Two Stories (Part 5)
Ming Suwen dug her fingernails into her hands to wrist to counteract her fear and the venomous gas that would throw off an adult lion, determined to escort Ming Feizhen to safety before she went down.
Had I not slacked off… Had I made use of my privileges… Had I not been wilful…
The Fengpeng covered dozens of metres in a hop. Given Ming Feizhen was three years older and considerably taller than her, she might’ve as well awaited death if she was going to take him along, but she’d rather bet on a 1% probability.
I need to get Feizhen to safety – if just he alone…
Instead of springing on them, the Fengpeng, heaving louder and louder, stalked its prey. Whether it was sport or another motivation, its decision had a profound effect on the martial world’s fate in the aftermath.
For whatever reason, the Fengpeng suddenly decided to charge at the two. In a last-ditch effort, Ming Suwen shunted Ming Feizhen away. Like a grain of dust subject to anyone’s will, Ming Suwen zoomed through the air. The Fengpeng then encroached upon her, eyes glowing brighter and brighter.
“Oi, half-wit…” The should-be unconscious youth howled, “Get… away from her!”
The Fengpeng’s red eyes no longer scared him, and its size no longer mattered for he’d rather not see the image of Ming Suwen being buried alive manifested into reality.
Ming Feizhen uncorked the most ferocious punch he ever threw in his life. Alas, the Fengpeng’s dispersed red mist broke every bone from his fingers to his wrist.
“Argh! Argh! F$#@ this!”
Blood roiling, not even Ming Feizhen’s broken body could stop him. Nevertheless, his rage also blinded him, literally, from the gaping mouth. Regardless of how much anger he had, one bite would silence his belting. That… was how it was supposed to end.
The Fengpeng had Ming Feizhen on its tongue, yet it didn’t close its jaws. It wasn’t because it didn’t want to but because a man held up its top jaw with one hand and kept its bottom jaw from rising with his feet.
“Sorry, piggy, but the brat you want to snack on… is my disciple.”
The familiar, condescending tone made the Fengpeng vividly relive the pain of having its fang chopped off.
Desperate, the Fengpeng coiled Ming Feizhen straight down without masticating first. In response, Ming Huayu gently set a hand on its belly. “Give him back.”
Ming Huayu ejected energy straight from his hand, lobbing the Fengpeng across the field. Though it was rocked, the Fengpeng didn’t suffer any unbearable injuries. Having eaten corpses of mutated beasts, Ming Feizhen’s uncles and him, the Fengpeng was no longer the weak beast it was upon emergence. Most importantly, its appetite was burgeoning.
Even though he had a monster roaring as it chased him, Ming Huayu didn’t appear fettered. “Feizhen, you’ll have to save yourself. If you die…”
While the Fengpeng chomped Ming Huayu’s afterimage, Ming Huayu had already retreated over thirty metres and then vaulted between its heads. With one hand on a head each, he fired two qi tornadoes at both heads simultaneously, rattling the Fengpeng. Ming Huayu chased down the Fengpeng stumbling backwards, fingers glued together. As soon as it exposed its fang, Ming Huayu lopped its fang off.
“… all I can do is avenge you.”
Ming Huayu held off the Fengpeng for no less than two hours on his own before Hero Shenzhou arrived. Although Hero Shenzhou wasn’t the carry of the squad that banished the Chaofeng back to the abyss, he needed more time to recover than in his younger days.
“I’d inevitably be its next meal if you were any later.” Ming Huayu’s complaint wasn’t the least bit convincing when he didn’t have a blemish on his clothing.
Ming Huayu tried to mount a counter multiple times, but he was unable to deal any effective damage beside the fang chop; not even slamming it into the ground fazed it.
The seemingly sleepy elder with a long beard questioned, “Why are you so worked up?”
“It ate my disciple.”
“Before you recovered, you old bum.”
“… Guess you can only avenge him, in that case.”
“Stop pointing out the obvious and use Overarching Heaven already.”
Hero Shenzhou unsheathed the sword passed down in Mount Daluo. It was believed that Six Evils hated Overarching Heaven more than anything because it once drank the blood of their predecessors.
The Fengpeng saw its own blood for the first time when Hero Shenzhou slit its back. Ming Huayu had the upper hand on his own, so the two overwhelmed the monster in no time.
“… Why?” Hero Shenzhou inquired.
“How should I know? Maybe our ancestors’ calculations has a mistake?”
Only around fourteen hours ago, the two of them did battle with the Colossal Chaofeng and took twelve hours to bring it down, not to mention the wounds that Hero Shenzhou hadn’t recovered from. The Fengpeng was supposed to grow stronger, bigger and wilder as its appetite grew unlike the Colossal Chaofeng.
Ming Huayu didn’t believe that he would die stalling the Fengpeng; however, he didn’t expect it to be so easy, either. He wasn’t markedly stronger than previous generations; the Fengpeng was just significantly weaker.
Something had to be amiss to explain the discrepancy between the Colossal Chaofeng and Fengpeng, especially the absence of the Fengpeng’s notable characteristics.
Ming Huayu slammed his hand into the Fengpeng’s dome, incapacitating it on the ground. Hero Shenzhou approached it as they needed Overarching Heaven to finish it. The Fengpeng only grunted weakly as though it was begging to be put out of its misery.
“Geezer, its heart is by its chest.”
Upon spotting a crimson glow through the Fengpeng’s chest, Hero Shenzhou immediately impaled it. As blood gushed out comparably to a waterfall, the Fengpeng gradually stopped moving altogether. Even so, the two closely monitored the red glow in its chest because they didn’t believe it fell within the realm of a “normal reaction”.
A human silhouette in the Fengpeng’s chest stood up from the blood bath. He had blood coursing down his mouth and the Fengpeng’s flesh in his hands. The gleaming red eyes behind the splayed hair and black miasma coming from him gave him the appearance of a humanoid Fengpeng.
Fingers glued together – To fortify the strength of his knife hand. Just try chopping with your fingers spread versus together.
Overarching Heaven – This is another way of referring the highest level of heaven. If you want to go down the rabbit hole, read up on 36 heavens of Taoism. You don’t need to know about it if you just want to read the story.