Chapter One :Chapter 1

In the Qing Shui Kingdom, on the outskirts of the Apocalypse Forest, a dark-skinned boy was darting through the jungle like a fat rat moving swiftly through the thorn bushes. The boy, bare-chested with sharp incisors showing, was panting heavily as he ran.

"Come on, chase me! You bunch of bootlickers, whoever does not chase me is my grandson!" The boy, in the midst of his run, suddenly stopped. He wiped off his sweat, hands on his hips, drew a deep breath, and shouted at his pursuers. Then, he took off again.

"Oh damn, I'm so tired, I can't do this anymore." The boy's breath grew increasingly ragged. The green gourd tied around his waist seemed to sway more weakly with every step he took.

Not far behind, a group of pursuers were all dressed in fancy clothes, their teeth clenched in silence. Their hands firmly gripped their steel blades, vowing to shred the little blighter into pieces and flay his skin clear off.

The chase continued in this sweltering jungle. The already stifling environment, coupled with the occasional taunts from the front, only added to the frustration.

"Damn it, why are these people from the Wang Tian family so irritating? The elderly are troublesome, the young ones are even more so!" Finally, a man in fancy clothes couldn't stand the irritation and complained.

"I know right, I swear the Wang Tian family lessons involve injecting chicken’s blood or something. Wang Tian De fought a hundred elites to the death in his white robes that night in the Capital, he stood tall even when he died. His body stood upright for half an hour, no one daring to approach." The man next to him agreed with deep feelings.

"We've literally lost almost a hundred men in these jungles chasing this kid." Everyone shuttered at the mention of the Wang Tian family. This family that had been protecting the empire for thousands of years, had earned their respect and fear through brutal battles.

Rumors had always circulated that as long as the Wang Tian family still stood, the Qing Shui Kingdom will persist eternally. But out of the blue, this most loyal family of the Qing Shui Kingdom, the lineage of generals and the flowers of the empire, had been branded traitors and nearly wiped out overnight.

"Enough, no more talking. This time, Boss Luo has personally come with thirty Royal Guards. We’ll definitely get this little thief." The leader wanted to stabilise morale and silenced the chatter.

It was quite hilarious for so many of them to chase a rebel child more than a ten years old, from the imperial city to the Apocalypse Forest. This kid was like a slippery eel, impossible to capture. They heard that their superiors were fuming. This Wang Tian Xiao was the only son of the former marshal Wang Tian De. He must be caught, otherwise no one could sleep soundly. After all, the Wang Tian family had too great a reputation, too many legends were told about them.

"Hey, my grandsons, are you all soft-shell crabs? Why are you so slow? Are your wives satisfied? Are you wearing green hats?" The men in fancy clothes were black with anger. Every time this annoying voice sounded, everyone almost couldn't suppress their anger, wishing they could rip that little thief to shreds.

Fueled by anger, they chased with all their might, surprisingly increasing their speed. At this moment, one of the fancy-dressed men stepped on a piece of thorn. Unbeknownst to anyone, a long wooden arrow, about 10 feet long, shot out from the low-lying bushes. In a blink of an eye, it pierced the man's chest, and the crimson arrow tip with splinters of whitewood stuck out from his back.

"Be on guard, it's a trap!" The team leader roared and stopped everyone. By then, the injured man had already collapsed. A few of them quickly formed a defensive circle. Only then upon checking did they realize he was already dead.

Silence descended all around. Only those two small tree trunks, used for the trap, were still quivering and swinging, creating an unsettling feeling.

"How far from the ambush point?" The squad leader asked grimly.

"Captain, we are a thousand steps away from the planned encirclement, where there's a cliff." A man dressed in brocade beside him pulled out a sheepskin map, gestured for a while before he replied.

"Go! We must drive this little rascal into the trap." The squad leader issued the order through gritted teeth. "Be mindful of the terrain. This kid has been hiding in this forest for months. There are traps everywhere."

Leaving behind their deceased fellows, the group set off again, pursuing Wang Tianxiao.

The Apocalypse Forest, also known as the Apocalypse Mountains, is a vast and long mountain range located in the southern central part of Tianyuan Continent, stretching from north to south. The dense trees block the sun, and beasts are always on the prowl. Occasionally, the roars of tigers or wolves can be heard.

"Roar--" A tiger's angry roar came from a distance, but this was too normal in the Apocalypse Forest for anyone to take notice.

"Haha, lads, did any of you taste my cooking skills? This is called roasted pheasant." Wang Tianxiao's laughter echoed ahead. The brocade-clad men's eyes were already bloodshot.

Ahead, Wang Tianxiao, feeling exhausted, had already torn open his coarse linen clothes. His dark chest was completely drenched in sweat, and he gasped for breath like a bellows in the wind.

He took out a green gourd from his waist, took a sip, and the strong taste of liquor filled his throat. A spicy sensation shot down his throat, instantly turning cool. It feels like his strength has been revived. After running for a while, Wang Tianxiao took a leap and hid behind a large rock. Pulling out his arrow and bow, he took aim at the rear.

Soon, the squad members appeared one by one. Originally composed of five members, they had lost one and were now down to four. Wang Tianxiao slowed his breath, squinting his eyes to prevent sweat from flowing into them. He watched the figures closely like a viper, continuously calculating in his heart.

Suddenly, Wang Tianxiao released the string and an arrow shot out forward like lightning. Before one could reach its target, he swiftly shot two more. At that moment, two of the brocade-clad men chasing behind lost their footing and fell, followed by their screams.

Another man's legs were tightly wrapped by a vine, which suddenly yanked him upside down into the air. From the jungle, a few wooden spears shot out, but these were dodged by the squad leader. Wang Tianxiao's arrows also arrived at this point. The squad leader swerved, avoiding the first arrow. In a blink, the second arrow arrived, which he managed to dodge at his chest but not his shoulder. The third arrow followed closely and ruthlessly buried into the squad leader's abdomen.

With a "puff," the arrow lodged deep into the squad leader's shoulder. Wang Tianxiao, although only ten, came from a military family. With the strength brought about by drinking from the mysterious gourd since childhood, he was far stronger than his peers. This mysterious green gourd was an heirloom of the Wang Tian family. It was said to be collected from an ancient battlefield and had wondrous properties.

It could turn water into liquor in an hour, and ordinary liquor into strong liquor in the same time. A sip when tired could relieve fatigue, making one feel refreshed. Constant intake could fortify the body, contributing to longevity. So, the heroic and gallant traits of the Wang Tian family from generation to generation were closely related to this green gourd.

Wang Tianxiao's escape from the Imperial City into the Apocalypse Forest was largely due to this green gourd. It was no wonder his dad had solemnly told him to protect it well, for it was an heirloom of the Wang Tian family.

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