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Chu Feng came back to the city of Shuntian. The wide roads and the towering buildings were quite a contrast to the wilderness. Chu Feng stood on the streets, lost in thought.
The past few days had been wild for him. He murdered a crimson dragon from the west at the foot of Kunlun Mountains; then he battled with "Zeus the coal-colored vine" at Mount Olympia. Everything felt like a dream. Nothing seemed real anymore.
What he saw in front of him right now was the life that a man should live. It
was the bustle and hustle of a functioning society, but for almost half of the time, Chu Feng had been away from these. He was a man who belonged in the grand wilderness and the fierce battle with the other beasts.
He shook his head. Every time he came back, it was always difficult for him to adjust. It felt almost as if his life had been turned upside down. He couldn’t tell whether the life out there or the life inside the safety of the walls seemed more real to him.
Chu Feng got home just as w.a.n.g Jing and Chu Zhiyuan were opening the house door. At first, they were stunned by their son’s sudden appearance, then they looked pleasantly surprised.
"I asked you to be home in three days, but it took you almost a week." w.a.n.g Jing pulled his ear, but there was a visceral smile on her face. Soon, her eyes became watery.
"Mom, let go. I’m back regardless, right? There is simply too much good food out there for me to miss. All that meat… Oh, jeez… I just couldn’t help but linger on for a few more days."
Chu Feng tried to make the conversation light. He knew that his parents had been constantly on the edge of their seats lately. Especially after the news of his death came circulating on the internet, the days that followed felt like the end of the world for his parents.
The battle of Kunlun was on live broadcast. The two must have seen the fierce battle between Chilin and their son. How could they not quake in terror? The beast their son was facing was a b.l.o.o.d.y dragon, for goodness sake!
Seeing what their son was doing on a day-to-day basis, the two could never truly have peace of mind. Without knowing if their son was safe or when their son was going to meet his maker, the two had been having their hearts in their mouths everyday.
But now, Chu Feng re-joined this family. Joy and happiness came back to this family again. w.a.n.g Jing and Chu Zhiyuan could finally set themselves free from worries, free from fear. The two had always been optimistic about things, and now their son’s reunion made them quickly forget about all the emotional trauma that had been inflicted on them during the past few weeks.
"Mom, I’ve brought something good for you. A bracelet made of dragon bones! Just wear it all the time, and it will help you loosen up your bones and muscles. It will also promote the growth of new cells. This thing is priceless. I handpicked the part where I think the essence of a beast was most concentrated, and it’s the frontal bone of a beast’s skull. The benefit of this thing is unimaginable."
Chu Feng pulled out a glittering and translucent bracelet. The bracelet looked like a string of white jade that looked fine and sparkling. The bracelet, though inanimate, was full of vigor.
"Are you sure it’s as good as you say?" w.a.n.g Jing was a little doubtful.
"Yes, mom. It might even be better than what I said. Have you not heard that Bodhi Genetics and Deity Biomedical were both itching to have their hands on this bracelet? They have offered Kunlun an exorbitant price for just a bracelet."
"What exorbitant price have they offered?"
"Enough for us to buy a few houses."
"Then what’re we waiting for? Sell it to them!" w.a.n.g Jing said.
"But, this bracelet will make you look younger and prettier. It can promote new c
ell growth. It’ll keep you young forever."
Having heard this, w.a.n.g Jing immediately wrapped the bracelet around her wrist. "Well then, no way I’m gonna give this away!" she said in a firm and affirmative tone.
Chu Feng was amused. Then, he pulled out a pair of crimson paperweights that looked just as glittering as the bracelet. "Dad, this is carved out of a slate of dragon horn. It contains an unparalleled amount of energy and virility. I know you like reading books in your spare time, so why don’t you place this paperweight somewhere in your study. This will make sure that you are full of energy and vigor every day. Everyday, you will feel as strong as an eighteen-year-old!" Chu Feng said.
"If I’m eight-year-old, then how old are you?" Chu Zhiyuan glowered at Chu Feng, but he was smiling. He carefully took it from Chu Feng’s hand.
Chu Feng laughed. "You don’t need to be so cautious. It’s okay to drop it. It’s firmer than steel. This is the most precious part of a dragon’s horn, yet it’s also the hardest part. You can even use it as a hammer if you want; like I said, it’s firmer than steel!"
Laughter and joy filled the room.
Chu Zhiyuan was in high spirits during dinner. He took out a bottle of Moutai specially for the occasion. He asked Chu Feng to drink with him.
w.a.n.g Jing saw Chu Feng taking out something from his ma.s.sive baggage. It looked like a beef jerky. "What it that? It looks all mouldy and foul. Is that even edible?"
Chu Feng laughed. "This is the meat jerky of a dragon, and these ones over here are the meat jerky of a donkey. They were made fresh. Have you never heard of that old saying? It goes like this: ‘dragon meat for the G.o.ds, and donkey meat for the mortals’. And now, the best of both worlds is here. I was afraid that the meat might go bad, so I didn’t bring any fresh meat home. Otherwise, right now, what you’re looking at here wouldn’t be just a pile of dried meat; it would have been fresh meat with blood dripping."
The family munched away at the jerkies. w.a.n.g Jing and Chu Zhiyuan couldn’t stop praising the tastiness of the meat. "So delicious!" They didn’t seem to mind the shabby appearance of the meat anymore. The taste was enough to win them over.
Chu Feng even began to question whether his over-indulgence in drinking and eating were nurtured by his parents! w.a.n.g Jing and Chu Zhiyuan were having absolutely no table manners. Shoving the meat into their mouth seemed like the only matter with which they concerned.
Only until little was left had w.a.n.g Jing suddenly remembered that what she was eating was the meat of a beast king. "Can we even eat this? Isn’t it the meat of a beast king?" she asked.
"Of course, you can. Don’t get fooled by Lu Tong. That old man pushed us away from eating the meat of Ashwolf because he wanted to keep those meat for his laboratory and his research purposes."
Chu Feng explained that no matter how capable a beast king was, all that power would be left behind once he died. The meat of a dead body was devoid of all mysterious elements. Nothing would be harmful. Once the meat was roasted, it would eventually rot away.
"Of course, it doesn’t mean that the meat has lost everything that’s special about it. It’s still full of nutrients that may prove to be greatly beneficial for one’s health," Chu Feng said, "moreover, we’ve done all the necessary processing before we cook the meat, so everything has been purified." Chu Feng laughed.
"Feng’s not exaggerating. I do feel a stream of warmth in my bloodstream. I feel like I have an inexhaustible supply of strength stored in me. I’ve never felt so alive before!"
"Yes, I feel the strength too. Let’s give some to Lu Tong. That old man has been treating us very well recently. He visited us almost every day when you were away. Oh, Ouyang Qing often came along as well," w.a.n.g Jing said.
"Don’t you worry about that, mom. There’s a separate bag of meat I’ve prepared specially for them." Chu Feng laughed.
After dinner, this family of three were watching television in the living room. At last, they started talking about the "real" business.
"This time, you’ll have to find a girlfriend. If you don’t, I will make you go on a blind date again. You have to get married!" w.a.n.g Jing said.
"I’m still young, mom. I’m only in my early twenties. I’ll be a laughingstock if I get married this early in my life." Chu Feng was shamelessly acting young.
"Still young? Early twenties? But you know what? There are plenty of people that your dad and I know who are younger than us but have already got their grandson. What’s the matter with you?" w.a.n.g Jing refuted in such a tone that almost left Chu Feng with no room to say anything.
"That’s because you and my dad were married at a very old age and gave birth to me at a very old age, so I’m much younger than the children that your other friends have. Don’t try to talk me into this; it doesn’t make sense!" Chu Feng was resentful.
Chu Zhiyuan said, "It’s mostly because your mother and I are scared. If you promise you’re never going to step outside of this city, then we’ll let you decide for yourself. But the reality is, we don’t know when you are going to suddenly leave us again. We don’t know if we are ever going to see you again. You are the dragon slayer, the tiger slayer, and for that, I’m proud. But what if one day, you lose your life for it? What are we going to do? You have to understand your mother and I. We’re in a difficult situation too."
This time, he was on the same side as his wife.
w.a.n.g Jing was glowering at her son. "I know you’re a capable man, but there must be a limit to it. I don’t mind you slaying dragons by yourself, but I find it a bit too over the top for you to find a professional reporter to broadcast the entire process of you battling at Mount Olympia. You’re utterly out of your mind? You’re courting troubles in doing so, son! I know you like fame, but fame can be a double-edged sword. What’s that reporter’s name? Kat! Yes, Kat!" w.a.n.g Jing said, "Where’re you going next, huh? Are you also gonna battle with a flood dragon in East Sea or are you gonna try to capture a fairy at the Heavenly Southern Gate?"
Chu Feng felt a bit guilty because he and the black yak had decided to find that legendary mulberry tree in the ocean. They were planning to set off for that journey in just a few days!
With both of his parents reproaching him for his neglect of his duty as a son, Chu Feng went utterly speechless.
At last, he stood up and said, "Alright, mom. Let me make a phone call first. I’ve already had someone in mind, but I’ll have to ask if she is willing to have a relations.h.i.+p with me first. If she doesn’t, then I’ll go to your little blind date."
"Hurry up then!" The two pressed Chu Feng for action.
Although Chu Feng’s freedom of action and freedom of choice were always deprived of him every time he came home, he still felt that home was a pleasant place to be at. "Maybe everyone’s family is like this," Chu Feng mumbled to himself.
Nonetheless, for someone who frequented places like Mount Olympia and Kunlun Mountains, it was difficult to for Chu Feng to get himself into a more serious frame of mind. His ambition was on the battleground.
"Will I ever be able to leave this world one day? Is that even possible? If so, when will I leave? And how?" Chu Feng mumbled to himself in his own room. This question had always been troubling for him. At this stage, not much time was left for him to find out the answer.
He had learnt a lot from Yellow Ox. The world to which Chu Feng called home was a special one for him, but once the calf found the ultimate opportunity to help him become a saint, he would soon choose to leave this world behind.
Yellow Ox had once said that the "other world" was simply way too "brilliant". It was a big world ruled by a plethora of wealthy and sacred dynasties. It was a world of mystery, a world shone by the brilliant stars that rose at the night sky. It was not just a single world. It was a world consisted of many earths and many heavens. And every one of them was a grand one. There, one could witness how the proud sons of heaven scrambled for supremacy and how the G.o.ddesses vied in glamor. Everything was splendid; everything was varied and graceful.
These were only the tip of the iceberg. There was simply way too much grandness to be described in words if they could be described in words at all, but it was enough for Chu Feng’s mind to be persuaded. His tiny mind could not imagine the splendidness of the "other world". He wished he could go there to see for himself. He had vowed that one day, his wish would come true.
He had agreed with Yellow Ox that if one day, the calf left him for the brilliance of the "other world", he would follow his step and find him at an appropriate time. Although these words were spoken when both of them were drunk, this vow had been buried deep in Chu Feng’s mind.
Time that Chu Feng could spend with his parents was limited. Therefore, he wanted them to feel as happy and satisfied as he could make them be. He needed to fulfil his filial duty before he left them, perhaps, forever.
Chu Feng browsed through the contact list on his communicator. Then, his finger stopped on top of a name. It was Lin Naoi. "No matter how thick-skinned I am, it is still quite shameful of me to call her about things like this. What if I get rejected again?"
But at last, he made the call. After all, the two still had some history. They knew each other the best, and they both used to have this subtle feeling between them.
Soon, the call was answered. She asked if he had arrived home.
Chu Feng told her that they had just finished their reunion dinner. "I was being pressed by my old ones for not fulfilling my filial duties as a son. They yelled at me, ‘go get married and give us grandsons!’. But what can I do? I still don’t have a girlfriend," Chu Feng vented his grievances, "I need your help."
There was a brief moment of silence before Lin Naoi chuckled on the phone. She then went on making fun of Chu Feng. "Demon King Chu is being pressed to get married. Isn’t this a headline material?"
Chu Feng sighed. He had given up hope, but in the end, he still asked, "Can you come to my place tomorrow and help me deal with this ‘apocalypse’? I can’t handle it myself."
Lin Naoi shook her head and told Chu Feng that she couldn’t come to Shuntian.
"Well, well. I think this is fate. Fate demands that I’ll have to sit through a second blind date, a blind date that comes as a result of your absence," Chu Feng said.
"Hope it’ll be a girl you love. I wish you a happy marriage," Lin Naoi said. She sounded serious and calm.
"Thanks." Chu Feng hung up the call.
Then, he ran to the living room and shouted in heroic spirits, "Mom! Arrange me for a blind date tomorrow!"
"Oh my darling! You’ve finally straightened out your thinking. Don’t feel forced. Blind date is only just an opportunity for you to get to know the girl. We can move on to the next one if you reckon that girl isn’t suitable for you. Don’t be stressed, honey," w.a.n.g Jing sounded tender and loving.
"Don’t worry, mom. I believe in love at first sight. What if I run into a girl with an unmatched beauty tomorrow? Well, I don’t mind if she is not ‘suitable’ for me; I don’t mind if she’s just a s.l.u.tty seductress. She is MY wife if she is beautiful!" Chu Feng said.
"Stop it, you cheeky boy!" w.a.n.g Jing glared at him. "Outer beauty captures the eye. Inner beauty captures the heart. Marry someone who is kind-hearted, not someone who is gorgeous but flirtatious."
"Absolutely, mom! I’ll try to date someone who is both a seductress and ‘kind-hearted’! A kind-hearted seductress that is!"