The soft evening breeze dissipated the miasma, allowing the brilliant moonlight to shine through the crown of the trees and cast its brilliance onto the earth. The lightly misty air looked as if a sheet of vapor rising between the mountains, giving the canyons a hazy view when looking from a distance.
The strange vine was still a fresh and tender being. Under the gaze of the brilliant moon, it looked all the more sparkling and crystal-clear.
The bud on the tip of the vine formed the center of a green halo. It greeted the luminous moonlight with delicate fragrance, displacing the reek of the miasma with its soothing scent.
Breathing in the sweetness of the flower opened the pores throughout Chu Feng's body. He was in high spirits, full of joy and vigor. The scent had cleansed his soul, rendering him pure and untainted.
However, the comfort and calm only lasted temporarily. Soon later, Chu Feng was in a state of nerves again. His eyes were like a pair of searchlights, scanning through the darkness to ensure that he was still in the safety.
He was worrying that once the bud burst into full bloom, the delicate fragrance would become overwhelming, and soon, terrifying creatures would start to populate the area.
Fortunately, the vine was only born just then. It had not been growing here for long.
Otherwise, with a plant so mysterious and so strange, it would only take days before beasts and birds of prey blanketed hill and dale around the area.
Chu Feng clutched his thunderous bow in his hand, vigilantly watching for any rustlings of change. He had readied himself to fight the fiercest battle on earth to defend his ownership of this plant.
For ages, he had been wishing for this moment to come. How could he easily give up when his wish was just about to be realized?
For thousands of years, the seed had been buried under the soil at the foot of Kunlun Mountains. Its mysterious origin fascinated Chu Feng. He had always been longing to experience personally what mysterious power this seed could exert on him.
The serenity of the night was suddenly brought to a halt when a faint rustle sounded in between a thick growth of grass nearby. Chu Feng tugged on at the bowstring, ready to shoot.
He was overly nervous. It was only a toad hiding in the grass. It was only as big as a human fist, average for an ordinary toad.
Chu Feng frowned with concentration. "What if the scent of the flower catalyzes the process of mutation for even the most despicable animal like this toad?" Chu Feng thought to himself.
He used his transcendent instinct to plot a mind map of the nearby terrain and the location of all creatures lurking nearby.
Just over five meters away, there was a nest of ants. Although these insects had yet to mutate, they were still the size of a fingernail. If the whole colony inside the nest mutated, they would pose as a horrific threat to all creatures nearby.
There were a pair of wild birds nesting on a branch that were over ten meters away. They were half a meter in length. These wild birds were some of the most common birds that inhabited the mountains, and they were far from being a bird of prey, but they could be just as ferocious once they mutated.
Further away, there were a few squirrels scurrying in and out of a stack of pebbles and stones.
Suddenly, Chu Feng palpitated with fear. Over a hundred meters away inside a small picturesque cave, there was a python. It had a stripy body with the circumference larger than that of a pail. Earlier on, Chu Feng had been concentrating on the growth of the strange vine thus he had totally neglected the presence of such a lurking threat.
Snake were ectothermic animals. When it hibernated, its body's metabolism lowered to a minimum level. Its presence as it stayed in its stationary posture could easily be overlooked by even the most alerted person.
Chu Feng could only notice it after tensing the muscles of his body and wholeheartedly scanning the area with his superhuman instinct.
"This snake is already a beast as it is; I can't imagine what it can evolve into after further mutation," Chu Feng thought to himself with a frown.
Luckily, there were no giant beasts lurking nearby, nor were there any birds of prey patrolling the sky. Chu Feng was safe for now.
However, soon after, Chu Feng began to show a look of bewilderment. The snake looked like a beast out of the ordinary, but why was it still hibernating without showing any interest in the flower at all?
At the same time, Chu Feng noticed that all the other creatures in the region was, too, unmoved and unconcerned about the overwhelming scent of the flower. They were not even bothered to cast a greedy eye over the flower.
"This doesn't feel right!" Chu Feng exclaimed.
Yellow Ox had once mentioned that a lot of creatures had sharper instincts than humans. They would always be the first to notice the existence of some special pollen or a strange fruit.
But at present, none of these creatures seemed to care at all.
Was it possible that the bud on the tip of the vine had no evolutionary values for them?
This shouldn't be the case either!
Chu Feng cast his gaze solely on the bud and soon, he noticed something unusual.
Plumes of misty vapors suffused the air with a fragrant smell, flowing incessantly into Chu Feng's mouth and nostrils, surrounding him with sheer fragrance and sweetness.
He crooked his head sideways a bit, and the scent immediately disappeared as he moved out of the visible trail of the misty vapors.
"This is strange!"
Chu Feng was astounded. He realized that the scent of the flower were not just some free-floating gaseous particles, but instead, they formed visible trails perceivable by human eyes.
Chu Feng tested his hypothesis a few times, and in the end, his conjectures were proven. The sweet smell of fragrance was only just those plumes of misty vapors. Only the air around Chu Feng's body had been permeated with the mists. The further one stood away from the plant, the thinner the mists, and thus the fainter the fragrance.
But even when Chu Feng stood only inches away from the vine, he could still barely smell the scent of anything if he was not in the trail of the floating mist.
Chu Feng was surprised and bewildered. He was amazed by how strange this vine truly was!
This made him feel slightly at ease.
But his worst fear might still come when the bud burst into full bloom, and when the pollens fluttered in the wind to spread all over the region. When that time came, only god would know how many beasts would have evolved as a result.
What if a few bestial animals made their way here just in time for some showering of the raining pollens? It would have been a conundrum if all the beasts suddenly evolved into kings of animals that were equally powerful as the White Snake in the Mountains of Taihang.
"May the bud burst into full bloom soon, when the forest is still calm and quiet." Chu Feng prayed. He was nervous and perturbed. He wished for no accidents at this critical juncture.
Because the longer he waited, the more variable factors would crop up to disturb him.
Once the king of this mountain range was disturbed, and all the beasts were prompted to roar at once. With thousands of beasts stampeding into the canyon, the scene would truly be blood-curdling.
Suddenly, the scent of the flower grew many times thicker. The fissures in the bud widened, signalling that it was about to bloom. Plumes of misty vapours quickly accumulated in the air.
In the next moment, the mountains begun to reverberate with a special sound.
The glittering green vine had undergone an astonishing change!
Suddenly, it changed from green to white. In the twinkling of an eye, the plant evolved into a radiant beam of light.
Chu Feng was surprised and dumbstruck.
The vine was only exuding a green plume of misty air just seconds ago, and now it had suddenly changed to something thoroughly brilliant, something luminous enough to illuminate every corner of the jungle on this mountain.
It changed just in the twinkling of an eye!
The vine, the bud and the leaves were all white as snow. Everything was glittering and shiny. It was like a beam of searchlight cast from a lighthouse in the middle of an undulating sea. Against the background of the dark jungle, it shone brightly, giving hope and guidance to all the lost souls wandering alone in the darkness of the jungle. Even the root hair of the plant had begun to undulate like a continuous flow of silver light.
At the same time, that bud burst into full bloom!
This moment was just like the moment when the plant first sprouted. Things might seem calm and ordinary at first, but once the process started, the intensity it brought about would make everyone startle. Everything started abruptly then finished just as quickly.
The blossoming of this white flower was no exception.
Suddenly, all petals unfolded and laid out around the centre stamen. The silver light emitted from within, like a raging flame, lighting up both heaven and the earth!
Fragrance suddenly grew even stronger. The scent surged into Chu Feng's nostrils in its visible form. Chu Feng opened his mouth, edaciously gobbling down mouthfuls of the misty air. At once, he could feel a burning sensation roasting his blood and flesh, starting from within his entrails. That sweet scent was a physical entity. It wormed its way into Chu Feng's digestive tract, then dispersed into his bloodstream.
Bestial roars came from the distance. Finally, some powerful entities had been startled.
Chu Feng frowned with concern. He had a premonition of something wicked was about to happen. The spot on which he stood would soon be tainted with carnage of war.
Because this place had become nothing out of the ordinary. Silver luminescence shone on every corner of the land, creating a world that was bright as daylights when the sky was still dark and dreary.
The snow-white flower was glittering and translucent. Plumes of misty air was still incessantly pouring out from between the petals before accumulating around Chu Feng.
Without a second to be wasted, Chu Feng began to use the special breathing rhythm to breathe in and absorb the fine mist and water vapors that were jiggling in the air.
And as expected, the result was optimistic. White, translucent, hazy vapors were swirled between his nostrils before wiggling its way into Chu Feng's nasal cavity. At the same time, his body was resonating at a similar pace. Slightly, a tremor crawled through his skin, allowing all pores to open to allow intakes of the white vapor.
The fragrance and the misty plumes soon reached the highest level. Chu Feng was lost in the thick fog around him. Opening his eyes, Chu Feng's vision was filled with a snow-white world.
He was shocked when he realized that the fog was only accumulating around him. Not even a single droplet of this misty vapor had reached beyond a few inches.
That colony of ants, that toad, that squirrel, those birds and that snake could not sense even the faintest smell of scent.
Chu Feng was thirsty for more. He wanted to peel the petals off the bloom to expose the inner stamen so that he could gain the pollens.
But soon, he realized a truth.
Pollens had disappeared. They were mixed in the vapor and were dispersed into the air!
Suddenly, a bird of prey ripped through the night sky. Its body was over ten meters in length, emitting a fiery radiance. Its eyes gave away its ruthless and tyrannical nature.
The special breathing exercise was still in progress. This calm and relaxed posture granted Chu Feng a much sharper sense of instinct. He tugged on at the bowstring then launched an arrow into the air.
The shot was much fiercer when the arrow launched, then when it landed on that fiery bird, the arrow became fatal and deadly. Puff! It tore apart the fearsome bird, ripping its torso in two. Then with another blaring bang, the bird's remains plummeted to its demise.
However, this was only the beginning to this carnage of war. The earth trembled, and the air pulsated when the beasts in the distance screamed and bellowed. Their roars ran through the jungle, and clearly, some of them were already on their way heading in this direction.
Chu Feng told himself to stay calm. Systematically and in perfect order, Chu Feng resumed the special breathing exercise.
Fog became denser, and Chu Feng was still immersed in the center of all these misty plumes.
At this moment, Chu Feng could feel warmth clamping over his body. He felt as if he had been treated with a bath in a hot spring. His skin temperature was slowly rising, and his skin gradually became numb.
He could sense the astonishing changes inside his body. His heart was beating like a thumping drum. He could hear the robust throbbing noise clearly with his ears. He was unsure whether this was due to a better functioning of his heart or a sharper sense of hearing.
Then, a feeling of warmth ran through his veins again. He felt as if his limbs and his trunk had been charged with an electric current, cleansing his soul and combing his bones and muscles.
Another cry of bird sounded. Gale raged when a thoroughly black bird plummeted down like a meteorite falling from the outer space. It was a mutated kind, and it looked ferocious as well. It dove rapidly down, pointing its claws directly towards Chu Feng.
The bird's cutting claws opened. They gleamed with death. They bird wanted to kill its prey with a single blow, then replace that human with itself to gobble down all that misty air.
Meanwhile, Chu Feng bowed back an arrow.
The arrow flew as it drew an electric arc across the dark sky. Rumbles of thunder were also in its company. The might of this second arrow was much fiercer than the first. With a muffled bang, the arrowhead pierced through the bird's skull.
The bird finally plummeted to its demise. It died just as fast as it came.
This temporal pause in his special breathing exercise had significantly slowed down the uptake of white vapor. Chu Feng was aware of this too.
He asked himself to remain in composure. Chu Feng could not afford to cease the special breathing exercise again even in the presence of an external threat.
The white fog fill the air with refreshing scent. Chu Feng edaciously drank swigs of vapor and, before long, his body quickly started to change.
And the change was way more significant than the one that occurred to him at the Mountain of Kunlun when the four petals drifted into his hand.
The special breathing exercise was playing an important role this time. It had allowed the pollens to exert their effect in the shortest period of time.
What happened next, however, impressed Chu Feng even more.
Wafts of sweet fragrance were still assailing his nostrils. Chu Feng could sense that the level of fragrance had reached to its limit. For him, the increasing warmth of his body felt almost like he had been placed inside a burning furnace to be smelted.
During this time, birds of prey incessantly paid their visits to the site. Chu Feng was just as calm as always. With one arrow after another being launched with fearsome power, the ground soon became a dumping ground for gorily murdered bodies.
In a distance, Chen Hai saw the scene near a glowing forest. A look of surprise emerged on his face.
Looking from a distance, silver radiance was shining in the shape of a blooming flower. Over it, one bird of prey after another dove down into the bushes below.
At the same time, roars of all kinds of beasts sounded in the vicinities. Those beasts were all scurrying towards a single direction. Their galloping feet trembled the earth and quivered the mountains, crashing towards the source of the brilliant radiance.
It was a horrific scene to behold. The tremors of the earth began to increase; the quivering of the forest started to become fiercer. Leaves of a lot of trees were rustling down because of the incessant tremors. Trees that were in the way of the darting beasts fell and tumbled.
This was insane!
All beasts converged into one single point. This was like an organized revolt launched by the beasts.
Chen Hai was vicious and decisive. He knew that all these fusses meant no trivial matter. There must have been things of great significance happening, and he had even guessed that it must been caused by the strange object that belonged to Chu Feng.
He traversed the forest at the speed of a gliding bird. In terms of strength and power, he was just as fierce as a monster. Along the way, he used his boxing style to butcher every beast who stood in his way.
Drenched in blood, Chen Hai had murdered many creatures while surpassing the others. Like a gale, he hastily scurried towards the light source.
Chen Hai ran at a terrifying speed. Soon, he saw Chu Feng and that green plant in a not-so-distant place. His pupils suddenly burst out horrific rays.
"Okay, it is mine now!" Chen Hai excitedly exclaimed. He had never felt so elevated and so electrified.
Ahead of him, Chu Feng had stood up already. He was forced to do so, since hundreds of horrific monsters had hemmed him in at this place.
Bodies listlessly laud on the ground. Over twenty giant birds had died in the vicinities, and all of which were killed by Chu Feng's arrow.
Apart from the birds, there were dead beasts as well. They were formidable creatures when they were alive, but they had all died from Chu Feng's black dagger.
Chu Feng had used up almost all his arrows where most had been spent during the fight with Chen Hai.
Chen Hai exclaimed. He marched forward but was blocked by a giant beast. It was a colossal elephant, but with only a nudge on the elephant's neck, Chen Hai freed the elephant's head from the rest of its body. Without a word of pain, the elephant died a violent death.
Chen Hai was a man with a heart of stone, and he sure enough looked like one. With eyes filled with hatred and anger, he glowered at the unknowing man in the middle of a thick fog.
"My opportunity is right here!" Chen Hai said. His pupils grew as sharp as a cutting blade.
Chu Feng soon noticed Chen Hai's presence. He had expected Chen Hai to barge in at some point; however, he was not so worried now.
The flowering of the vine was swift and violent. It happened in a flash, and its flowering season was over just as instant and swift. The bloom had started to wither and fall. The white fog was also only a few plumes left.
The special breathing exercise had an amazing efficiency in absorbing the substance he needed. In just a few minutes, Chu Feng had drunk in swigs of white vapor and its delicate fragrance.
Now, his body felt agile, light, healthy and strong. Chu Feng did not need a minute to appreciate these new changes since he had already known that his body constitution had just undergone a substantial improvement and an evolution!
He now had good eyes and ears; his instinct was much sharper than before. He could also feel an endless supply of strength inside his body.
At the same time, his body was still changing. His soul was being cleansed; his flesh was resonating with the pulsating blood in the veins along with his entrails. His skin was sparkling and translucent, and his body was still getting stronger.
It felt like a rebirth. He had transformed to something utterly different.
The special breathing exercise had ended. It still lasted as short as it used to.
Chu Feng wavered his fist and dagger, wounding and killing every beast that came for him.
These animals were not as calm as Chen Hai. They were all moving restlessly. Some were ruthlessly charging ahead, wishing to contend for the last breath of that magical scent.
The place reverberated with the noise of a crackling sound. Chu Feng had resolved to use the thunderous breathing rhythm. He only knew part of this rhythm, however, it still proved to be useful.
He breathed in the last few plumes of misty air. Chu Feng finally felt satisfied!
Meanwhile, Chen Hai calmly strolled over the line of beasts in front of him. His steps were firm and steady. He ignored that last few plumes of mist, because there was only one thing that had grabbed his interest.
On the silver vine, the petals withered and fell, exposing a seed that had been borne inside!
Chen Hai had had his eyes on this very seed!
Chu Feng was surprised too. While the vine slowly lost its color and was withering away, the seed was still white as snow and glittering like a sun in the middle of a day.
Chu Feng had never expected this to happen. "This seed can be planted again?!" Chen Feng was astounded!
Only, the seed was completely different from before. It was thoroughly white as if it were a different species. When this seed took roots and sprouted, Chu Feng wondered what it could yield.
"Hahaha, this is the fruit! This is the fruit I wanted! This belongs to me!" Chen Hai laughed out loud.
He had once cultivated a strange flower, but it soon withered away without bearing a fruit after bursting into a full bloom. It left him with eternal regret.
Luckily, he later plucked a strange fruit from another plant to aid in his evolution.
The sight of this fruit on the withering vine excited him. He wanted to eat it, because he believed that this very fruit would just be as potent as the pine cone borne on the special tree!
Chu Feng immediately understood. Not everyone had realized the importance of pollens. In the eyes of many mutants, the strange fruit was the ultimate thing of desire. Chen Hai was of no exception. None of them seemed to know the story about catalyst and what not!
"Hahaha…" Chu Feng could not hold back his laugh.
Around him, hundreds of beasts roared and bellowed. These mutated species were in a frenzy. They were ready to snatch that fruit from the withering vine.
"Why are you laughing? You are about to die! And thank you! Thank you for guarding the fruit for me. I really appreciate you fending off these beasts to save the fruit just for me." Chen Hai sneered at Chu Feng.
Chu Feng was now certain that Chen Hai hadn't gotten the foggiest idea about the importance of pollens, otherwise, by his sinister and insidious nature, he would have joined the fight a long time ago to scramble for a fair share of those pollens with him too.
Beasts were roaring. These animals were no weaker than Chen Hai, and they were, too, closing in on Chu Feng and the silver vine.