(Author's note: the woman in that suit of white is called Lu Shiyun indeed. No errors have been made here. Lu Shiyun is her real name while Gong Xiaoxi was only a bogus name made up by the character herself)
The man arrived at the scene almost simultaneously as his voice was heard. Clearly, a man who could travel beyond the speed of sound must have had a firm and tenacious body; otherwise, the friction in the air as he travelled at a speed so great would almost reduce his body to a mere pile of ashes.
All those survivors who had the fortune to still breath air now all wore a cheerful smile on their face. With the help of this seemingly skilful master, they might still be able to escape from this hellish place alive.
"Uncle Qianye," Jiang Luoshen greeted the man with a faint smile.
This newcomer to the battleground looked in his forties. He was a man of medium height. His skin was tan in color. Although his face was not exactly the stunning type, it was still evident that he was not just an ordinary man. His eyes were bright and sparkling. One could tell that he was a man of unmatched vigor and power simply by looking through the gaze of his eyes.
Vaguely, there was a glowing radiance exuding from the top layer of his skin. This gleaming glitter attracted people's attention; some had even totally overlooked the looks of his face.
"Are you expecting me to just sit back and watch my fellow beasts dying in the hands of your men? Are we not allowed to retaliate and avenge for the wrongs inflicted on us? Is this what you call 'mind corrupted by malicious intent and thoughts of murder'? Am I not in the right to fight for my fellow beasts and punish those who have bullied us?" The voice of the white snake was bitingly cold as it watched this newcomer with an even colder look in its eyes. It had curled up its tail, forming a sizeable hill just on its own.
"Look around you and see this blood-stained canyon. How many innocent souls have died simply because of your vengeful spirit? How many beasts have you lost thus far? Only a few hundred at most. Have you still not had enough?" Qianye rebuked.
"For years, humans have taken the meat of birds and beasts to appease their hunger. If we were to argue on this matter of which side has suffered more, I think you're in no position to argue!" the white snake refuted.
Qianye opened his mouth, but there was nothing much on which he could refute what the snake had said.
He was a man, but he stood in face of a mutated beast. If he were to put himself in the shoes of these beasts, he would agree with the words spoken by the white snake too.
"You are a disciple of Buddha, so you should know that everything has its wit and intelligence. Everything has a soul that is wrenched and shattered once you resolve to eat its meat. All living beings were born equal, so how dare you pretend to be staunchly righteous here and scold at me?" the white snake calmly asked.
At the back, that crowd of mutants were standing in awe of the eloquence of this monstrous beast. The white snake was an extraordinary being alright; so much so that even the disciple of Buddha was being scolded by it.
Qianye frowned and said, "You have borne the vicious fruit of hatred in you, and that I can say with profound confidence. You have divulged your murderous thoughts and your malicious intent in wanting to massacre the inhabitants of an entire civilized city. My heart palpitated when I heard about your vicious intent, thus I arrive here today, to stop you from inflicting any further harms on those pitiful worldly beings."
"From time immemorial, the law of the jungle has always stated that only the fittest would survive. In fact, this is perhaps the most sincere and honest law in governing the order of the world, and I, too, abide by it," calmly said by the white snake.
"Humans, on the other hand, have taken too many shortcuts to reach the level of sophistication at which they were in present times, but the world is about to change; the order of all worldly beings is about to be reversed," the white snake continued.
These were words that had stated the facts and truths unreserved. All the mutants had known that after the upheavals, the world was destined to be reshuffled and rearranged according to a different set of world orders; even so, their hearts still palpitated when these words had been explicitly stated by a beast.
"How would you stop?" Qianye asked. He realized that things were starting to look bleaker and bleaker, because the snake was way too calm and composed.
"I will continue on with my senseless killing until we the beasts can receive all the reveres and justices to which we were owed. The massacre of the citizens of your cities will not change!" the white snake coldly said. Its bitingly chilling words echoed in the canyons between the towering mountains on the sides.
The negotiations had broken down. Qianye looked all sullen and gloomy. He was unimpressed by the snake's dogged insistence on committing those senseless killing, nor would he be pleased to see any more lives of innocent beings wasting away in the hand of a cold-blooded murderer. He was left with no other alternatives than to fight this beast to the bitter end.
The white snake was in position to fight its foe too. Its body suddenly gained a gleaming glitter of silver light, laminating all the dark spaces in its vicinity. It then started swinging its thick and strong tail, like a silver waterfall, blasting its way down to spot where Qinye was standing.
Qianye was prompt in his response. With just a single stride, he landed himself somewhere miles away from the spot where that failed negotiation had taken place.
Hills and mountains burst and collapsed. The terrifying scene of rolling boulders off the precipitous cliffs of the towering mountains was accompanied by earth-shattering sounds. Black fissures cracked and sprawled across the earth, like a destructive episode of earthquake that was sung as a prelude to the symphony of an imminent doomsday. No-one with ordinary power could stop this from happening.
Qianye hastily rushed towards the white snake in the very next moment. His fist and his body were both gleaming with a metallic luster. He scurried at unmatched speed, with a bright and brilliant light exuding from his body. He made a circuitous route around the snake and tried to strike his blows on its side.
The white snake did not try to dodge the man's strike. It flung sideway with its body; clearly, it was unafraid to meet the tough with toughness.
It was as if a giant drum had been beaten by an equally sizeable clapper in mid-air, sounding both muffled and forceful. The vibration in the air caused by this thunderous sound of a beaten drum trembled the earth and quivered the mountains.
Then, another raucous bang exploded in mid-air. Qianye had been flung into air, traversing through the air like a limp strand of noodle being hurled thoughtlessly by a whimsical kid. There was a look of shock and terror on his face. There was also blood spewing from wounds between his thumb and index finger. That tendon that tied the two fingers in place had been ripped apart, and this was only the visible trauma that the snake had inflicted on him.
"I thought you were a real disciple of Buddha reincarnated from two thousand years ago," the white snake remarked. It sounded somewhat disappointed as it shook its head and continued, "I suppose that for a man to live this long doesn't sound exactly like a real thing either."
"Having deciphered the essence of Buddha is what allowed me to be called as his disciple," Qianye responded.
"I suppose that so-called 'essence of Buddha' is no more than just some fist positions used by the Buddha; but still, you are still far from being called a true disciple of him," the white snake coldly remarked.
The snake dove down towards the injured man. It opened its gaping mouth and jetted out a beam of silver light. This ray of light was so powerful that everything that stood in its way was easily ruined and destroyed. Rocks had been reduced to mere lava and mountains had been degraded to a level ground.
Qianye quickly withdrew herself from beneath the crushing force. He dared not to fight toe to toe against this monstrosity of a beast, yet.
Qianye was a man of unparalleled speed. With just a few somersaults, he landed on the peak of a mountain nearby, evading the crushing force down by the white snake.
The white snake was so fast that the beast almost seemed to have been hovering mid-air as it dove down with its crushing force. The sheer weight of the snake along with the momentum of its downward thrust crushed the earth into a marvellous mixture of broken stones and pulverized fragments of shattered boulders.
The snake kept on striking while the iron was still hot. It slithered through acres of dense forests then winded its gigantic body around the mountain onto which Qianyi had landed. Its giant head dove down towards Qianyi, as if it was going to swallow him whole.
Qianyi resisted the snake's assault with his fist while his body glowed with a glamorous glitter; however, the snake's crushing force still sent him flying like a weightless feather. In terms of sheer strength, Qianyi was no match for the snake.
The snake's strangling body twisted then snapped the towering mountain into half. Then, with only a slight exertion of force, the white snake managed to rise high into the air like a dragon soaring into the heaven.
The snake had almost caught up with Qianye who had been losing ground in successive defeats.
Qianye bellowed and thundered, like the dominant king of a pack of formidable lions, striking fear in his enemy through his deafening bellow. The sonic wave of his clamorous howl trembled the earth and quivered the mountains.
The white snake was only slightly hindered by the sonic waves, but they did not stop the beast from its unmatched aggression.
Coupling its crushing force with an unparalleled speed, the white snake landed right on top of Qianye's body, which, when compared to that of the snake, seemed almost as insignificant as a despicable grain of dust. But, when the snake finally crushed down with its weight, the scene was almost as dynamic and astonishing as the beginning of the dawn of heaven.
The place was enveloped in a veil of mist and dust. The mountains had crumbled, and Qianye was crushed under the weight of the white snake.
There was the silhouette of a man struggling his way out of the fissure of the mountain before hastily escaping for his life.
Qianye was obviously at a disadvantage.
The white snake swung and slithered its body, then it used its tail as a support for its weight before it sprung up into the air once again. The beast seemed almost as if it were flying in the air as it rushed forward for its prey.
With a body of this size, it was truly astonishing to witness that it could also drive forth with such unmatched speed and agility. With only a single leap, the snake had made its way thousands of meters across. Then like a dragon crushing down from the heaven above, it dove down towards Qianye once again.
Qianye softly murmured in his mouth as he dove down for somewhere lower in altitude. This allowed him with plenty of time to set himself with an appropriate fist position. A sphere of blinding light formed between the palms of his hands, then this spherical glow of light was directed straight towards the head of the white snake.
The white snake opened its gaping mouth, jetting out another ray of silver light. The light had pierced through the sound barrier as it exploded in mid-air with a deafening rumble that shook the entire mountain range.
The snake's snow-white whipping tail landed right on top of Qianye's body. He was launched into the air like an artillery shell, crushed into the body of a nearby mountain. With this single strike, the snake reduced this Buddha disciple to a crippled man continuously spitting blood.
The mountain into which he had crushed shattered and cracked. Then, Qianye was seen listlessly sliding down along the slope of the mountain.
The white snake was fast and persistent. It slithered forward towards the dying man, eager to deliver the final blow.
The rocky surface of the mountain was crushed then shattered as the snake drove its body into it. Qianye let out a long and loud cry as his right fist started glowing once again before it was delivered with great strength towards the white snake's eye.
The snake dodged his fist with just a bow of its head.
Qianye leaped into the air, taking this as an opportunity for his escape. Without hesitation, Qianye withdrew himself from this deadly situation.
Behind him, the whole mountain crushed down, with pebbles rolling and dust enveloping the air. The white snake swung its body then sprung into the air, and like a formidable dragon, it struck again. The speed at which it travelled was a depressing and despairing sight for anyone who had claimed to be the enemy of this beast.
The white snake had truly struck terror into the crowd's heart. The mutants admitted that Qianye was a powerful and formidable fighter alright, but being merely a fighter was not enough to defeat this sanctified beast.
People knew that this so-called disciple of Buddha was not an ancient from two thousand years ago. He was a man of modern times, just like them as well.
"Only Buddha himself could suppress this beast," someone from the crowd murmured.
It was once said that Buddha could throw an elephant when he was young. He was a man with undeniable power and might. There were tales and fables about him of all kinds, until in the end, he became this mystified, yet greatly sanctified figure that only lived in people's stories and tales.
One could easily imagine what power he must have possessed if he was capable of throwing an elephant single-handedly.
"After all, Qianye was just another mutant who have lived in this world before us," someone from the crowd said. At the same time, he was also trying to escape. He had now lost all hope in defeating this cruel monstrosity of a snake.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
The mutants were all taking this as an opportunity to withdraw themselves from the latent danger posed by the snake. The arrival of Qianye did no harm to the snake, but at least, it served as a good distraction. How stupid one must be to not seize this opportunity to run for one's life?
Chu Feng's judgement had told him to do the same. He was one of the first few who realized that the circumstance was not ideal on their side, and besides, there was nothing he could do to help. Therefore, Chu Feng had been seeking his way to escape long before everyone else started following.
Lingering on would only get himself killed.
In the mountains, Qianye tottered and staggered. He had been hit by that silver column of light once again. He was drenched in blood, and that radiant glow emitted from his body had also faded.
"You are just a nonentity here. How dare you call yourself a disciple of Buddha? I would feel greatly ashamed if I were Buddha himself," the white snake said. The beast's attack had become increasingly fierce with passage of time.
Pong! Pong! Pong!
Qianye was constantly subject to fierce attack by the snake. He was sent flying into the air only to find himself crashing into another mountain of rocky surface; then he was launched into the air once again, and the cycle continued. It was impossible for him to fight back. It was only a matter of time before he died of the painful trauma inflicted by the snake.
"Your instinct had allowed you to perceive the incoming missiles long before they were near. You were allowed with ample time to dodge them, but why didn't you?" Qianye asked before he spat out another mouthful of blood.
He was worried, but he was curious as well. He now knew what a terrifying beast this snake was to fight against. The beast was not only powerful but also agile and swift. This deadly combination of power and speed was really earth-shattering.
Besides, the snake also had the instinct of an all-seeing god that enabled it to dodge all attacks and assaults directed against it.
"I only want to try and see how long my body could sustain under the firepower of your weaponry," the white snake replied. The beast's voice was easy on the ear, but it made Qianye tremble with fear.
This snake must have planned something bigger than just to massacre the crowd here today. Otherwise, it would not risk its life by bracing itself directly against the power of missile strikes.
"What is your plan? What are you going to do?" Qianye asked.
The white snake ignored his question. The beast started striking once again. It thrust itself forward, suffusing the air with murderous intents. The cold glitter of its scales had turned the entire mountain range a hellish place filled with bone-piercing chill.
The mutant cried. Like a batch of desperados, everyone was desperate to run for their lives.
The white snake did not chase after them.
This battle was fierce but also extremely tragic. It was a wretched sight to see the piling bodies of thousands of mutants. More than five thousand mutants had come here to fight for the fruit, but fewer than a thousand had made it out alive.
Afterwards, another round of missiles was launched into the mountains in an effort to strike down the beast in there, but the white snake had long gone.
No-one knew whether Qianye had lived or died. No-one had seen him walking out of the mountains after the battle.
Chu Feng only cared to live and to breath the air for another day. He ran like the wind, flashing through acres of woods and forest before he was finally far away from the mountains and from the scenes. Later, he found a place where no-one was near to change his clothes before quietly making his way home.
"The appearance of that white snake signalled that this region would no longer be safe." Chu Feng was thinking to leave this place behind.
Where was Yellow Ox though? Chu Feng grew a little worried about the safety of his pal.
Suddenly, he raised his head and looked in the direction of his house. In the yard, there was a silhouette.