Chapter 24: The Simplest is the Greatest
Translator: Mike Editor: Chrissy
Chu Feng stared at Yellow Ox with an odd expression. He thought that Yellow Ox might perhaps give free play to some strange magical measures, but who would have thought that it would resolve to such a brutal action!
"Are you sure it's as simple as that?" Chu Feng was a bit doubtful. To him, the calf's actions seemed a bit too crude. Clearly, it had not given any considerations to the technical aspects of a human brain, so it seemed like a rather unreliable mean to achieve the optimal result he wanted.
Yellow Ox still seemed fairly calm. It moved exasperatingly slowly, then it drew a few rather unsightly words on the ground: The simplest is the greatest.
Chu Feng was struck dumb in astonishment.
Brutally stomping on a man's head was surely the simplest task to accomplish, but... how could it be worthy of the word "Greatest"?
"My head... mountains have squashed my skull... I'm... I'm going to die." On the ground lay the poor Zuo Jun himself. Froths were foaming at his mouth while he raved in his delirium.
It was thus evident just how traumatizing the injury Yellow Ox had caused. His conscious mind had all been muddled. He shouted in pain even as he had lost all consciousness.
"Is he going to be okay? Is there going to be a distressing sequela to the injury? What do we do if he won't wake up again?"
Earlier, he had been questioning the effectiveness of the measure Yellow Ox had taken. Now, the degree of Zuo Jun's head trauma seemed like a much severer issue at hand.
Yellow Ox had never been considerate in the extent of the force it should apply to its opponent's body. Most importantly, the calf was not really a benevolent kind either, so no-one really knew what would ensue as a result of its brute force.
Chu Feng could even feel the pain himself at the sight of Zuo Jun's profound agony.
Although Zuo Jun had lost all consciousness from the blow applied to his head, the convulsion of his body had never ceased for a second. His torso continuously wavered and wobbled in a rhythmic pattern.
"Is this what they call 'the wicked always have their own cattle'?" Chu Feng murmured. He searched Zuo Jun's body in hope to find something queer or something mystical.
There were daggers and other weaponries made of alloy. Although they all looked rather extraordinary, none of them could compare with the black dagger.
At last, Chu Feng found a map made of animal furs in his arms. It did not seem obsolete or outmoded, so it should be something recently produced.
Presumably because paper was prone to damage or tears, maps made of animal furs would undoubtedly be a much durable alternative.
Especially for Zuo Jun whose body could mutate into a three-meter giant at the blink of an eye, items kept on him were very susceptible to damage.
After special refinement, the furs felt remarkably soft and smooth. It was carefully folded, so when Chu Feng unfolded the map, its enormous size greatly surprised him. The map covered quite a considerable area of land.
The map showed a partial topography of Taihang Mountains. Areas within hundreds of meters around the Taihang Mountains had all been explicitly logged and labelled. Every mountaintop had been clearly marked.
"Even I did not know some of these mountains."
Chu Feng had been living here since early childhood. Naturally, perhaps no-one would be more familiar to this area than Chu Feng. As such, he presumed that this map might have probably included all the ones that only emerged recently.
His face lighted when he realized the potential usefulness of this map.
He carefully scrutinized every detail on the map, noticing that many regions had been specially marked with certain labels. Some of the areas were identified with a black human skull, while others were characterized with the word "pick".
Besides, many other regions were also marked with a red circle.
The markings on the map were not abundant, but all were eye-catching. Anyone who read the map would be immediately drawn to these areas and be prompted to question the significance of the marked region.
Keep the map? Chu Feng pondered for a while before at last, he decided to resign from this idea. He fetched a paper and delineated an exact copy of it.
"I'd better drive him away as soon as I can. Keeping him here with me will only mean more troubles." Chu Feng lifted up Zuo Jun then walked right into the orchid farm. This was the east end of the village, and that meant barely anyone would walk by. This allowed him to easily get away without running into a witness on the way.
With the preternatural stamina and speed that Chu Feng currently possessed, scurrying with a man on his back could be easily accomplished. In one breath, Chu Feng covered a distance of more than twenty li. He ran across the orchid forest then dropped Zuo Jun on a disjointed paved road.
Zuo Jun was still unconscious.
Chu Feng examined the surrounding environment. There were acres of cornfield beside the paved road. There was quite a distance from here to the primitive mountains where the beasts of profound ferocity resided. Chu Feng set his mind at rest, then he turned around and walked away from the body.
The village was quiet and serene, since panic and fear had all diminished.
In recent days, some young people started looking for ways out of the village. Armed with knives and other weaponries, they tried to move into a neighbouring town.
They believed that their safety would perhaps be better ensured in towns and cities where more people lived.
However, those who successfully made their way into the town changed their mind at once. There were two nearby primitive mountains overlooking right into the town. Vaguely, one could see all kinds of beasts and birds of prey creeping, crawling and incubating on the mountains above. There were even giant insects such as a two-meter silver centipede slithering in and out of the soil on the mountain. It was shaped like a white boa, haunting the mountains and the towns nearby.
There were also sightings of a flaming bird preying on tigers and leopards. It was a bloody and sanguinary scene. Those who once claimed themselves king of the forest were now the weak and the helpless.
How could this not instigate fear?
Lots of people were fleeing from the town, afraid that one day, those monstrous creatures would break the seal of the mountains' boundary and bring hell into man's world.
As for cities or even some of the metropolis, the situation was said to be even worse. Many big cities had witnessed a comeback of the palaeolithic period. A boundless overgrowth of forests had reclaimed much of the urban land. Within it, it was peppered with beasts of prey.
After many disappointing exploring trips in search for a safe haven, the youngsters returned back to Qingyang Village.
Meanwhile, there were also many pragmatic men who were willing to deal with concrete matters relating to work and started growing crops outside the village. Many of these men were from the older generation. They hoped that their work could ensure a self-sufficient lives for themselves.
There had been cultivated land and fields since centuries ago, but now as the earth started expanding with an almost tenfold increase, the land suitable for cultivation had also grown exponentially.
Now was the month for autumn, but oddly, leaves were not seen yellowing, nor had the grasses withered. The world seethed and teemed with life and vigor. The weather was getting warmer, giving people a false sensation that summer was coming.
Many peculiar scenes cropped up as a result. The orchid farm, for instance, had trees bundled with countless fruits and also those with abundance of flowers pressing down the branches. It was an odd yet breathtaking mixture of harvest and the beginning of many new lives. Fruity and floral aroma blended to form the sweetest smell known to men.
Autumn. It carried a special meaning to the people living in this world.
The war had turned many people's homeland and farm fields into an arid and barren void. During those years, no lands were fertile, and no food were produced. People struggled to survive, but many starved to death.
In this post-civilization era, it was an onus for everyone to partake in the workforce of food harvesting every autumn.
Decades later, although the once adverse circumstance had improved drastically over the years, partaking in the harvesting team had become a custom for many. Autumn had been crowned with a significant meaning, and it also evolved into a long vacation.
As such, amongst the huge population in the village, many of them were students or workers returning from other cities for their vacation and their reunion with those of whom they had left behind. Plenty of people had already started organizing planting for the new season, so labor force did not seem to be lacking.
Chu Feng opened the fridge where food had always been piling up in hips, but now it was almost empty thanks to the edacious Yellow Ox.
"All the supermarkets had been emptied by people who wanted to stock up for the apocalypse, so right now, we're really running short on our supply. I need to come up with something to ensure that no-one would go to sleep with an empty stomach every night." Chu Feng decided to practice the boxing style first, so that he could safely go in and out of the mountains.
He wanted to go hunting. In a time when food and clothing had become a major issue, nothing could beat meat in supplying the body with vital nutrients and energy.
He practiced the boxing style in the yard with an imposing stance. He was had almost mastered the boxing style taught by Yellow Ox. The power in his fist was fearsome and explosive. Occasionally, it even came with a thunderous rumble as Chu Feng threw his punches.
There was a mysterious layer of power hovering over the surface of his fists. This layer of power allowed him to punch and jab with a terrifying force.
Chu Feng shattered a whole dollop of bluestone with his first.
"Are my hands still the hands of a human?" Chu Feng was dumbstruck. It was a chunk of solid stone which measured almost half a meter in height, but Chu Feng's fist crushed and crunched it in a heartbeat.
He tried to recognize the power that allowed him to exert force of such immensity. He realized it was the "internal force" as described in many novels in the past, but rather a curious layer of chiffon enveloping his fist.
At the same time, he noticed that if he could couple the boxing style with the strange breathing rhythm, the power would exponentially increase, becoming more terrifying than it already was.
Chu Feng could vaguely guess that the breathing pattern must have carried some extraordinary forces within it. It was to his surprise that he discovered its ability to bring the power of the boxing style to another level.
No wonder why Yellow Ox practiced the breathing pattern once every morning and once every night with a more committed attitude than that for the practice of Demon Ox Boxing.
The sun rose again in the east, shedding brightness to the world.
Zuo Jun felt a sharp pain in his head. He regained his consciousness and gradually awakened. With only a slight turn of his head, he could feel as if his brain was about to pop out.
"Where am I?"
His body rocked and swayed before he could finally stand on his feet. His face was pale as a sheet. All the vigor and vitality in his eyes had vanished. He looked bewildered, clueless to the situation he was in.
He lowered his head and noticed the tattered cloth drooping from his nearly naked body. His skin seemed ragged and split. Had there been a fight?
He finally recalled some words he was told in the end. He murmured, "That man from the Mu Family insinuated me not to be too soft on that ordinary person in Qingyang Village. I should be on my way to teach that man a lesson, but why did I fall down and fainted here? Why can't I remember anything?"
His memory ceased there. He could not recall the events that happened after that.
"Had I been ambushed on my way here?" he questioned.
At last, he began heading towards Qingyang Village. He sneered as he stumbled on. "He's just an ordinary person. Although I'm not in a good shape right now, but I could easily dally with him."
The sun soon started heating up. It was warm and cozy. Chu Feng sat in the sun, inhaling and exhaling the morning glow in his peculiar rhythm. It took him a good few hours before he finally wrapped up the breathing exercise of the day.
Zuo Jun staggered into the yard right as Chu Feng started winding up the exercise.
Chu Feng was taken aback. Why was he here again?
At first, he thought that this should all thanks to the unreliable methods conjured up by Yellow Ox. Its trampling did not erase the man's memory, so now he came here again for revenge.
"Demon Ox! See what you've done!" Chu Feng yelled.
"Shut up, you ordinary mortal! Stop going all boisterous in front of me," Zuo Jun impatiently cursed in a contemptuous manner.
Chu Feng was surprised. "It's really hard to alter one's nature, isn't it? Have I not taught you lesson about how not to be a snobbish prick?"
"Do you know me?" Zuo Jun questioned, but his face immediately darkened in anger. "No matter what, you will have to go through some suffering and some hardships. There are certain people in this world whom you can never make friends or claim ties of kinship with. Even the humble servants by her side could crush you with their higher social position."
Chu Feng had ascertained that Zuo Jun had indeed lost some of his memory, but he could still remember certain things from the period earlier; for instance, come here and bother him.
How troublesome this had become! Chu Feng didn't know whether to cry or to laugh.
"My head is aching so much. What happened? Did someone ambush me on my way here?" Zuo Jun patted his head with the look of a baffled man. He also looked annoyed. The pain was why he became even more irritable and irascible today.
"Why do I somehow feel like that I've been kicked in the head by a donkey. My head is so fxcking hurt!" He grunted.
Chu Feng found his complaint quite amusing. "You're right! You did get kicked by a donkey." Chu Feng gloated.
At the same time, Yellow Ox also emerged from the dark recesses of the house. Its face darkened in anger when it saw and heard about the situation.
Zuo Jun did not notice Yellow Ox. He grinned sardonically and scornfully. His pace was staggering, but he struggled to reel towards Chu Feng to attack him.
Chu Feng kicked Zuo Jun into the air with a side swing, slamming him onto the concrete wall. Then, he turned around and asked Yellow Ox, "What are we going to do? He still remembers to come back for us."
Yellow Ox's movement was as exasperatingly slow as usual. It pointed towards the word on the dirt ground that had been formed earlier. It said, "Easy."
Then, he strolled towards Zuo Jun.
Zuo Jun looked like he was in a trance. How did I get sent to the air by the kick of an ordinary person? Meanwhile, he also noticed the golden calf that was slowly approaching him with despise and contempt written all over its face.
What was this? Were these all happening in his imagination? He found everything so surreal and so unrealistic. How was a calf giving him a look of contempt? And why did it have such a peculiar face? Was this a dreamland?
Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!
Yellow Ox remained brute and crude with its actions. It trampled on Zuo Jun's head four times. This time, it was two times more than the last time.
Then, with a look that clearly reflected its bloated pride, it swaggered away from the crime scene.
Astonishment and shock were written all over Zuo Jun's face. His body stiffened. During his last gasp, he could not believe what he had just witnessed, but he could not help but to let his eyes roll back and lose his consciousness once again. He slowly toppled backwards. His body convulsed and shook in shock before he finally pegged out.
"Using the same method again? You sure this will work out?" Chu Feng was worried that Zuo Jun would come back again after he threw him away.
Yellow Ox kicked one of its front hooves twice in a row, implying that the two extra stomps would guarantee his complete loss of memory.
Chu Feng stayed speechless for some time before he finally decided to let it out. "Why can't you try something different?"
Yellow Ox did not utter a sound or a word. In a modest and dignified manner, he pointed at another group of words that were left from yesterday. They were still hideously written, but they were legible. It read: The Simplest is the Greatest.
something is weird with the end, what's the connection?
...had trees bundled with countless rich fruits along with the abundance of sweetly scented flowers. The juxtaposition of the scene of a harvesting autumn with that of a blooming spring provided an odd yet breathtaking mixture of the two contrasting seasons.
please check, the "but" doesn't seem right
Oh sorry! "He realized it wasn't the "internal force"....but....