is, the more suitable the bow was for him?" Chu Feng was perplexed.
"This is something I cannot say for certain either. It's a myth for me too. But, it is said that there had been a few Taoist priests and Buddhist monks whose body would not decompose after death, and that their bodies could even emanate a smell of musk when left undisturbed in a room. This was made possible by the extraordinary composition of their bodies. It allowed them to gain a much more powerful physique than a normal human being. They were what we called the 'sanctified', and only the 'sanctified' could pull the bowstring of that legendary bow cast by my forbears."
There was an unspeakable luster radiating on the face of Grandpa Zhao as he related the legend that had been recorded in his family's history book. It was a look of yearning and a look of hope. It reflected his earnest longing to cast something equally mystical and equally powerful as that legendary bow. It was legendary because he had learnt from the family's history book that a single arrow was all it took to tumble and crash the city gate of a metropolis.
"Hey, Grandpa Zhao. Wake up! Come to your senses!" Chu Feng said with a smile. He wavered his hand before Grandpa Zhao's eyes, because he seemed to have let his attention wander while he was talking.
"Don't laugh at me, young man! And don't be too sceptical about these things I've said either. I swear by my name that such a bow existed!" Grandpa Zhao firmly contended.
"However great and grand they truly were, they had all lost to history nevertheless. Why rake up something from thousands of years ago when we've already reached this post-civilization era?" Chu Feng shook his head in disapproval.
Even if these formidable weapons were still lingering somewhere today, it was near impossible to find them nevertheless. Only god knew where on earth had they been buried.
"I swear by god's name that I've personally seen it before!" Grandpa Zhao blurted out. He was, for sure, an obstinate man. Even at times when he talked to others, he was still stubborn and inflexible as always.
"I need to see it to believe it. So, Grandpa Zhao, how about you show me the bow if it really had existed," Chu Feng said. Unquestionably, the bow would serve as a formidable weapon if he could use it to test its power amidst the Taihang Mountains. Be it an attack helicopter, a fluttering mutant or even Silver Wing, none would stand in his way when the power of the bow was exerted.
Grandpa Zhao regretted blurting out the words soon after they were said. He quickly shook his head in denial, forswearing the existence of that very bow.
"Oh really, Grandpa Zhao. Do you think I don't know you and your candid disposition? You won't hide anything away from me if you have them, right? Let me have a look!" Chu Feng's eyes were scorching with an earnest look.
Grandpa Zhao looked left and right to confirm that no-one was here present with them. Then, with a bang, he slammed shut the door. He paused in hesitation before he finally agreed. "Okay. I will let you have a look."
Grandpa Zhao led Chu Feng into his bedroom at last. After which, he pulled out a sizeable stone box from underneath the bed. The box was simple and unsophisticated. The engravings on the surface and the curvature of the box were both suggestive of its ancient history.
It was heavy too. Even a strong man like Grandpa Zhao was still struggling when he tried to drag it along on the floor.
"Kept in a stone box?" Chu Feng was astounded.
"Yes. Because it had once been buried underground for many years on end. My forbears had been worried that a wooden box might decompose in the humid soil, so they decided to put it on this stone box. Although it was dug out from underground later, they still reckoned that a stone box would stand better against the test of time, so the bow was kept in there forever since."
Chu Feng was finally clear about the whole matter now. There had been, indeed, a period of time in history when unstable situations prevailed. Therefore, precautionary measures were undoubtedly needed to keep a piece of antique intact.
Opening the stone box exposed an equally sizeable box inside. It measured almost a meter and a half. It had a dark brown body that was both dull and washed-out. The state of its paint showed its vicissitudes of life.
The whole bow carried a notion of unsophisticated simplicity. It was a testimony of the time that had passed, albeit a rather extraordinary one.
Chu Feng tried to pick it up, but the weight of it soon struck him dumb. The whole bow was quite peculiarly constructed. It was entirely made of a special material that gave it its weight. It weighed at least a hundred kilograms, which made it possible for an ordinary man to weigh it in hand.
Even if it were entirely made of metal, the whole composition should not weigh so heavy.
However, the weight did pose as a challenge for Chu Feng at all.
"Don't move it, Chu Feng! It's too heavy for you," Grandpa Zhao reminded.
However, Chu Feng held the bow in hand with ease and peace. He then single-handedly lifted the bow at shoulder height, posing as if he were about to discharge an arrow from the mighty bow.
Seeing how easy he could hold up a bow this hefty, Grandpa Zhao was taken aback.
"You are a strong man, Chu Feng!"
"Where is the bowstring?" Chu Feng asked.
Grandpa Zhao vented out a deep sigh. "The bowstring had long been destroyed, and now, all that was left was this empty arch of the bow's remnant."
"Isn't it just a simple matter of tying some strings to it?" Chu Feng was astounded and bewildered.
"You don't know it, young man. It was said that if the bow were a dragon, the original bowstring would be the tendon of the beast. Without a proper bowstring, the bow would not be able to bring into play the might that it possessed," Grandpa Zhao said.
Chu Feng was clearly in doubt. He refused to believe that there was such a thing called "dragon's tendon".
Grandpa Zhao nodded in agreement. "It's only metaphorically called the 'dragon's tendon'; however, it still demands no less than a formidable beast's tendon."
"Grandpa Zhao, how about you lend me the bow for a few days? I will find you a suitable tendon for the bow by the time I return it to you, so that the grace of the bow can once again appear and shine," Chu Feng fervently said.
"The bow is of little significance to me now. There's no harm in giving it away to you. But, I bet you won't be able to pull back the bowstring for even the slightest," Grandpa Zhao said.
However, what happened at the very next instant made his eyes widen in astonishment. Chu Feng's hands clutched both ends of the bow, and pulled them together with all his might. Under the influence of the force, the bow was slightly bent in his hand.
How was this possible? Grandpa Zhao was astounded; he clearly knew how firmly inflexible the bow was. There had been a few similar attempts made by groups of collaborative young men to bend it, but nothing could make it change its form or its shape.
However, Chu Feng was the one who was shocked the most. As he continued to exert more force to both of his hands, the bow started to roar and groan like a tiger or a leopard. Then, it evolved into a symphony echoed with the bellow of a yap, call of a bird, and the boom of a deafening thunder. All the sounds came together, making a disconcerted musical that was ear-splitting to say the least.
"Chu Feng… you… you're a monster!" The rumbling sound of the bow made Grandpa Zhao come to a standstill, watching in awe as Chu Feng continued to bend the bow further and further into its focal point. The sight in front of him made him dizzy and weary. It also gave him excitement. He mumbled and babbled a lot of words. He had clearly been beside himself with joy and astonishment.
Chu Feng finally bid his farewell to Grandpa Zhao and headed home.
"Yellow Ox! Stop! Let's cease our fight! Look! Look what I've brought back for you! A treasure! A rare bloody treasure!" Chu Feng called a truce with Yellow Ox as soon as he entered the yard. He wanted no more fights with the beast.
Yellow Ox's eyes were fixated on the bow.
When the calf tried to bend the bow itself, the roars of beast and birds of prey culminated into a explosive boom of a blaring thunder.
"What's the name of this bow?" The calf wrote on the ground.
"Grandpa Zhao said that this was called the Thunderous, but the bowstring had long gone. It was said that the bowstring was originally made of dragon's tendon," Chu Feng said.
"Let's go hunting for the dragons then!" Yellow Ox resolutely wrote on the ground. The calf asked Chu Feng to follow it into the primitive mountains. Obviously, the calf really cared about the bow. The look on its face, however, was strange.
"Zhou Quan, hurry up! Come over and see me! I will take you on a dragon hunt!" Chu Feng rung up Zhou Quan. He wanted to take this opportunity to harden that chubby buddy of his and help him brace himself for the world of great peril.
"Hmm… nah man… I heard that the fruit would not come to fruition until tomorrow, so why don't we conserve strength and build up our energy today?" Zhou Quan suggested.
"No bullsh*t. Hurry up and come over!" Chu Feng shouted. If the war were to break out tomorrow, today would be the perfect time for him to wind up the bow and let it shine again.