Chapter 33: The Tender Land
Translator: Mike Editor: Chrissy
The call suspended in a brief moment of silence.
Moments later, the woman started spewing!
"Do you live in a gaping crater or what? All those who went fell or dropped to either becoming mutilated or severely wounded! What the hell!" she hollered and shrieked like a mad cow or a drunk man consummating an overwhelming feeling.
The woman's clamor was ear-splittingly loud. Chu Feng distanced himself from the receiver but still paid attention to the words she spoke. Finally, he responded in a frivolous manner, "Yeah, yeah. Spot on! Not only do I live inside a crater, I also dig holes deeper into the earth to make space for parterres and farmlands. I've planted vegetables and quite a number of orchids. Those trees grew quite dense in the area, so I won't really blame them for missing this obvious hole on the ground. I'm so sorry that they have had the misfortune to tumble into their demise here."
That woman's breathing became coarser and coarser as Chu Feng's passage of flippant words dragged out. Listening from this side of the communicator, Chu Feng could even vaguely tell that the woman's breast was driven by anger, fluctuating violently.
Chu Feng shovelled aside the communicator away from his ears.
As expected, a tirade of furious rants blasted on the other end of the line.
"I don't have time to discuss with you about some craters, and I don't give a DAMN about what you want to plant in there. But listen! I need you to ensure that those people, my people, are perfectly fine, or I will go there and make your life an insufferable hell!"
The woman clamored on the phone. She eventually realized the enormity of her faux pas at once, but she just couldn't resist the urge to raise her voice and holler at Chu Feng.
Her attitude and manner carried a completely different set of demeanors to her usual mien. She had never been a miffy person. Elegance, grace, poise and honor had always been the her code of conduct, but now, these commendable characters had all parted from her. There was a ball of fire within her that unsettled her heart.
"But, all of them had been somehow badly injured. I don't think there is much chance for them to live through the infliction of their trauma. Probably, this has been destined to be their undoing. It's their fate, so what can I do?" Chu Feng asked.
"If you can't do sh*t, find someone that can! Find a doctor! Send them to the hospital! I don't care what you can or cannot do, but if you can't keep them alive, then I will make sure that you will be buried with them!" the woman shouted.
"Why should I?"
"How dare you talk to me like this?" the woman grunted.
The woman quickly hung up the communicator, because she realized the impropriety in her demeanors. One could easily expose their weakness and the fatal flaws in their character when one was taken over by emotion. This should not have been her style.
She needed to stay calm and remain in a placid composure. She did not want herself to be learnt by or known to someone as despicable and incompetent as Chu Feng.
Obviously, she had been taken over by emotion, but she could quickly collect herself and cease that temporal upheaval of emotion.
She removed herself from the agitated state of her swinging mood. The raging flame ablaze in her eyes was removed and replaced by a cool glitter that reflected her profound intelligence.
As she knew, because of the close relationships between Chu Feng and Lin Naoi, the attention of some of the top executives from Deity Biomedical Group had been drawn into conducting a series of investigation of Chu Feng's background and ability. Secretly, they had been experimenting on Chu Feng's hair that they had collected. The results of the experiments were almost certain that it would be highly unlikely for him to become a mutant.
"Just a despicable ordinary. He's got no power himself at all, so who was lending him the helping hand?" the woman mumbled to herself. Then, the name of Lin Naoi called to mind. "Has she become aware of our planned assassination of him?" The woman was taken aback by her own thought.
However, it seemed highly unlikely that Lin Naoi would have devoted herself to others amidst an outbreak of chaos and upheavals. The fact that their relationships had never been a fervent one further disapproved the likelihood of her lending him a helping hand.
"All these mess can also be the devilry of Bodhi Genes. Are they helping him as a way to strike against us?" She frowned upon the thought.
She drew her communicator to her hands then browsed through the list of contacts. Her finger was pondering above a name called Wei Mu, but her hesitation finally ended with her giving up calling the person and turning off the communicator.
Just as she was perturbed, the communicator rang to withdraw her from her muse.
Her face stiffened when she saw the name of the caller. It was Chu Feng. She had been developing an increasingly deeper hatred of him minute by minute. Everything bothersome that had happened recently had all been related to him more or less.
"What do you want?" asked the woman apathetically.
"What do I want? It should be 'what do you want'? The bat and the spider were both on the verge of death, so for how much longer are you planning to leave them with me for?" Chu Feng asked.
"Let me speak to them!" the woman demanded. Even when situation had developed into a sticky one for her, the slights in her tone still predominated her speech. There was an air of arrogance in her demand which ordered him to let the other three speak to her.
"I've said it earlier that all three had fainted, and two of them were in a state of coma. They were too severely wounded, so I reckon there is little chance for them to come back to life ever again. But all in all, I'm still kind of scared of them, so hurry up and let your people take them away!" Chu Feng urged.
The woman paused in a moment of silence. She told Chu Feng that within a day or two, there would be someone coming to pick them up. She urged him to make sure that the three could be taken good care of. She warned him again that if the three died or mutilated, she would make him pay.
After the call, Chu Feng happily went to sleep.
However, the woman, on the other hand, had been lead to a night of insomnia. She was driven a bit furious by the fact that she had failed to settle this issue with an aloof and detached manner, but instead been taken over by agitated emotions.
"No matter who is planning to oppose my resolution to kill him, I will make sure that he will be as good as dead." The woman had made a determined effort in this ruthless case of assassination.
Morning came again as the sun rose above the horizon. Chu Feng perched in the rising sun, bathing himself with the warm and gentle rays of the morning sun. He devoted himself to the practice of the special breathing exercise day and night, because he knew that this was an important procedure more crucial than the practice of Demon Ox Boxing Style.
Yellow Ox's demeanors had proven this assumption of his. No matter how indolent the calf was, it had never missed a single morning or night to devote itself to the practice of the breathing exercise.
As to the practice of Demon Ox Boxing Style, the calf could not get any more inattentive and apathetic.
After breakfast, Chu Feng called Yellow Ox, "Let's go into the mountains!"
Yellow Ox inscribed a few words on the dirt road, asking what if someone came to pay them a visit while they are not around.
"Their target is me and the missing mutants. If none of them are here, what else can they do?" Chu Feng smiled. He seemed barely worried.
"Well, to save them some extra toilsome works, I think it'd be better off leaving a note for them."
Chu Feng fetched quite a sizeable piece of paper and scribbled a line of walloping letters on it. Then, he glued it to the front gate.
The message was short and concise: "Because of severe shock due to recent horrific encounters, I have gone sightseeing in the mountains to enjoy a diversion."
Finally, he roughly mapped a path that lead into the depth of primitive mountains which he would delve into. This would let his visitors know that in case of an urgent matter, he could be found there.
But the truth was that Chu Feng had never planned to let anyone who came walk away alive. If they wanted him to die, they had to pave the path ahead.
Chu Feng felt ever so disgusted and appalled by the way by which that woman spoke and the fact that she had rejected his wish to talk to a past lover. Hatred boiled in him, rendering him eager to extinguish more of her trusted followers, her underlings and her pawns. The dark side of his heart had made him revel in the joy of pummelling his enemies to death.
However, he would not let this undermine his continual effort to improve his skills under an actual combat condition. If they wanted to die a painful death, they would have to look for him first. If he walked into the mountains to steel and harden himself, they would have to follow with no complaints.
On his way to the mountains, Zhou Quan called into his mind.
"Recent experience in the mountains had proven to be a precious opportunity to improve all aspects of myself. Although it is a dangerous place, the experience is invaluable."
He decided to bring Zhou Quan into the mountains to train alongside with him.
Zhou Quan was a mutant with powers surpassing the level of a normal human being. Steeling and tempering his skills and his power amongst the depth of these mountains should help him unlock his potentials and release the primitive power embedded deeply within him.
"Let's go find Zhou Quan first."
For him, with the extraordinary power and speed that he possessed, travelling a hundred li by foot was a task he could easily achieve.
The distance between Qing Yang village and the town in which Zhou Quan lived used to be a mere ten li of travelling, but now, commuting between the two places had become an epic adventure hindered by many primitive mountains that cropped up as the land expanded.
"Hey man, I'm coming for you. Come and see me outside the town. I'll bring you somewhere fun." Chu Feng rung up Zhou Quan.
Zhou Quan sounded quite excited. "Thank God! Do you know how sick and tired my life had recently become? Oh man, ain't you a friend in need! Hurry and come, I will host a dinner party just for you. There we will eat and drink to our heart's content. Then at night, we can go bathing in a hot spring, or if you want some whores and hookers, there are plenty here too!"
"Enough of this obscenity of yours! How about I will bring you to somewhere even better, that have things more exciting than the places you said. I guarantee that they will make you tremble in frenzy and thrill from inside out," Chu Feng said.
"What? How come I've never heard of this exciting place? Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely in for some cheap thrills too, but as someone tied to this little town since birth, why have I never discovered a place of such elation?" Zhou Quan sounded doubtful.
"You'll see in a second. Just wait for me!" Chu Feng laughed.
"Alright! I will come pick you up!" Zhou Quan was quite enthusiastic.
Outside the town.
A silver sedan briskly out of the twisty road of the small town at full pelt. Zhou Quan was rash and too much in haste. He slammed the brakes on when he saw Chu Feng. Kicking open the door on the driver's side, Zhou Quan hastily jumped out of the car.
"Oh my good-o-man! You have no idea how much I've missed you." Zhou Quan was all fervent and passionate, giving him an ecstatic bear hug without a second of hesitation.
Chu Feng was dumbstruck. Was this the Zhou Quan he used to know?
He was a wiry and sure-footed man now. The chubby look and the bulging belly could be seen no more.
Certainly, the most eye-catching feature belonged to him was that heavily exaggerated slick-back hair style. Every strand of his hair had been combed back, forming a dense and bulky layer of wig in the shape of a dustpan.
Zhou Quan's new look prompted Chu Feng into a fit of violent laughter.
Vaguely, he could see the pair of horns hiding beneath the dense hair.
No wonder his parents had remarked that he looked like a local ruffian. If this had not qualified as the stereotypical look of a scoundrel, what would?
Chu Feng was conscious of the troubled expression on Zhou Quan's face. The now skinny man moaned and groaned, moped and sighed, looking ever so woeful. He ran his fingers through the thick mat of hair, looking indignant. The ineffable appearance of this pair of horns really wounded him up.
"Be optimistic, man. At least you've lost so much weight." Chu Feng laughed.
Since his teenage years, Zhou Quan had always been rocking a turgid belly, and his face was also meaty and swollen. His ears were massive too, so as he smiled, he looked very much like Maitreya Buddha.
"Where is Demon Ox?" Zhou Quan asked. "Oh, and I've also brought two of my cousins along with me today. They've heard about how fun and thrilling the place we're going will be, so they shamelessly asked to come along with us."
Chu Feng frowned by this piece of unexpected news.
Recently, he had been quite troubled by the Deity Biomedical Group. He did not want Zhou Quan to get involved as well, so he wanted no-one to see that this ruffian-looking man was in his close company-the reason why he had asked him to meet him outside the town. But now, there seemed to be no other alternatives than to urge these two cousins of Zhou Quan to keep their mouth shut about the activities they were about to commit.
"Demon Ox!" Zhou Quan finally saw Yellow Ox.
The calf was sitting on a bluestone in the distance. Like a man, it perched on the tip of the stone in a cross-legged position. There was a wild fruit in its cupped front hooves, and the calf was munching on it edaciously.
Having heard Zhou Quan call out its name, the calf slowly strolled over. It walked only through its hind hooves and kept its torso upright.
"What the hell!"
In the distance, two young men, who had just disembarked from the car, led out a cry of horror. Their faces turned pale as a sheet. Their bodily reaction made them look like as if they had caught sight of a ghost. They jumped back into the car, ready to escape.
"Why are you guys panicking? Come here!"
It was crucial moment, but Zhou Quan had stayed rather prudent. He called his cousins over, introducing them to the calf with a solemn expression. "You've seen many mutants emerging in our town, and even I have this pair of stupid horns on my head. So don't behave as if you had never seen a mutant before. This calf is also a mutant, but he was a loser who failed the process of mutation, and that caused him to totally look like a cow!"
"Now I see." The two young men seemed dubious.
Plumes of white smoke puffed from its nostrils, but in the end, it managed to restrain its anger. It stuck out one of its front hooves, sweeping away the excessive hair that covered Zhou Quan's horny head. It gazed at the horns from left to right, then humped itself with front hooves pressing its stomach, bursting out in a fit of violent laughter.
Zhou Quan turned angry from embarrassment, then angrily exclaimed, "What's so funny, huh? They were just two horns sticking out of my head. All in all, I'm still better than you!"
Yellow Ox inscribed a few words on the ground, it said, "Incomplete form of an ox-head man." Then, it pointed to Zhou Quan.
"F*ck you! How dare you call me an ox-head man? I'm gonna kill you son of a b*tch!" Zhou Quan got heated. He thrust himself onto the calf, trying to subdue it and teach it a lesson.
Chu Feng was speechless. It seemed like the two were born to be the defamer of another man's character. It was an incorrigible disease that the two had to fight whenever they met.
"Go home and look up what an ox-head man is before you call me that. Learn to respect!" Zhou Quan was still making a racket after the two were pulled apart.
Almost immediately, Yellow Ox fished out a communicator from within a huge hop-pocket set around its body. Its front hooves nimbly typed and clicked on the screen of the device, deftly searching the term via the internet. Then, the grin on its bovine face cracked even wider.
Zhou Quan was taken aback by the sight. He had been informed of the calf's obsession with the communicator, thus many people had been frequently disturbed and harassed due to this newly founded interest of the calf; however, personally witnessing its expertise-level of operating skills with the communicator had really struck him dumb.
"What a beast!" Zhou Quan vented out an unearthly cry.
Finally, Zhou Quan sent off his cousins back to the town, then left for the mountains with Chu Feng on his own.
"Excuse me, but why are we walking in the direction where the mountains are? Where is that fun place you're boasting about?" Zhou Quan was dubious.
"The way is right. We're almost there."
"That's good. Oh, and is it really going to be that exciting?" Zhou Quan seemed quite expectant.
"Take it easy and put your trust in me. I guarantee that the experience will be at an unprecedented level of excitement. Rest assured." Chu Feng led the way ahead.
"Oh right, I've heard about it before too. There are many hearsays about the manors and abbeys built by a financial magnate in the depth of Taihang Mountains. Are we actually going there? Oh, that would be lovely! I heard that the place could lead a befuddled life where we could drink and hook up girls in an all uninhibited manner. Isn't this what they call, 'fiddle while Rome is burning'?! But are you sure that they are still open when the world outside had all turned upside down?"
"Again, rest assured. They're still open," Chu Feng answered.
"Great! The enthralling experience of enjoying female charms in an intimate manner is exactly the type of fun I'm after. Oh, my tender land. Here I come!"