It’s night now.
The artificial sun under the giant dome went out.
Under a giant column stands a small black castle with a stone fence. The luminous mosses and wisterias on the fence are glowing in deep blue and green light, which makes the castle looks more mysterious and ancient.
Two ox head men were snoring on the ground behind the front gate. Their crude steel axes were set aside. Two limestone lizards were moving around the fence and every time they pass the ox head men, they will give a straight look to them impatiently with their tongue out.
The door of the castle was opened by someone silently. Wu Tie comes out and the lizards came to lick his hands and feet, then went back. Watching the sleeping Minotaurs, Wu Tie smiles and goes to the back of the castle.
Behind the castle is a 6000 ft2 yard, a variety of heavy body-building facilities stone dumbbells, stone tripods, and stone balls are placed there. The biggest stone ball is much taller than Wu Tie himself.
Taking off the fine linen clothes, Wu Tie goes to the middle of the yard and starts to perform a martial art routine. Just after a quarter time, Wu Tie is exhausted on the ground. Blood vessels under his white skin are standing out, and every muscle is shaking. The pain and muscle spasm make him black out many times, but he makes no noise.
Wu Tie struggles to stand up as the pain vanishes. He picks up the smallest stone dumbbells and tries to lift it up. He closes his eyes, clench his mouth and tense his muscles to lift it. But it’s of no use, the dumbbell, which is only as half tall as Wu Tie’s body, doesn’t move at all. Wu Tie has no power now, he falls down and his head knocks the stone dumbbell.
“Sometimes, you will fail even if you work hard enough.” A raucous but tender voice comes from the border of the yard.
The five inches tall, wolf headed Teacher Gray who has a tidy fur and wears a fine linen robe is heading to Wu Tie step by step with a book in one hand and the other hand put behind the waist.
With the light of wisdom shining in his eyes, Teacher Gray touches Wu Tie’s head then says: “Taiping, I remember that I’ve taught you that everyone in this world has a unique and irreplaceable value.”
Wu Tie raises his head and whisper: “But we have to find the right way to realize the value of our lives.”
“Yeah, the right way!” Teacher Gray smiles: “But you have tried in the wrong way too many times!”
“I just…” Wu Tie wants to say something but find nothing to say, so he has to lower his head and punches on the stone dumbbell with anger.
It’s painful but Wu Tie doesn’t show it on his face.
“Trust me, the force is not the only power.” Teacher Gray raises his head and looks at the very high dome. It’s very depressing. It’s too early for the artificial sun to rise.
“Since you’re too energetic to sleep,” Teacher Gray sits next to Wu Tie and started to write some characters on the sand, using his fingers.
“It’s pretty good to solve some math problems. I have insomnia so it will help me”
“And there is a poem you have to read after you solve the problems. It’s a beautiful one. I will tell you as soon as you finish”
In the light of deep blue and green shades, a furry wolf headed person is wagging his head and reading in a young voice: “Living in a tavern, the spring rain is my only companion; Walking in an ally, the apricot flower dealer is the only one I can meet.”
“But, what is an apricot flower, Teacher Gray? I’ve never seen this, nobody has!” The angry voice of a boy shows in the silent night.
“Yeah, Taiping, it must exist!” A raucous but tender voice comes. Teacher Gray says with fully longing: “How beautiful the artistic conception is, the apricot flower must exist!”
The sound comes from the giant dome. A red light emerges from the center of the 30 diameters artificial sun and spreads out. About one hour later, the whole sun was glowing and warm red heat lights up all the valley.
The humidity from the mines and tunnels have become steam because of the warm light.
Wu Tie is looking around on the watchtower with a cooked meat mushroom.
In the territory of Family Wu, shouts and whip cracks sound out.
Many groups of gray dwarfs were waving their whip to drive the rock midgets out of the stone houses. Lead by two ox head men and guarded by many gray wolf soldiers, a group of rocky midgets were taking many baskets of white mushrooms out of the yard.
The rocky midgets form a queue to get mushrooms one by one and eat the bitter food poker-faced. After half a quarter, over one thousand midgets holding tools are guarded by the gray dwarfs to a mine outside the Wu’s territory.
After a while, the mining noises come with the wind.
A limestone lizard comes to Wu Tie with joy, raising its head to the meat mushroom in Wu Tie’s hand.
Wu Tie looks at the mine for a while, then at the two ox head warriors who are eating from a big basket and asked: “What do you guys think- how many dwarves will die today?”
Their smiles were outrageous and didn’t have any respect, in a blood-rage state they growled to the master “Meat!”
Wu Tie felt sick about it.
He feeds the lizard with the mushrooms, then the lizard that was three times bigger than Wu Tie moves out from the pit.
Teacher Gray wags onto the tower with a book in his hands.
He glimpsed at the lizard and said: “That’s why you are not good at reaching immortality! Your father and your three elder brothers…they will not waste our time anymore!”
“Including those dwarf slaves?” Wu Tie felt even sicker.
“They haven’t tried them…until now.” Teacher Gray spreads his hands and looks at Wu Tie and said: “Tai Ping is the courtesy name given by your father, which means he hopes you could have a peaceful life, however, it doesn’t mean that…”
Wu Tie turns to the mine and says stubbornly: “You mean I’m weak? Well, I’m not…”
“This is a cruel world, everyone should obey its cruel principles!” Wu Tie talks in whispers: “I want to reach immortality, but you said that I chose the wrong way!
Three miles away, about one hundred meters above, a big cave lies on the crag. An enormous limestone lizard suddenly comes out. A seven inches tall wolf warrior sits on the lizards back with a spear in his right hand.
At the head of the spear is encrusted with a gem. When the warrior waves his spear, the hair on the top of the spear`s edge also waves. The warrior was wearing a curly beard.
“I win!” The wolf warrior shouts when the limestone lizard stops on the vertical cliff`s edge.
Three more lizards came out of the cave, and three wolf warriors laughed very loud when they came out.
And soon, about twenty highly toxic hunting spiders came out as tide waves, each of them is being ridden by a muscular and strong gray dwarf warrior. They are waving their hammers, striking the rocks, showing their joy of winning the battle.
40 inches high ox warrior walks slowly out of the cave. When they see the Wu’s castle, they made a big noise and shook their golden nose rings to show their happiness.
Then, a sixty inches mountain python slid out with a powerful man sitting on its head. That man is the Wu Tie’s father—Wu Zhan. The three elder brothers——Wu Jin, Wu Yin, Wu Tong—are standing on the python’s back, waving their hands to Wu Tie.
“Ha Ha Ha!” Wu Jing jumps down from the cliff with a strong wind following him and he lands heavily on the ground. He runs three miles in just a few seconds and jumped over the fifteen inches high fence in just one jump. He gives Wu Tie a big hug.
“Ha Ha, Tai Ping! Our opponent—Family Xiong is finally terminated entirely!”
Wu Jin laughs very loud and takes some shabby hide scrolls out of his backpack.
“I can’t believe that the Family Xiong also has inherited scrolls!” Wu Jin passes the scrolls to Wu Tie, “You can’t believe this. We are not literate, so we don’t know what’s the meaning of them.
There are some strange words in them, do you know what they are?”
Teacher Gray stares at the scrolls with greed.
Wu Tie said nothing.
This is not the gift he wanted.
This is not the gift he wanted indeed.
He was still staring at those wolf warriors spear edge, that had a human head on the top.
He remembers that three years ago, the head’s owner—leader of Family Xiong– Xiong Hu—led the warriors to attack Family Wu, causing serious problems to Wu Tong. Luckily, Wu Jin and Wu Yin were hunting outside with father Wu Zhan and Wu Tong survived.
“Are these all the warriors that survived the battle?” Wu Tie looks at the warriors instead of the scrolls. He remembers clearly that half a month ago, there were several times more warriors.
“We have to watch over one thousand slaves and many captured warriors and their mines and farms as well”. Wu Jin passes the scrolls to the joyful Teacher Gray, “So we had to leave some people there. Too many things to deal with.”
Wu Zhan leads the team to go in the yard and says to Wu Tie: “Tai Ping, prepare a feast for us! We have already defeated the Family Xiong. It will take us some time to combine their power. I’ve wanted their Hei Feng valley for many years. It’s a divine land” Wu Zhan is very complacent.
“Let’s celebrate our success!” Wu Zhan laughs loudly and waves his hands excitedly.
The surviving warriors are all laughing happily. Some of them even cracked their wounds but no one seems to care about the flowing blood.
The artificial sun is going down now.
Several oil torches are burnt up on the wall, and the fire lights the yard up, which covers the light of luminous mosses and wisterias. The hooch made of potato roots starch is consumed fast, and the barbecue is swallowed chunk by chunk. Many cooked high starch roots are cut into cubes, stacked on the dining table.
While the warriors were enjoying their feast, the rocky dwarf servants were swallowing food that warriors dropped on the ground. Some fearless dwarfs even moved closer to the warriors to lick wine sprinkled on the ground.
The whole castle was full of joy.
However, Wu Tie stands aside a big cistern at the backyard now. He is washing up Xiong Hu’s bloody head. He is combing the hair in order, which takes a lot of time to finish.
Wu Zhan moves step by step to his son and watched him in silence.
After a while, Wu Zhan snuffles: “It’s a tradition to cut the enemy’s head as a sacrifice offered to our ancestors. And it will bring good luck to the family.”
Wu Tie is still sitting in front of the head, with his chin in his hands.
“Dad, we will also be decapitated by someone someday, right? And our heads will also be the war trophies?”
Wu Zhan was amazed for seconds, but soon he laughs loudly: “How could that be?”
He patted his chest and takes a tendon necklace off. After touching the white sharp tooth on it, he puts the necklace on Wu Tie’s neck.
“That’s bullshit. Our family is not easy to defeat. ”Wu Zhan pats Wu Tie’s head, nearly patting him down to the ground.
“This necklace, called ‘Tooth of Chi You’, is a hereditary treasure of Family Xiong.”
“When you become an adult, I will take you back to the family members grave to pray to them!” Wu Zhan raises his head, “Right! Your first two brothers, mother, and your little sister. you have not seen them for a while! We should definitely visit them.”
Pointed at the “Tooth of Chi You”, Wu Zhan whispers: “Just don`t wear it when we’re visiting your mother, or she will definitely steal it!”
A strange smile emerged on Wu Zhan’s face, he massaged his waist and said: “When we go back, we will have a new kid in our family.”
Wu Tie looks at his father with shock in his eyes.