An elder ape created its own school of knowledge and sect of martial arts. The news shocked the world.
People were astounded. Both on the internet and in the real world, people were discussing about this explosive piece of news. It really had a huge influence on people!
An ape was an ape after all; it was not an intelligent human. But despite the odds, the elder ape became the founder of a new sect. For many, this was truly an unbelievable piece of achievement!
Temple of Great Woods. There were words that contained dark magic and hidden power. Soon, it became a household name remembered by everyone across the globe.
"What era are we really in right now? Does the rise of another specie mean the fall of us humans?"
"This is a golden age for birds and beasts of prey, but at the same time, it is a time of crisis for us!"
Some people bemoaned; others cried out.
The internet had exploded. Everyone became a part of a heated debate. The storm seemed to have become stronger than ever expected.
"Don't be scared, fellows! We have mutants that are just as equally powerful as the beasts. Everything is still as fair as it was. Yes, the world has indeed changed, but this could be an opportunity for us humans, as a species, to make a great leap forward to reach an unfathomable new height. This is an opportunity for us! Be optimistic, people!"
There were some cheerful tones in the debate too.
On this very day, Temple of Great Woods became a household name.
When the investigation went further, many facts about Mount Song had come to the surface and become evident to the public outside.
"The number of mutated grass and trees that grow in the mountain are not just two or three. There are enough to drive one crazy!"
Someone divulged the secret.
It turned out that Bodhi was not the only tycoon interested in Mount Song. Many others had, too, grown frenzied over this single mountain.
Because it was such a mysterious place. Ever since the world underwent upheavals, Mount Song had been constantly showing signs that were strange to an ordinary eye. There were golden glows illuminating the night sky when the sun was down; there were many strange trees too. As to strange grasses, it was said that even the most insignificant weed that grew in front of a temple had turned into a mutated one.
How were these not enough to make one's mind persuaded?
When the other tycoons heard about this, their eyes went red. All sent their most excellent fighters to contend for the ownership of the mountain, but every time, the fighters came back crestfallen and defeated.
Amongst the many contenders, Bodhi suffered the most.
The apes were very terrifying, especially the elder one. It could speak human language, understand how the human society functioned, and has mastered many extraordinary skills. The elder ape was truly a horrific beast.
Later, Bodhi volunteered to tell the public some truths about Mount Song.
There were a few Bodhi trees in the mountain. The trees were magical, and they were way more powerful than any of the mutated grasses or trees found in the world outside.
Amongst them, one tree in particular was said to be the spiritual embodiment of the Buddha's guardian warrior. It was a holy tree, and this tree was the source of the golden glows that illuminated the night sky when the sun was down. The tree spread its holiness throughout the mountain.
People finally understood why people from every side was desperately contending for the ownership of Mount Song.
Mount Song was a godly place. For individual mutants, it would help them evolve to reach a new height. For tycoons, on the other hand, it was a strategic point. No-one would reconcile themselves to just sit back while others snatched the fruit for themselves.
However, just when everyone thought that the battle was only between mutants and mutants, no-one had expected a mutated beast to be their major hindrance. Everyone was shocked when they realized that an elder ape could command an army of primates to fend off waves of aggressors with ease.
When the truths were finally told, the public boiled over with shock and astonishment.
Who didn't want to seize that godly tree for themselves? Even those who hadn't mutated would want to kill their way to Mount Song and claim the tree for themselves.
Chu Feng was first shocked, then grew fervent and passionate. Although he had known that there was a strange tree growing in Mount Song for a long time, he never expected that it could have such an astonishing background.
"That many strange trees and grasses could drive anyone nuts. Although I know that it's like a moth flying into flames to go there, I still want to give it a try." Someone sighed with emotion on the internet.
He was right. People had indeed gone crazy for this place.
But when cool-headed thinking started to replace that initial state of frenzy, people started to accept the reality that those apes were perhaps the only owner of the mountain. If they had defeated the strongest from the biggest companies, who else was worthy enough to contend for it?
Unless the government led the way!
Suddenly, people came to realize that the reason that the elder ape founded this new sect of martial arts was to make it clear to all people that this gang of apes it led in Mount Song was a team of fearless warriors. It was their way to proclaim to the world outside that they would not be threatened by any aggression or challenges from anyone.
Clearly, the elder ape also wanted to see how the world would react.
Soon later, Bodhi became the first to claim that they would never contend for Mount Song.
When Bodhi became the first one to say that they had given up, people began to realize that the elder ape was perhaps more terrifying than they thought.
"Everything on earth has life and spirit. Every life should be treated equal," the elder ape said on the same day. These words marked their appreciation for Bodhi's act of peace, so they, too, would stay peaceful with the world outside.
At the same time, the elder ape also implicitly said that it wished to have a negotiation with a high-level human official.
"This ape's really got some balls, hasn't it? It's coming to a human city to have a sit-down talk with us really is a daring thing to do." Many people were shocked.
The big companies were quite speechless too. They understood that the negotiation was the ape's means of making themselves recognized and legalized in the system, so that in the future, they could be just like these big companies, existing as another tycoon in this country.
"In a few days, Temple of Great Woods would start to accept followers. No discrimination against a different species. If fate commands, one will forever be the pious disciple of the elder ape."
This piece of message was issued by the elder ape itself. This time, it created a great stir throughout the country once again.
People from all parties were astounded and awed by this elder ape. The ape was not just the founding father of a comically-named sect, it also wanted its school to strengthen and grow.
Many people were swayed by the fine words in the advertisements!
Mount Song was originally a great mountain that housed hundreds of temples; amongst them, many were built thousands of years ago.
Ever since the ancient times, the mountain had been deeply revered by people across the county. The temples were collectively called Shaolin Monastery.
So, when the elder ape named his own creation as something so much similar to the great Shaolin Temples , things truly felt a bit uncanny.
The world was still unsettled. The debate over Mount Song was still as heated as always.
This was one of the few largest cities in the country.
In the central business district, there were rows upon rows of high-rises. The wide roads that ran between the skyscrapers were bustling with sea of faces. Endless array of beautiful commodities was displayed in the shops' windows. Everything on display was a feast for the eyes.
Suddenly back to somewhere where people were still enjoying their everyday lives, Chu Feng had a sense of unease.
Between the bustling urban life and the primitive wilderness was only a wall standing in the middle. It felt strange, but it was also a reality difficult to grasp.
Acres of wild forests and hordes of beasts and birds that preyed on humans existed just beyond the walls.
Minutes ago, Chu Feng was strolling over miles of depopulated zone, and during that journey, God knew how many lives he had claimed with his own hands. Pacing on the wide roads, strolling in the thick growth of high-rises, Chu Feng felt as if he had been cut off from the real world for ages.
The real world was where jobs were still open for the hard workers and money was still valued for what good it could do. This was the world he called home.
There was no time for Chu Feng to stop. He hired a taxi and rushed home.
The place where his parents lived was empty. The two were probably still at work.
Clearly, the city of Shuntian was still in good orders. Nothing had come to a standstill, regardless of what happened to the world outside.
"Finally home." Chu Feng vented out a sigh of relief. He had the key to the place.
Nothing at home had changed. Things were still in the right places, and this made Chu Feng slightly at ease.
Chu Feng went online and started browsing through all kinds of news that was reported on Temple of Great Woods. He had a feeling that this was only the beginning. Soon, animals from the other species would start to take actions.
"Who would've thought that a thousand-year Bodhi tree was growing there, and it was a holy one too. If this isn't the 'opportunity' Yellow Ox has been looking for, what is?" He sighed.
There were also quite a number of news reporting on the tree itself. It was said that as soon as these Bodhi trees flowered and bore fruits, all the creatures in its vicinity would have drastically improved constitution. The effect was horrifying.
The strange trees and grasses that had been recently discovered could only flower once in their lifetimes.
But the Bodhi trees were different. It was said that they could flower and bear fruit once every year.
Especially that thousand-year holy tree, what effect could it possibly bring was beyond anyone's wildest imagination!
If this was the case, who wouldn't be envious? Those tycoons, in particular, were having hearts that were dripping blood because of excessive grievance over the loss of this invaluable tree.
Luckily, there were still many other mountains and lakes left for the humans to endeavor. They could still fight for the other targets on a different battleground.
Lin Naoi had once mentioned this. Chu Feng looked up on the internet, and sure enough, not a single big lake or famous mountain was left unscathed from fierce battles.
Mountains of Longhu, Mountains of Emei, Mount Putuo, Mount Zhongnan, Mount Kongtong…
These were all the strategic points fought over by people from all parties.
However, the spread of these news was controlled. Media outlets were not allowed to publish news regarding these battles; forums were shut down for hosting discussions about these sensitive topics. People knew almost nothing about what was going on.
But Chu Feng could imagine that the battles must have gone completely unbridled. It could have as well been called a bloody massacre than a battle.
These great mountains were just as famous and legendary as Mount Song, meaning that there could be just as many godly beings growing on those hills as the number of Bodhi trees found in Mount Song.
Someone posted a picture on the internet. The footnote said that the picture had been taken at Mount Wudang. It was said that after a fierce battle, the cliffs of that mountain had all been stained thoroughly red with blood of the dead.
The picture was out of focus, but vaguely, one could see the silhouettes of human figures. There were also many horrific beasts that were fighting on the hills.
But soon, the picture was deleted.
Clearly, someone didn't want the information to be let out.
Chu Feng could hardly retain his calmness. He felt hot in his chest.
After careful deliberation, he decided to sound the two yaks out first.
"Yellow Ox, have you had your beauty sleep yet?" Chu Feng asked in a cheerful tone when the call was finally picked up.
Yellow Ox wanted to trample over his head. The calf was seized with fury whenever it was reminded of the thing that happened yesterday. If Chu Feng was standing right in front of Yellow Ox, the calf would have been beating its hooves on his head by now.
"Are you saying that you've already got your beauty sleep already, but because I haven't called you for a whole day, you've missed me already?"
Yellow Ox was furious. Chu Feng's thick-skinned attitude would probably drive anyone crazy.
"Shhh… Don't make a fuss. I'm calling to discuss something with you. Something big! Something what would work incredible wonders! What do you think?" Chu Feng lowered his voice, making it sound extremely secret and extraordinary.
"Then speak!" Yellow Ox texted back.
"Do you have any ideas how many famous mountains there are in this world? Why are you still going to Kunlun? Why don't we go conquering a mountain ourselves? Do you want to do it with me?" Chu Feng asked.
"You bloody right I do! I had this idea ages ago!" Yellow Ox texted back.
"Then let's put it into action!" Chu Feng smiled.
Yellow Ox sighed.
"People are fighting for every inch of soil. You don't even have the slightest clue of how cruel and bloody these fights are. There's no chance for us," Yellow Ox texted.
"People from all parties are wishing to claim a hill so that they could settle down and get on with their life," Yellow Ox continued, "Bodhi Genes, Pre-Qin Research Institution, Deity Biomedical Group, Extraterrestrial Research Facility… They're gritting their teeth, fighting each other until all but one of them die out. The fights are becoming white-hot!"
Yellow Ox was telling the truths—the truths that had not been told by the media!
The big companies had all come to realize that the only trump cards available to help them win the future competitions were the mountains in the wild. Every company must own at least one mountain to secure their future!
Because the vegetation that grew thick in these mountains was way too extraordinary. Every single plant could shape up an individual to become an invincible beast.
Yellow Ox had no alternatives. Even with the two of them, their power was still not enough to contend with the collective power of several big companies at the same time.
"What about that big old black dude?" Chu Feng asked.
"Yo, young man! Watch your bloody mouth!" The yak had got a superb sense of hearing. From a distance, it could vividly hear the words of the conversation, and in response, it angrily yelled at Chu Feng.
In awkwardness, Chu Feng forced a laugh.
"Doesn't my suggestion sound alluring to you, brother yak?" Chu Feng carefully chose the way he addressed to the yak.
But the name didn't sit quite right with the yak. It sounded very much like the form of address for a gang leader. In a sulky tone, the black yak bitterly said, "I know what you've been up to, you no-good son of a b*tch. Just say it, what do you want to hear from me and what do you want me to do?"
"What I meant is, if possible, why don't we call up your brother, your sister, your cousin and what not? Summon that Tibetan mastiff and that golden bird too when you get back to Kunlun. Together, we will form such a formidable team. We will be an all-conquering team! With this team, we will be kicking as*ss and conquering mountains left and right," Chu Feng suggested.
"With Kunlun Mountain being just at the doorstep, who would've ignored what is close at hand in favor of some mountains far afield? You said you wanted to go west? Let me tell you this. The fights over there are ten times fiercer than what you've ever witnessed. Like my boy, Yellow Ox, said, people will fight for every inch of the soil!" the black yak said.
"How about we make a surprise attack on Mount Song? Wasn't that old apesh*t planning to see some high-ranked officials? This leaves the door open for us, so why can't we try to profit from this opportunity by sneaking in, stealing two or three baskets of Bodhi fruits and…"
"Mount Song? Nope! That elder ape is a sworn brother of mine! Making a surprise attack on his camp is just something beneath me! Nope! I won't do it!" the black yak clenched its teeth and said.
Then, the yak ended the call.
Soon later, Yellow Ox texted him back, telling Chu Feng the truth. The black yak had once tried to sneak into Mount Song, but it came back with empty hands and a face that had been beaten black and blue.
"Sworn brother my a*s! Sworn enemy is about it." Chu Feng mocked.
"The yak was just trying to find an opportunity to extricate itself from an awkward position," Yellow Ox commented. The calf had, too, grown contemptuous of the yak.
However, the calf soon began crying like a tied-up pig on a butcher's chopping board. Then, the call abruptly ended. The black yak had noticed that the calf was gossiping behind its back. So, taking a good round of beating was what the calf righteously deserved.
Chu Feng put away his communicator then started to ponder in silence. Of course, Chu Feng's real intention was not to find allies to pry a mountain from an enemy's grip. He was not that crazy yet. He called yaks so that he could gain valuable information from them.
It might seem calm to the world outside, but in reality, the mountains across the country were all already soaked in blood. Battles were fierce and horrifying!
"Don't know how Naoi is doing," Chu Feng frowned, "she must be in a difficult situation too."
Suddenly, doorbell rang. He jumped to his feet.
"Mom and dad?" Chu Feng silently questioned.
Translator's Thoughts Mike
 ("Great Woods" in Chinese is written as 大林 and is pronounced as Da (Great) Lin (Woods). Clearly, the elder ape had borrowed the word Lin from the name to mean something)