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The artificial rain had stopped completely.
Jiang Shaoliu scratched his hair and rubbed the blood off his face.
"Mr. Jiang, that was incredible." Liu Guang looked him up and down. "That's the combat suit I'd given you, isn't it? Still in good condition, even after all that!"
Chen Anguo smiled and poked him in the chest. "Well done, Mr. Jiang. I would charge ahead myself if I were as strong as you, hehe."
Jiang Shaoliu chuckled heartily.
"Doctor Jiang!" the skinny soldier arrived by his side and saluted. "They've told me about you before, but I thought they were just exaggerating. I see I now I was wrong."
Jiang Shaoliu returned the salute.
As his fingers touched his brow, a red laser dot appeared on his forehead.
Everyone gasped and turned around alertly.
There was a Hongfa Group sniper in the distance, kneeling on the ground with his rifle aimed at Jiang Shaoliu.
"Hongfa!" The soldier's palm metalized and he immediately stuck it out in front of Jiang Shaoliu's forehead. "Doctor Jiang, don't worry, you will never get hurt under the military's protection!"
Jiang Shaoliu smiled and pushed his hand aside: "Thank you, I really appreciate it, but I can deal with my own business…"
Then rushed away.
He was getting hungry again and there was no time to lose.
He was speeding toward a target right in front of him - a glittering, red rare fruit inside a seam in the rocks, obvious as a traffic light.
"This will turn nasty for Li Xiang and Bai Long." Jiang Shaoliu leaned far forward as he accelerated further and further. "Did he really think I'd feel grateful to him when he clearly only took my side to get his hands on my martial techniques? Pah!"
Ruo Feng rushed after him, looking for a good filming angle.
All the masters from the Gangxing Group, the Yungang League and the Hongfa Group were wildly chasing Jiang Shaoliu across the rocky ground, a dark ma.s.s of people occasionally briefly illuminated up by the muzzle flash from a rifle.
"Split up, we still need the fruit!" someone shouted. "Regroup with the rest once you collect the fruit!"
A dozen masters from the three factions broke off the main group and scattered in different directions.
"Don't even think about taking my rare fruit!" Jiang Shaoliu fumbled for any stones he could reach on the ground and started throwing them haphazardly over his shoulders.
The stones whistled away like bullets, with alarming precision. Behind him, one man after another screamed out and dropped to the ground.
The viewers complained and quarreled in Ruo Feng's livestream:
"d.a.m.n, this guy's is a human artillery battery! That's impressive!"
"Stones? Is that the best he's got? Common!"
"Why are these idiots not blasting him with the rocket launchers?"
"How dare you try to steal Jiang Shaoliu's fruits? Stay still or he'll break your legs!"
The three factions' men didn't dare get distracted by collecting fruits. They all bunched together and followed Jiang Shaoliu.
Gravel and puffs of dust exploded in his face from time to time, dozens of alloy bullets flying over him every second.
Some hit his back and tore the fabric of his combat suit, exposing the glittering alloy steel threads.
Jiang Shaoliu kept going and plucked up the rare fruit without stopping for a second. It was as big as a tennis ball but he finished it with just two bites, smearing his mouth and chin with sticky red juice.
The viewers.h.i.+p got excited again.
"This guy was a pig in a past life. How can he keep eating so much?"
"Jiang Shaoliu, your table manners have changed my opinion of you. Unfortunately, I regret to inform you that I will not be following you anymore."
"Doesn't he ever need to go to the toilet? Is he constipated? ROFL"
Jiang Shaoliu changed direction and continued towards the next rare fruit.
The soldiers watched him from a distance, struggling to make sense of things.
Should they grab some a.s.sociated rare fruits? But this would mean potentially going against Jiang Shaoliu, who might decide to start throwing stones at them as well.
However, giving up would be going against orders.
"Quick, up the mountain!" The skinny soldier barked. "There're rare fruits up there too. Doctor Jiang is clearing the valley, and we will take care of the mountainside."
The company cheered and charged toward the cliffs.
"Forty, forty one…" Jiang Shaoliu's eyes lit up giddily. He swallowed heavenly fruit after heavenly fruit, paying no attention to their quality or aftereffects.
There weren't so many left in the valley now.
Jiang Shaoliu swallowed the forty second, and stopped.
The masters from the three factions were still chasing behind him, breathing heavily and their bronze colors almost faded. The more powerful among them were still in good spirit, colorful airflow flowing around their feet.
At the fore of the group were the lady in purple and the three team leaders, Gui Gui, Tai, Tiger, and Leopard.
These six masters with two silver life rings stopped in front of Jiang Shaoliu, glittering with silver light.
The viewers back in the city were worked up to a frenzy.
"Why did you stop?! Ruuun! They can't keep up!"
"What are you standing there for? Posing for pictures? Just get on with it and fight already!!!!!"
"Is he seriously going to fight against all those on his own? LOL did he overdose on all those fruit and went nuts?"
"Do you think Jiang Shaoliu realized that he will die anyway for offending all those powerful people and decided to just get it over with?"
Jiang Shaoliu approached the six masters slowly, holding out his arm and calmly stating, "There's a rare fruit right there."
The six turned around at the same time.
There was indeed a rare fruit where Jiang Shaoliu pointed, half-exposed in a crack in a big boulder. The almost-translucent plant would have been quite difficult to find if it weren't for him pointing it out.
He threw himself forward like a battering ram, straight into the hundreds of baffled martial artists in front of him.
Those who managed to get out of the way in time were saved, but the unfortunate ones directly in his path were sent flying in all directions.
The army of masters split before Jiang Shaoliu like a sea, panicked and confused men scattering in all directions like ants from a burning anthill.
The second platform on Liang Duan Mountain.
Yin Manshu, Chi Xiao, Bai Long and Lin Yuetao finished their calls at the same time.
A deep, ear-splitting roar drew their attention upward.
Nine humongous beasts were towering over them. In the middle stood a lion almost twenty meters tall, covered by flowing silver light like a huge silver sculpture, its majestic mane fluttering in the wind.
The lion scratched the edge of the cliff above them with its claws, causing a small avalanche.
There were four monsters on its right and left, each over fifteen meters tall and covered in gleaming silver.
No silver-ringed beasts had ever been seen in the region of Yungang except the silver snail Jiang Shaoliu had bested earlier.
Now there were nine.
Lin Yuetao raised his staff.
Chi Xiao bit his lip b.l.o.o.d.y and licked off the blood, a s.a.d.i.s.tic grin on his face.
Bai Long smacked the hilt of his sword and it split into two twin blades.
Yin Manshu wound the crystal thread around her finger.
"Together!" Lin Yuetao shouted and charged.
The others followed.
Jiang Shaoliu finally stopped.
"Ninety three," he threw the last morsel of a succulent heavenly fruit down his throat.
His stomach finally starting to fill up. He was still hungry, but it wasn't so bad anymore.
"The ape ancestors would eat ten dragons and ten elephants when they created the golden abyss…" Jiang Shaoliu muttered to himself. "Why can I still not create it after swallowing up so many monsters and ninety-three of these heavenly fruit?"
His true qi was very active. He could feel his stomach ring rotating slowly as the contents of his stomach were gradually absorbed into it.
"I've no idea how long I can keep doing this…" Jiang Shaoliu rubbed his belly and looked up slowly.
There weren't many rare fruits on the cliff faces, only a few scattered in the steepest, hardest-to-reach places.
His gaze continued to rise up toward the second platform hugging the mountain.
He could see ten silver lights up there. Among them, nine were extremely bright and big and closing in on the smallest one.
Rocks and debris were cascading down the cliffs all along the mountainside, causing general pandemonium and panic.
Every master from the four main factions as well as the three hundred or so bounty hunters in Valentine Valley and on the slopes of Liang Duan Mountain were headed in that direction.
"Nine silver giant beasts?" Jiang Shaoliu wondered. "Did Lion Warrior and the others call for backup?"
And he thought that snail was the only silver-ringed beast in Sector 2...
Unexpectedly, the more powerful silver monsters had all gathered on Liang Duan Mountain.
Jiang Shaoliu became intrigued. "That fancy new fruit must be really amazing..."
Generally, the amount of beasts that came to fight over a newly ripe heavenly fruit was a good indication of its value. Somehow, the mutated beasts had an intuitive sense of this.
"Ordinary rare fruits must not be very attractive for strong monsters like them. Suppose I should get a closer look." Jiang Shaoliu began to move.
Most of the monsters remaining on Liang Duan Mountain were cl.u.s.tered on the paths leading up the mountain.
In total, about seven hundred human masters were racing toward the second platform, showering the mountainside with bullets and bombs and driving the monsters back.
Some masters were unwittingly snagged up by the monstrous birds of prey and dropped down the cliffs to their doom.
The hundred-odd army masters at the front were already clambering over the edges of the first platform, the skinny and burly soldiers leading the charge.
A great battle was developing on the eastern slopes of Liang Duan Mountain, and the human masters, as well as the monsters, paid no attention to the western peak.
Except Ruo Feng.
He stopped on a tall cliff with a good view of the western face of the mountain, his smart watch camera aimed squarely at Jiang Shaoliu.
"The angle is perfect and the focus is just right..."