Lin Naoi's body glowed with glittering brilliance as her body suspended in mid air. While wind glanced by her slender figure and delicate skin, her hair and her dress began to dance along with the bellowing wind.
Silver Wing was drenched in blood; even that pure head of silver hair was now stained with a scarlet red. There were many wounds on his body, and each gaping wound on his body was a startling sight to behold.
The two stood abreast, hovering side by side in the sky above the Mountains of White Snake. Both of the two were exhibiting an imposing temperament despite the injury that crippled Silver Wing almost to death.
Chu Feng stood in the canyon below. He drew his bow and arrows in hand, quietly watching the movements of his enemies overhead. Chu Feng realized that Silver Wing was hovering at an altitude right beyond the reach of his arrow, making the killing of him a tad more difficult.
One of the many advantages that was allowed by possessing the ability to fly was to take shelter under the dome of the heaven above. No matter how powerful the opponent was, as long as he was stranded on the earth, he would not, by any means, harm the person in the sky.
Suddenly, silence befell. Both parties of the fight were now locked in an awkward standoff.
The canyons between the Mountains of White Snake were crowded with mutants who were observing. Their efforts to steal the fruit for themselves had ceased, and instead, they became an attentive audience for the epic duel that was on air in an outdoor studio not far in the distance.
Lin Naoi had a tall and lanky physique. Her skin was white as snow, but her beauty was marred by her coldness. Her elegant indifference made her spotless and flawless face seem like an ice carving crafted by the coldest, yet most skilful artist who had ever existed.
She did not want to make the man below the enemy of hers. The current situation, as disastrous as it had turned out at this stage, had all been the result of Mu's conceit and vanity. He was the culprit of this unexpected series of mishaps and losses.
Even Silver Wing had almost become the product of Mu's recklessness.
A layer of gleaming radiance started forming around her body; it served as an invisible force lifting both Silver Wing and her to a greater height in the sky to avoid another shot of arrow.
"How serious is your wound?" she cocked her head and asked Silver Wing. There was a blend of caring and concern in her eyes as she checked on the wounds that had been inflicted on Silver Wing.
Silver Wing shook his head. "It's not that bad."
Some of the injuries seemed life-threatening in the eyes of an ordinary person. There were a few punctures that had thoroughly penetrated through the thickness of his body, and a part of his silver wing had also been torn apart, bleeding profusely.
Although some of the injuries had slightly healed up, they were still serious wounds nevertheless. His chest, for instance, had been punctured by the bone arrow during the fight.
Lin Naoi drew a crystal bottle from within her bag. There were drops of purple substance within there, and after the bottle was opened, Lin Naoi carefully drizzled some of those substance onto the injuries inflicted to Silver Wing.
The purple substance was a special type of drug, and it worked miracles. After it had been applied to the injuries, the wounds slowly sealed up.
Silver Wing had achieved respectable progress in their drug developments ever since the discovery of mutated fruits. Taking advantage of the miraculous active ingredient in those fruits had allowed them to invent new medicine that worked miracles day after day.
Soon, groups of flying mutants from Deity started converging around Lin Naoi and Silver Wing, forming a protective encirclement around their mistress and their ace fighter. Although Silver Wing had been at such a considerable altitude above the earth that no arrows or even bullets could have reached them, he was still offered with the maximum level of protection to ensure his safety at a critical moment like this.
People from Bodhi had arrived as well. Some were with wings that allowed them to fly, heading directly towards Silver Wing and the group of minions around him; others were traversing on the ground, and they were rapidly yet silently approaching Chu Feng, as if they were poised for a fight to challenge this beast themselves.
Ding Sitong was among the group of mutants as well. She breezed along with the clustering crowd, then she paused at a spot near where Chu Feng had stood.
In the canyons, many of the other mutants had been witnessing the scene as well. Some of them showed a look of astonishment and disbelief, while others whispered to the people around them, exchanging views and ideas.
Most of them agreed that this was not a sign of aggression, but instead, it was a show of friendliness in attempt to make Chu Feng a man of theirs.
In the distance, a slender man with a head of swept-back hair who had been hiding in the mountains finally showed himself. He could not help but wail, "Ding Sitong, my goddess! Look here!"
Zhou Quan was exceptionally excited and surprised. He had not left after he rolled down that hill; instead, he chose another hilltop to conceal his presence, and watched as the epic battle erupted then ended. At first, he had been worrying about the safety of his man, but after having seen that extraordinary round of a battle, his jaw almost dropped in astonishment.
The sight of the "national goddess", Ding Sitong, heading towards the direction where Chu Feng stood had excited him even more. He could maintain his composure calm and collected no longer.
"He is Angel Ox. I'm a member of the bovine family too!" Zhou Quan gently caressed that pair of horns of his. For the first time ever, he did not find them that hideous any more.
He even began to take pride of his horns.
In the jungle, Chu Feng raised his alarm. He wanted to stay at a respectful distance from both Deity and Bodhi; at this stage, it was still too early to take a side.
Influential tycoons like them were like a fathomless ocean. They were supposed to decipher the enigma of the world outside, but they themselves were no less of a mystery. No-one could say for sure whether joining their party was for better or for worse.
If it was not for being directed against by Mu, then Angel Ox, Chu Feng, would have shook out his sleeves and stormed off from this troublesome place. There would not have been so much action and noise revolving around him.
"Jiang Luoshen," still hovering under the dome of heaven, Lin Naoi opened her mouth and said to the crowd below.
The crowd was sent to a fit of bewilderment. Who was Jiang Luoshen?
People turned their head to the direction where Lin Naoi was addressing. People eagerly searched in the crowd… Was it…Ding Sitong?
Sure enough, Ding Sitong responded by saying, "So you're Lin Naoi?" Ding Sitong said with a visceral smile.
The crowd turned astounded. Did the "national goddess" have another name that was unknown to the world outside? Was Jiang Luoshen her true name?
There were a few from the crowd who were familiar with the secrets. They told the people around them that she was indeed named "Jiang Luoshen". Di Sitong was only a stage name of hers.
The family of Jiang was a major contributor to Bodhi Genes. The family was conservative in their customs and traditions. All female members of the family were asked to stay hidden from the public's attention to ensure that they would not become the subject to any sorts of public reproach.
The crowd now started to understand better.
Luoshen  was a name pleasant to say and tuneful to hear. It was a splendid name alright, but not everyone deserved to be named so.
Indeed, as the daughter of a renowned family, Jiang Luoshen did possess the temperament and the graceful carriage that matched the name. Otherwise, she would not have been gloriously entitled as the "national goddess".
"You're being impatient," Lin Naoi said as she hung in mid-air. Her coldness was as biting as ever. She ran her fingers through her hair as her charming gaze fixated on the clustering hoard below.
Her words were simple. They served as only a reminder to Angel Ox and nothing more.
The advantage had been in the hands of Deity for months, and now single-handedly, Mu had turned everything into a predicament of no-return.
Mu was dead, and Silver Wing was awfully injured. Lin Naoi would certainly not express any interest in hiring Angel Ox to her camp, but she did not want to see Bodhi to do so either.
"Are you worried?" Jiang Luoshen faintly smiled. The resplendence in her dazzling smile threw a lot of male onlookers from the crowd into a stage of absent-mindedness.
She was rather light-hearted. In face of Lin Naoi's blatant confrontation, she chose not to cover up the intention that had been breeding inside her.
The situation had truly, on the other hand, proved to be nothing short of knotty problems. Would she have to duel Angel Ox to death so that all latent dangers could be eliminated, or was there another way to avoid clashes as well as future troubles. Lin Naoi found herself in a rather troublesome dilemma.
Hire him to work under her commands? This seemed almost impossible at this stage after what the lousy move that Mu had made for her.
However, Lin Naoi did not lose her cool. She was still calm and composed. "Congratulations then. Hopefully, the sacrifice you made with that devastating beauty of yours would not prove to be futile in the end."
Some of the onlookers in the crowd were baffled by Lin Naoi's words, but soon they came to realization of the meaning behind them.
The so-called "national goddess" was a mutant herself. She was a nine-tailed fox, so naturally, she had the ability mirroring that of a slutty fox to allure men and other horny creatures alike to her ensnaring traps. The words served as a warning to Chu Feng; but of course, Lin Naoi's words were not all ill-meant. Part of it was still her acknowledgement of her beauty.
The way she said these words sounded casual and flippant, so to think of what she truly meant by her words was, in the end, a matter of personal interpretation.
Jiang Luoshen, however, did not seem to mind the insult. She had always been fully displaying her female charm, and today was no different. With a graceful carriage, she walked gently towards Chu Feng.
She came near where Chu Feng stood. She was direct, without beating around the bush, expressing her interest in hiring Chu Feng to join her camp. She was frank and straightforward, meanwhile displaying a charming smile on her alluring face while she spoke.
Chu Feng could feel a vibe of strangeness spreading across his body. He had to admit that ever since the upheavals had shook up the world and turned it into something utterly different, his eyes had truly been open; it was a strange feeling welling up inside him. It stimulated the impure and dark side of his heart—the part where greediness and desire filled. "This must have been done by her mystical power as a fox," Chu Feng thought to himself, "she was seducing me with something sinister and something impure."
"Being sent with invitation from the 'national goddess' was something more than I've ever wished for, but I think I've spent enough time here today, so now, please allow me to leave at once."
Chu Feng recollected his unsettled mind and calmly spoke. Beside a great show of honor and dignity through his words, there were also a subtle undertone of ridicule, directed at Jiang Luoshen.
"How about we exchange our name cards, so on some day in the near future, come and have a cup of tea with me?" Chu Feng flippantly said.
His words stirred up a great deal of sensation in the crowd nearby. What a shameless request it was to ask the "national goddess" to exchange name cards so that he could invite her to tea.
People from Deity, however, vented out a sigh of relief. They could tell that Angel Ox was of no interest to join the camp of their sworn enemy. He was politely declining the offer.
"Alright, this is my name card." To everyone's astonishment, Jiang Luoshen received his words with a rather good manner. The charming smile on her face showed no signs in dwindling. She drew a card from her pocket and handed it out.
A mutant standing beside her hurriedly took the card and scurried over to pass it on to Chu Feng.
"Alright. Whenever you're free, your tea will be on me," Chu Feng candidly said. Then without demur, he turned around and walked away. If there were no way he could render Silver Wing a dead man today, lingering here any longer would only prove to be a sheer waste of his time.
At the same time, he did not want to be a part of the conflict between Deity and Bodhi either. Being a part of either side was like a swirlpool. Once he was caught in there, there would be no place for turning back.
"Brother, take my name card too," shouted someone from the crowd. It was Zhou Yitian nagging about behind Chu Feng.
Chu Feng turned around and saw it was the same old pesky director who had been nagging at Zhou Quan to act as an ox in his film. Without demur, Chu Feng took to his heels. He wanted none of those cinematic business to be muddling with his life, so the best thing to do now was to leave this place at once.
The crowd of mutants was astounded at first, then they could not help but burst into a fit of laughter. What force had driven the almighty Angel Ox into such a hurry to get away?
"Please don't run from me, Angel Ox!" Zhou Yitian chased and shouted.
"Don't come after me. The goddess of the nation is right behind me. Go ask her to star in your film!" Chu Feng hastily scurried off into distance. In the twinkling of an eye, he disappeared out of sight without a trace.
"Hahaha…" the visceral laughter continued.
"Of course! I will ask her majesty to join our cast!" Zhou Yitian yelled towards the fading silhouette of Chu Feng.
He was truly a man of his words. Having failed to catch up with the admirable Angel Ox, he turned his head to Jiang Luoshen. He was fervent in his request, inviting her to play a part in his film in an earnest attitude.
Jiang Luoshen's beauty was highlighted by that ever-lasting smile on her face, but even so, she still turned a little sully upon Zhou Yitian's seamless request. A few black lines of frustration crept up to her snow-white forehead.
"I'm serious, my mistress!" Zhou Yitian then went on reiterating his self-claimed fact that the movie was going to make history with its resplendent brilliance.
"Look! I think she is more suitable to the post than I am." Jiang Luoshen smiled as she pointed above to the sky where Lin Naoi and her minions were hanging.
"Unearthly beauty. Godlike features. Celestial presence. Graceful carriage! Yes! Of course she would! She is definitely going to be the actress of our main casting crew!" Zhou Yitian earnestly said.
When he turned his head again, Jiang Luoshen had walked away with big strides, leaving him with no more chances of nagging about.
He wanted to chase after, but his dogged effort was prevented by the other mutants around.
"What should we do, director?" a member of the shooting crew whispered.
"Don't worry, we've shot everything we need for the film. I will put the scene of the two goddesses in the final cut as well!" Zhou Yitian said in a confident and overbearing manner.
But soon, he realized that people might have been eavesdropping the conversation. Unnecessary troubles might be inflicted as a result. He carefully looked around him and realized that no-one had really been taking notice of their presence. This rendered him confident again, so he shouted, "Let's go! Let's keep up our good work and resume our shooting!"
On the periphery of the Mountains, Yellow Ox suddenly paused. The calf seemed to have been alerted by something; there had always been a predominant feeling of unease bugging it throughout its dashing journey to the outside. The atmosphere around this particular area felt especially strange and out-of-place.
The calf had a bad premonition. There was profound peril lurking in the area ahead!
However, if the calf stopped now, Kong Kim would have soon caught up with it. It was a worrying dilemma. Neither staying nor progressing onwards would yield no good for the calf.
Suddenly, a black yak showed itself amongst the bushes ahead; the yak looked leisurely and carefree. It was grazing grasses, and its fur was as shiny as that on Yellow Ox.
The look in Yellow Ox's eyes suddenly turned devilish. The calf was full of deceit and evil tricks; it was his natural composition. Right now, as it was watching the grazing yak, its brain was rapidly churning out a myriad amount of prankish tricks.
The calf silently put away the iron chest, hiding it somewhere inconspicuous to an unobservant eye. Then, it began to undress itself, taking off the stuffy leather clothes, fully displaying its gleaming golden body.
The calf fiercely shook and trembled, and suddenly, the golden hue disappeared; instead, it became a black ox all of a sudden.
Obviously, the color of its fur was only things about the calf that had changed. Its staunch physique as a mere calf still remained unchanged.
The color of its horns had changed too; they were no longer a golden pair, but rather, it had turned into something that bore no visual difference to that of a normal calf.
After having changed thoroughly into an utterly different entity from top to bottom, Yellow Ox walked out of its hiding with a defiant and arrogant swagger.
It slowly moved its way towards the black yak, meanwhile, pretending to graze the fresh grasses just like a normal bovine creature. Calm and composed, Yellow Ox was now nothing more than an ordinary cow.
The black yak ignored the presence of this new company, pretending that it had not seen that another animal of its equivalent species had showed itself sharing the same grassland as itself.
Kong Kim roared and bellowed before he finally showed in sight. It had been a rather irritating chase sequence for the man since it was a tad too unacceptable for the fruit of his desire to be just snatched away from him like that.
The tree on which the fruit grew had been clutched onto with his hand. There were only inches between him and the desirable fruit before suddenly, a complete nobody managed to almost knock him out and rob the yield off his hand.
When he passed by the grassland, he grew a little suspicious. He paused his hasted pace because he could sense the presence of danger on the peripheral of the mountains as well. The latent danger was right ahead of him.
Just as he was feeling perplexed, a grazing calf behind him had quietly stood upright on its hind hooves.
Without a second of hesitation, the calf begAn to thrust its formidable hooves repeatedly onto the back of Kong Kim's head.
An acute headache then immediately followed. He could see flashes of light and dazzlings of stars. It was a beautiful scene in an astronomical sense, but the feeling of pain that soon ensued was not that beautiful in comparison. The world in front of him had been turned upside down.
It only took a few seconds for the calf to thump at least five times on the back of Kong Kim's head. The strength that each thumping delivered was so powerful that it could easily shatter a giant boulder that weighed over tens of thousands of jin. Had the victim of the calf's pounding thump been a second person, his skull would have been cracked, and his brain within would have splattered.
Even if he had an indestructible body, the pain was still excruciating.
Kong Kim flew into a fit of fury. He could not believe that he had been made a target for a surprise attack for the second time today. Especially when he turned his head around and noticed that the troublemaker was nothing more than a mere calf, his eyes almost popped out of their socket in anger.
"Motherf*cker! A… black calf!?"
Kong Kim soon started to recall that there was something special about the "man" he was chasing moments earlier. He remembered that the "thing" was running on all four? Or was he just imagining things?
He had thought that the man he encountered was some master of a mysterious magic that allowed it to scurry along the precipitous cliff at such great speed. He thought that using both hands and feet would probably allow him to better carry out this dark magic.
Who would have thought that it was not a mutated man, but rather a mutated beast!
Kong Kim was exasperated. He fumed with rage since he had been bullied by this overbearing calf twice today, so how could he stand not to avenge for the wrongs that it had done to him?!
He endured the unbearable pain at the back of his head then thrusted his body onto Yellow Ox. He was prepared to fight a fierce battle with the nasty beast to settle all grudges between them.
Yellow Ox was a little diffident. He had taken notice of Kong Kim's exorbitant level of power and strength. He was also an indestructible meat wall too. The fact that he had survived so many thumps to the head was, by itself, a terrifying sign to suggest his domineering power and ability. The calf could feel that it was in a tight fix.
"Boom! Boom! Boom!…"
Right at this moment, the gigantic yak suddenly started committing to action. Although the yak was a monstrosity of a thing, it was nothing short of speed. Just as Kong Kim turned his back on the yak and poised for the fight against Yellow Ox, the black yak at once stood on its hind hooves, then added another few thumps to the back of the poor man's head.
The yak was massive in size, so the force it delivered with its sizeable hooves was nothing short of strength either.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Another few thumps were mercilessly landed. The sound it made was like that of a muffled thunder.
Kong Kim's eyes showed their whites. His body wavered and quaked as he tottered and staggered. He was on the verge of collapse, but he still managed to turn his head around and look over his shoulders.
But, this was only met with another forceful thump right onto his forehead.
What was happening? Yellow Ox widened its eyes. At first, the calf thought it was imagining things. Everything seemed like sheer fantasy to it.
Yellow Ox was struck dumb, and so was Kong Kim; but for him, it was more in a literal way.
 Literal meaning: the Goddess of Luo River. Personal name, unknown. She was the first wife of Cao Pi, who was the first ruler of the state of Cao Wei in the Three Kingdoms period. In 226, she was posthumously honored as Empress Wenzhao when her son, Cao Rui, succeeded Cao Pi as the emperor of Wei.