Yellow Ox paused to muse over what was best to describe this place.
A place of compet.i.tion!
The calf wrote these words on the ground, but it seemed rather discontented with this description. In the end, Yellow Ox rubbed them away and started writing again.
A place locked in yoke!
This was still as ambiguous and equivocal as it was before, so in the end, the calf mopped them away again.
A place of sacred ruins!
It was still not telling much. The calf shook its head in discontent.
A place of despair; a place of dawn suns.h.i.+ne; a place of a hundred wars; a place of l.u.s.trous radiance; a place of terror; a place of wither and fall…
The calf continued to write, then it continued to wipe them away. Some of these descriptions were self-contradictory and ant.i.thetical to each other. Clearly, the calf found it quite troublesome to describe as well.
"Well, in fact, I don't know it either!" In the end, the calf finally ended its struggle with these few words.
What did you mean? With all those you had said and written, were you just gonna deny them all? Chu Feng was quite unsatisfied!
But Chu Feng could tell that the calf was being deceitful with him. It was trying its best to accurately and precisely describe the abstract world, but none of them really conveyed the essence truly and comprehensively.
"I was still a young and little baby when I first treaded on the path leading to the world outside. I only have some vague impression about some of the complicated stuff I've seen in there. I can only vividly remember that so far as I can rise to prominence and become a saint in the world outside, I succeed in my life!" Yellow Ox told Chu Feng.
"There is a special path that leads to here?" Chu Feng was taken aback.
"There are many paths, in fact. Numerous creatures treaded on them, looking for a way to exit into the world outside, but nine out of ten died on the way. Only very few can make it out alive."
Yellow Ox told the truth.
Those towering primitive mountains had always been part of this world. They belonged to the Multi-verse, but still, they were inherent to this world, and so were the beasts that lived there. Those beasts and birds of prey, although fierce and ferocious, were still locally born and bred in the world nevertheless. They were not the same creatures that Yellow Ox referred to.
"So, where do you come from?" Chu Feng asked.
Yellow Ox was reluctant to say. The calf strolled over to stand beside the windows, looking up and gazing at the stars. It stood there, lost in thought.
Chu Feng looked over to the black yak.
The black yak rolled back its eyes and said, "Don't ask me, I'm locally born and bred as well!" In the end, the yak did not forget to add, "I'm the almighty Demon Ox! I'm the one and only king of the bovine species!"
"What a miracle that I still have my sanity after hanging around with these two clowning cows for so long," Chu Feng thought to himself, "if there was a second person with me here all along and whose psychological endurance might not be as firm and tenacious as I, he would have long gone bonkers!"
Yellow Ox finally came to its senses after quite a while.
Chu Feng wanted to have more of his questions answered, but he felt like the calf was not quite in the right mood at present.
However, later at that night, Yellow Ox still chose to come over and divulge more of its secrets to Chu Feng.
"There will be more creatures, just like me, but stronger and more powerful, coming over to this world!"
Obviously, the creatures the calf was referring to were not those ravenous beasts hidden in the depths of those mountains, but those that had a terrifying background.
Chu Feng wondered how much of a land of opportunity this world was. How extraordinary those opportunities must have been to attract so many extra-terrestrial beings to come thick and fast, despite the odds of getting killed in the process.
"Being here in this world for just one year, one is able to harvest as many opportunities as he could in that past world for ten or even a hundred years. How is this not enough incentive for them to risk their lives to come over?" Yellow Ox wrote.
These words stirred up such a surge of emotion inside Chu Feng that he could hardly regain his composure. If what Yellow Ox said were truth, that would mean that one would become the ultimate invincible fighter in just a short period of time.
This was indeed a terrifying thought to bear, and one that would cause anyone who were eager for power and strength to get crazy over!
"What in particular are you looking for?" Chu Feng asked.
"Opportunities! Opportunities that allow me to sanctify and to evolve are endless! But we need to find them!" Yellow Ox looked fervent in the eyes.
"Opportunities such as?" Chu Feng wanted to know more. The more he learnt, the better he could plan for the upcoming future.
Since he had already been treading on the path of transformation, he did not want it to end for him just here. He wanted to evolve even further into something invincible, something feared by the crowd.
"Top-graded pollens! And spiritual roots that come in patches! Even those legendary holy trees can help me evolve. I just need to find them, and I suspect that they are all here, in this world!"
Yellow Ox wrote down quite a number of items that it needed to find.
This world could possibly contain this many legendary items? Chu Feng posed a serious doubt.
The war had once destroyed the earth to a point that it almost became completely wasted. Only after many long and enduring years of recovery, the earth finally regained its vigor and vitality.
However, there were still a number of plant species thoroughly removed from the initial flora of the earth as a result of the war.
After all that horrifying years of unending battles, Chu Feng doubted that there were still any of those so-called "spiritual roots" or magical "pollens" left to be discovered.
"Even if the world were sealed in freezing ice for hundreds of years then scorched on blazing flames for a thousand more, these plants would still not extinguish. One day, they would come back to life, come back from their withering state and take roots in the ashes and reappear in this world!"
Yellow Ox seemed quite certain about these claims. He was sure that these plants would come back to life again.
"So, what that means is that I, the king of the bovine species, am destined to become a saint!" The black yak sat straight on its bottom, showing a look of profound arrogance.
But ever since the yak had caught a glimpse of that very bed and that very mattress on which Yellow Ox laid its back, all that condescending att.i.tude and pretentious manner it held had all become bygones of the past. The yak had degraded to someone as lazy and sluggish as the calf. Every time Chu Feng checked on the yak, it was always lying supine on the soft and comfortable mattress.
With that colossal body pressing down on the king-sized mattress, the bed frame could not help but moan and creak endlessly to utter its objection to the yak's rough and coa.r.s.e behavior that had been performed upon it.
In the end, the black yak finally left the warmth of the house; it told Yellow Ox that it would only permit the calf to stay for at most three more days, otherwise, there wouldn't be any hope to get to the Mountains of Kunlun anytime soon. A major upheaval that would ripple across the globe would soon hit the earth.
One day, two days…
Time flew as the endless wait continued. In the twinkling of an eye, three days had come and gone, but the seeds in the wooden bucket still seemed lifeless. Yellow Ox was quite on edge, because today was the last day before it had to make a move for the destination it wished to reach.
"Time to set off for your journey, calf. There will be no shortage of strange trees at the Mountains of Kunlun. Needless to remind you that Kunlun is a mountain of Saint; in terms of the amount of mythologies and legends, Kunlun had the most abundant of them all!" Chu Feng urged Yellow Ox.
Yellow Ox paced back and forth. The unresponsive seeds had really worked the calf up into a frenzy. It knew that the yak was about to leave since the deadline the yak issued was right around the corner.
The calf was not ignorant of the knowledge that Kunlun had no shortage of strange trees either, but somehow, it still had this fervent wish to see this very seed in the bucket to sprout and flower.
At last, Yellow Ox suddenly had a murderous look in its eyes. The calf darted at Chu Feng with a swish.
"What do you want?!" Chu Feng was alerted.
Yellow Ox cracked open the wooden bucket with a single stamp. Without demur, the calf dug out that very seed from within the soil then shoved it down its throat.
Chu Feng went into a fury. He was about to duel the calf to the death.
Yellow Ox quickly wrote on the ground. It said, "Let's split the seed half-half. I promise I will save you half of it."
The calf had completely lost its patience. It was done waiting for the seed to sprout; instead, it had decided to eat the seed and let its magic to become part of its body. After all, it was a seed of special origin, so it must, by the calf's guess, function in some quirky ways after the body had digested its nutrients.
"How dare you!" Chu Feng thrusted himself upon the calf. He cared about the seed more than the yak. How could Chu Feng tolerate a calf to just simply consume something that he had been desperately wis.h.i.+ng to play out some magic?
However, Yellow Ox had lost its patience in waiting. Without demur, Yellow Ox took a bite at the seed before Chu Feng could reach to s.n.a.t.c.h it off it.
When the sound of the bite resounded in the yard, Chu Feng's heart skipped a beat. How he wished he could fry this G.o.dd.a.m.ned calf in a pan of boiling oil right now.
However, the expression on Yellow Ox's face in the very next second shocked Chu Feng even more.
Yellow Ox shed tears and cried!
"Stop putting on a pitiful look so that I can forgive you. I will NOT! You'll have to pay for my seed!" Chu Feng closed in on the calf.
Yellow Ox, however, was tooting and sobbing. The calf really was crying!
At the same time, it was gently caressing its own cheeks with one of its front hooves. Pain and agony was written all over its face until in the end, the yak finally spat out the seed and watched it hatefully falling to the earth.
Yellow Ox's eyes had become watery. It opened its mouth, and it was bleeding! The calf seemed as if the pain was as severed as someone who had a busted heart and a punctured lung!
On the ground, there lied that glittery green seed. It was well and intact. There was not even a tooth mark left engrained upon it. There was no blood staining and marring its glitter either. The whole thing still looked clean and perfect.
Chu Feng hastily rushed over to the seed then rinsed it under tap water over and over again.
Chu Feng still remained vigilant. He put away the seed, guarding against any sudden moves that the calf might unexpectedly pull off.
"Don't even try it again!" he warned.
Yellow Ox burst out in tears again when the calf heard his words. That bite almost cost its teeth, and now all this suffering and blood were just to remind the calf to never even approach the seed ever again.
The calf went gargling with salt water to cleanse the wound in its mouth. It looked at itself in the mirror to check the injuries until finally, it felt at ease after realizing that none of its teeth had gone missing. All that blood had come from its injured gums.
Chu Feng now could finally rest a.s.sured that Yellow Ox would never try to eat the seed again. He looked happy and cheerful as he took the initiative and brandish the seed right in front of the calf's eyes. "Wanna try it one more time? Try to see if you can bite through it," Chu Feng suggested.
Yellow Ox flew into a rage. The calf wanted to duel him in Demon Ox Boxing.
Chu Feng hastily shunned away from the calf's aggression and said, "It's not like you're never going to come back. Just remember to dig up a few chunks of soil from down under when you see strange trees in the Mountain of Kunlun. By the time you bring back those soil and plant it with the seeds, I'm sure that we'll see some meaningful yields out of all three seeds."
Yellow Ox solemnly nodded in agreement.
At the same time, the calf was quite exacerbated too. It could not rest reconciled to the fact that it was let injured by a mere seed. It solemnly swore that when the seeds flowered, it would not take the pollens but also eat their roots and stocks. The calf promised that it would not let even the tiniest leaflet to remain in this world after the flower came to blossom. The calf was eager for vengeance!
"Calf! Are you coming or not?" The black yak timely arrived.
Chu Feng had hidden away the seeds long before the yak showed on the scene. He dared not to let out the information about the seeds to this yak yet.
Yellow Ox nodded. The calf had decided to set off for the adventure.
"Let me tell you, the Mountains of Kunlun are not a place for our vacation. Bodies are piled up, and blood has virtually flooded the canyons. Do you know why I had decided to make my escape from that place? Because I'm a pacifist; I haven't gotten into fights with others, and I have never intended to initiate one. All that I'm saying is, if you insist to come with me, you will have to use your discretion. Don't be a b.l.o.o.d.y fool and rush out into danger if you don't need to! Understand?" the black yak warned.
Chu Feng was taken aback. He had never known that the Mountains of Kunlun had been a battleground for the beasts of such fierceness. The black yak sounded like an honorable man by saying that it was a solitary beast who preferred to stay out of ruthless killings, but Chu Feng guessed that it must have been the fierce and brutal fights in the region that scared the yak away. But since the ingestion of those pine nuts, the yak's strength and power had increased drastically, so now it was time for the yak to wheel around and hit back on its opponents.
Yellow Ox nodded to acknowledge the yak's warning, looking all solemn and earnest.
Meanwhile, the family of Zhou Quan had also packed up their gears to set off on their journey. The family looked anxious and eager. They looked determined and resolved as well.
"Take good care of yourself!"
Chu Feng saw the expedition team off on their westward course. Chu Feng and Zhou Quan clasped hands as they bid each other a fond farewell, wis.h.i.+ng for the best of things for both of them.
The world had come to a chaotic mess. No-one would know what was about to happen or whether this would be their last goodbye.
On the same day, the whole Western world became disquieted once again because of the occurrence of another major event. A demon dog came to life, running amok in a small town, turning the entire city into a purgatory on earth.
The dog had two skulls. It walked on lava as it spat out columns of deadly venom.
The whole town had inundated under a pool of boiling lava. Not a single survivor had managed to avoid the inevitable death. The entire population of over a thousand people all vanished in the twinkling of an eye.
This shook the world!
Later that day, the two-headed dog continued to run amok in that region, destroying two towns in one day, causing panic all over the western world.
Although the death of fewer than a hundred thousand might look pale when compared to the ma.s.sacre done by that black dragon, the ruins of two towns in one day still proved that this very dog was cruel by nature.
It was said that the dog was quite an old one before it mutated. People had seen it guarding two little trees at a time when people had learnt little about strange fruits that grew on strange trees.
But when people recalled it now, they admitted that those two trees were indeed worthy of being called extraordinary.
One of the two had a thoroughly pitch-black trunk, while the other one was bright red like fresh blood pumping out of a beating heart. Both trees bore fruit.
At that time, the worldwide frenzy over human mutation had only just begun. Ordinary people who knew little about the inside story had no clue about the extraordinary functions of these trees. A middle-aged man had once pa.s.sed by the vegetation, and he snapped a few pictures of the old dog with the strange trees out of curiosity.
Besides the photos, the man also tried to drive away the old dog, because he thought that he had found some new flora species.
But the dog went berserk when he tried to approach it, so in the end, he had no alternatives but to retreat from the scene to look for help from the others. However, when he came back on the other day along with a few helping hands, they found out that the trees had disappeared along with the dog.
"Oh my G.o.d! The trees had in fact been dug out by men, but sadly, both trees soon withered away. The old dog was tracing down the people who did this, killing everyone in its path!"
In the end, some people reached to such conclusion.
Undoubtedly, this was a disaster. The Western countries mobilized their troops to encircle and suppress the dog; but this only further agitated the beast and prompted it rampage through another two towns, killing everyone in there. Later that day, the dog escaped into the wilderness of the mountains and disappeared from public's eye then on.
The world was anxiety-ridden. Many people were living in fear and terror.
In a region of highland in a Western country, there was another ghastly beast terrorizing the locals. The beast allowed no outsiders to barge into its domain. It spoke in a human language, warning that it would kill all intruders without mercy or regret.
One beast after another, all appeared in consecutive succession to one another, bringing the Western world into their own playground of senseless killing and ubiquitous terror.
A white elephant in India was in command of thousands of beasts, shocking the world with the sheer size of that army of ferocious animals and the power that the elephant held.
The elephant came to power almost overnight. In the early stage, no one had ever perceived the odd behaviors of the animals in the jungle; but, by the time when people realized what an army the elephant had ama.s.sed, the situation had already gone out of hand.
On a Mongolian savannah, a silver wolf appeared out of void. Its roar and whistle shook the heaven and trembled the earth.
In just a short period of time, beasts and birds of prey had all claimed to be the king of each respective area. Terrifying situation reached its peak overnight. Many towns and cities across the globe were now in profound danger.
As to the domestic affairs, things had evolved to something even more complicated.
The Mountain of Longhu, the Mountain of Wudang, Mount Song, Mount Zhongnan, Mount Kongtong and Mount Emei were all haunted by terrifying creatures who were all high on their killing sprees. They killed each other, and they fought humans as well. Everyone wanted to claim possession of the mountains, yet no-one could succeed without putting up a brutal fight against the others.
The whole world had been changing in just a short period of time. The structure of the world was being rewritten by all those who were ambitious for power and aggression.
Carnage of war and reek of blood could be seen and smelt across the globe.
Chu Feng was packing up. He was ready to leave Qingyang Village for that metropolis in the north: Shuntian.
He stored that strange chunk of soil in the stone box then carefully buried the seeds within. This cuboidal miniature was for sure easier to carry than an entire wooden bucket.
Something shocking happened when the seeds were mixed with the soil within the stone box. There was a sense of life and vitality emitting from within the box. A green ray of light penetrated through the opaque lid of the stone box and rose high into the air.
"What's happening?!" Chu Feng could have never been so astounded.
This stone box was that very box Chu Feng found at the foot of Kunlun Mountain. It was used for storing the seeds originally.