“You should take a good vacation, baby. You can’t work like a machine.” Lily was very happy with her son’s reply. On top of that, what Zhang Lisheng did for the next few days made her even happier.
Other than going out for a few hours after breakfast every day claiming to settle his own stuff, Zhang Lisheng would always return home on time before the afternoon and have dinner with his family. Everything seemed to have returned to the time when the young man first arrived in the US.
Time flew and Christmas soon passed. On this morning, when Zhang Lisheng was sitting on the bed while cultivating his secret method, he suddenly felt that the surging wizard power in his body suddenly disappeared in a flash. The muscles of his whole body began to twitch and give off a heart-wrenching pain.
After he was awakened abruptly by this, not only did he not panic, he looked at the handful of hair falling from his head and touched his heart that had an obviously slower beating now, with an ecstatic look on his face. “It’s a breakthrough! I’ve finally made a breakthrough to the level of a Rank-7 Wizard! I finally can transform the second wizard gu now! From then on, the incarnated transformation will be equal to me having one extra life. However, the more I make a breakthrough, the more fierce the life-to-death transformation would be! By the time I’ve become a Rank-11 Wizard, I’ll probably become as horrifying as a zombie already!”
Even though he complained about stuff as he muttered to himself, the ecstatic look on Zhang Lisheng’s expression still remained for after all, to a wizard, the appearance of the body was completely negligible compared to the ultimate strength that he gained.
He got up from the bed and used force to ruffle his hair. After shaking away all of his shedding hair, he cleaned up and took a hot shower to rub off the layer of dead skin that had faded overnight, before changing into a new set of clothes and running downstairs.
At this time, the Lavin family, who had been used to getting up early under Sullo’s influence, was already having their breakfast at the table.
When Lili, who was busy in the kitchen, saw the young man walk into the living room, she immediately shouted, “Baby, you’re awake! Come over, I made your favorite shrimp burger.”
“Oh! Good morning, bro! You’re up! Today, my good brothers from Los Angeles are visiting New York so you must accompany me to raise my reputation a little. Nottingdon, who has met you once last time, has exaggerated you in our Los Angeles campus. Many of mine and Stephen’s good brothers want to see you, the legendary person, with their own eyes when they come to New York!” The moment Lili’s words left her mouth, Randy, who was munching like a wolf, turned to look at Zhang Lisheng and said loudly while tapping on his tray.
The 21-year-old who had entered his sophomore year in UCLA and who was the rugby team’s back-up player had now become an official player. His height had also reached a height of more than two meters tall at the end of his puberty, becoming the one who looked the tallest and strongest in the whole family in one fell swoop.
Unfortunately, his brain did not get better in proportion to his body size. Looking at his hippie look, his father, Sullo, angrily howled, “Randy! The reason I sent you to Los Angeles to go to college is not for you to join a gang! You can have brothers but you can’t add a ‘good’ in front! Don’t imitate that kind of tone when you talk or otherwise, as time goes by, you’d really become like the street gangsters who we can tell are not a good person the moment they open their mouth!”
“Enough, dad! I’m already 21 years old. The law has allowed me to drink freely now! Of course, it also allows me to talk however I like…”
“But this is my house, boy! Your rascal behavior doesn’t work here! If you’re not willing to behave, you can leave…”
“Sullo, drop it! Your words are a little bit too harsh.” Lili, who was making a hamburger for Zhang Lisheng, heard her lover’s howl and immediately turned around to stop him. Then, she gave the hamburger that was supposed to be given to her son to Randy and caressed the head of this red-skinned young man with a bulging face. “Randy, you don’t know how much your father worries about you after you went to Los Angeles. You’re a grown-up now. He shouldn’t talk to you in a reprimanding tone like a child, but you have to understand that he is a policeman. For this reason, unlike ordinary parents, he would be particularly concerned about what you say.”
The words of this Auntie Lili, who had been caring for him for ten years and who was closer to him in his heart than his own biological mother, gradually calmed Randy who was about to explode. “Tsk! I won’t stoop so low like my father! He’s just a small police superintendent in a community college for two years, and I’m going to be a big shot who enters the Baseball Hall of Fame in the future!”
His second son’s remarks made Sullo very pissed off but under the warning gaze of his lover, he, who had made a slip of the tongue just now, could not say anything at all. Instead, he could only plod away silently while continuing to eat his breakfast.
Taking advantage of the silence in the living room, Zhang Lisheng said in a hurry, “Mom, Uncle Lavin. I have a very important meeting today so I don’t have time to eat breakfast at home. See you all, guys! Oh Randy, remember to call me when your LA friends arrive. If I’ve finished the meeting already, I’ll rush over to meet you guys.”
“Oh baby, let me pack a few hamburgers for you. It’d be very fast!”
“It’s fine, mom! Charlie and the directors are waiting for me already.” Zhang Lisheng waved his hand and ran out of the house.
The snow had just stopped outside of the house and the entire street was covered with a layer of snow. The city government’s snow removal vehicle was slowly cleaning up the snow on the driveway. Such weather that coincided with the Christmas holiday made the number of pedestrians and vehicles on the road naturally fewer.
Taking a deep breath of the fresh cold air, the young man tread on the white snow that went up to his ankles and went to the community parking lot. When some of his neighbors, who came out to clean the snow piling up in front of their houses after having their breakfasts, saw him, they would greet him amiably. “Hey, Lisheng! Good morning! You’re still going out in this snowy day?”
“Good morning, mister! I have no choice! I’ve already made a plan and I can’t cancel it.” In the face of such kind greeting, Zhang Lisheng would usually come up with some random excuses and greet back politely. With all the small talk along the way, adding on to the fact that he could not walk too fast in the snow, he finally reached the destination after more than twenty minutes.
Two days before Christmas, the young man gave himself a Mercedes GL63 AMG as a gift. Driving this kind of top-class SUV that can drive on the snow without the need for snow chains, he shuttled around on the empty white streets of New York City. Not long after, he entered the highway leading straight to the suburbs and in less than an hour, he arrived at the outside of his factory in Mutteslow.
The air was a little warmer since it was close to the beach, allowing some of the determined protesters in the field to last the night by relying on the bonfire ignited in the iron barrel.
When they saw a luxury SUV gradually slowed down, several people in this group immediately raised their slogans of ‘We’re against the dictatorial monopoly of cold-blooded capitalists’ and shouted out loud —”We want to work! We choose freedom” — as they ran to the road.
However, before they had even managed to reach the roadside, Zhang Lisheng had already turned the car into the junction entering the new LS Slaughterhouse and accelerated into the factory.
The slaughterhouse that had just experienced an overtime working schedule of 24 hours a day before Christmas had now finally welcome its most bleak days of business in the year. More than 80% of its employees were on holiday.
The young man parked his car outside of his office building. After passing through the empty reception room on the first floor, he strode into the second-floor office. When he had tightly shut the door, he eagerly commanded the lizard and the wyrmdragon to come out of his pocket.
His eyes shifted between the two transformed wizard gu and was finally affixed on the Island Dragon. “Compared to soaring through the clouds and coursing through the air, turning invisible is much more useful at the moment.” Zhang Lisheng muttered to himself and commanded wyrmdragon to turn invisible before entering the underground trenches of the factory. However, he let the lizard return to its normal form.
Its head resembled the head of a western dragon; its neck was slender and straight like a stone monument; its long body was connected to nine strange-shaped scorpion tails that kept swaying continuously; propping the body up was four column-like limbs that had curved joint and huge claws. After the nine-tailed lizard that was more than fifteen meters long turned into its original form, it appeared to be horrifying and ferocious.
Zhang Lisheng stared at the wizard gu without any trace of fear in his heart. He reached out a hand and finally rubbed the lizard scales. Slowly closing his eyes, he began to slowly exhale the air in his lungs.
Unless it was a dead person, it was forever impossible for an ordinary person to completely exhale the air in his lungs continuously mouth by mouth. After exhaling everything out, the young man whose chest had sunken opened his eyes and outlined an intelligent and clear Demon’s image in his mind before starting to inhale gently.
In an instant, the space around the lizard standing at the open space of the office facing him began to distort slightly. Then, a gust of black smog soundlessly appeared from the skin of the wizard gu, and automatically entered Zhang Lisheng’s mouth and nose.
The moment the black smog entered his body, a gust of incomparably sour air filled the young man’s esophagus, making him uncomfortable.
However, he, who had once undergone a transformation before, knew that this was a necessary test. After composing himself and was just about to continue to inhale while feigning ignorance, the Demon’s image in his mind suddenly changed and transformed into a gigantic Money Toad that was crouching on the floor, devouring the heaven and sky.
After the appearance of the abnormality, before the young man could even realize what was going on, he suddenly felt that the wizard power in his body had become completely out of control. He had a blackout and fainted right away. By the time he had completely lost his consciousness, the colliding energy of the wizard gu soon depleted the vitality in his body.
At the verge of his death, the jelly gem attached to Zhang Lisheng’s wrist gave off a colorful ray for the second time. It continued to stretch out from his arm and in just a short time, it wrapped around the young man’s entire body.
After a few minutes, the jelly gem transformed into a thin layer of film before gradually fading away, transforming back into a colorful string tied to his wrist again. At the same time, the young man’s eyelids flipped open as he hastily took in a few mouthfuls of air, before sitting up abruptly.
Looking around and staring in a daze for a long time, Zhang Lisheng who was dumbstruck began to slowly remember the encounter just now. “When I’m transforming a complex-numbered wizard gu, there’s actually such a thing as colliding with each other. It’s a good thing that the injury is not serious…”
As he laughed bitterly, he stood up from the carpet while talking to himself, not knowing that he had actually gone through a life-and-death crisis just now.