Way of the Devil - Chapter 131
Chapter 131: Transaction (5)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
Lu Sheng slammed his fist hard into the ground, where it collided fiercely with the metal floor that had been installed there. Transparent but almost tangible ripples radiated outwards in all directions.
Shockingly, the ground collapsed into a concave pit in the distinct shape of a fist.
“Hum hum hum…”
A low drone sounded throughout the entire sanctuary.
Two large pieces of meat had grown out of Lu Sheng’s temples, which resembled two stunted horns. All over his body, black and gray chunks of muscles inflated to the verge of bursting.
He opened his mouth to spit out a lump of hot Qi, then raised his fists and smashed them into the ground maniacally.
“BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!!!”
He rained down one vicious blow after another onto the ground, forming various fist-shaped pits of all sizes. Massive tremors travelled along the floor and spread to the four surrounding walls, which then rebounded like waves to pummel his body.
The pressure inside the sanctuary intensified as the tremors produced by his raining fists overlapped and intensified.
Lu Sheng’s skin began to twist and change form under the low hum of the tremors, as if something within him was struggling to break free.
“BAM! BAM! BAM!! BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAMMMM!!!”
In that split second, Lu Sheng’s fists pummelled into the ground relentlessly like a raging thunderstorm. Instantly, the tremendous tremors coalesced into a single massive wave, which reverberated endlessly inside the sanctuary and collided mercilessly against Lu Sheng’s body.
Suddenly, he stopped moving.
Under the immense pressure caused by the intense tremors through his body, massive volumes of Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies inner Qi were forcefully compressed in the middle of his chest cavity. Finally, they congealed into a single drop of clear, sparkling pale-red inner Qi liquid.
With the first drop came the second, then the third.
Copious amounts of inner Qi seemed to be attracted and guided along by an intense attraction. In the split second that the first drop of liquid formed, they began spinning rapidly and gushing frenziedly towards Lu Sheng’s chest. There, it came together and condensed into the second and third drops.
A total of three drops of liquid inner Qi began circulating slowly inside Lu Sheng’s chest cavity.
“Hoo… Hoo… Hoo…” Lu Sheng panted vigorously. All round him, wisps of white fog rose as a result of his perspiration constantly evaporating into steam.
He felt empty inside him. Every drop of Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies inner Qi had coagulated into three drops of crystal-clear, pale-red liquid.
Most importantly, these three drops of liquid inner Qi seemed to be in an extremely unstable state, as if they could explode at any point in time with a single touch.
‘Three drops of liquid inner Qi… from my experience cultivating Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies Skill previously, I estimate it’ll take someone without the Modifier at least more than two hundred years of backbreaking cultivation to attain Level Eight,’ he sensed the gross volume of inner Qi he currently possessed. It seemed to have grown by a third from its previous volume at Level Eight.
‘Which is to say that these three drops of liquid Qi I possess today roughly translate into three hundred years of cultivation in Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies Skill?’
His gaze fell onto the Deep Blue Modifier before him. Indeed, an eye-catching “Level Nine” appeared by the selection for Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies Skill.
‘Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies Skill: Level Nine. Special Effect(s): Inner Qi Detonation, Strengthened Blood-Web.’
‘Inner Qi Detonation? What sort of special effect is that?’ Lu Sheng was rather astonished. By this time, he had cultivated various mantras, including both inner force skills and hard body skills. There was no way he could make out which among them was something borrowed from in extrapolating Ultimate Crimson Nine-Furies Skill Level Nine. Now, seeing the abrupt appearance of “Inner Qi Detonation” in the Modifier, he instantly thought of those three drops of liquefied Qi inside his chest cavity.
Those three drops seemed highly unstable. The slightest agitation could cause them to detonate into bits.
‘Inner Qi Detonation… I’m already in Yang Extreme Mode and have arrived at the pinnacle of hard-body skills cultivation. What would happen if I activate inner Qi detonation under this state?’ Lu Sheng felt anticipation growing within him.
‘Let’s try it…’ hoping to give it a try, he guided his mind gently to touch one drop of liquid Qi.
In the blink of an eye, the drop of liquid Qi suddenly evaporated and disappeared. Lu Sheng shuddered all over. Without warning, his body ballooned again and his spine arched high and bulged under his skin. Spikes protruded out of his spine like the back of a dragon.
‘This… this is…’ a sense of great power like nothing he had ever experienced welled up within Lu Sheng and circulated endlessly.
Lifting his hands, he looked down and saw that the surface of the skin on his hands had been covered with a layer of greenish-black keratin, resembling a sort of armor.
Or rather, the keratin that covered him previously had been dyed a greyish black.
Lu Sheng merely waved his hand lightly and the air in front of him rumbled, as if something massive had caused a disturbance in the air as it moved across before him.
Standing inside the sanctuary, Lu Sheng’s entire body appeared cloaked in a new layer of thick black armor built on top of his original foundation. Even the muscles on his back bulged like jutting spikes. He no longer looked like a man, but rather resembled some sort of demonic monster or fearsome beast.
His gigantic frame was already near three meters tall and more than two meters wide. From afar, he looked like a morbidly muscular, grayish-black monster with spikes jutting out from his back.
‘My strength has increased again… although I’m not sure by how much exactly. It appears to only last for a period of time. Although it’s very gradual, but I seem to feel my inner Qi being constantly expended?’
Lu Sheng examined himself in detail and could sense that an enormous might was swelling up inside him, forcing its way against his physical body relentlessly, frenziedly trying to find a way out.
‘Detonating just a single drop of inner Qi has allowed me to become so much stronger. If I were to simultaneously detonate all three drops, then perhaps I will become stronger than I can even imagine in battle,’ subconsciously, Lu Sheng turned his attention to the two remaining drops of liquid inner Qi.
‘Even without detonating inner Qi, the current me should be stronger than the original Three-Vein level after this breakthrough. Maybe I’ve even attained Four-Vein. However, without actual battle experience, I can’t say for sure.
After detonating inner Qi, my strength has increased dramatically. Although it’s only effective within a limited time, it can turn the tables when used at a crucial time in battle. It can be my second trump card.’
With a shift of his mind, Lu Sheng’s almost three-meter hulking frame rapidly shrank and contracted. Before long, he was restored to his original bald, muscular physique, just slightly taller than the average man. Naturally, his skin color also turned back to his original skin tone.
In fact, Lu Sheng had the faint impression that the restored skin was even whiter than before, and looked more delicate. It was no different from the skin of a young master who had never been trained in martial arts but was used to living like a prince instead.
‘Legend has it that at the highest realm of hard body training, one’s body will return to its natural, pristine state. Others would have no way of detecting the cultivation of a person who achieved it. Perhaps that’s what’s happening to me right now,’ Lu Sheng hazarded a guess.
‘Next, I should find somewhere to test out the effect of simultaneously detonating all three drops of liquid Qi.’
Inside Mystery River Valley.
Brown precipitous cliffs hung by all four sides, enclosing the area into a massive courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard was a pale green pool.
Astonishingly, a swathe of silver-gray structures rose silently out of the middle of the pool.
The entire batch of architecture had been constructed with some sort of silver-gray stone. It towered in the middle of the pool. No bridges connected it on its four sides to the land.
A few small boats drifted unhurriedly between the buildings and the cliffs. From time to time, they were tested by the raging waterfalls that cascaded down from the cliffs, rocking about wildly in the water.
Several men and women in pale green clothes stood at the peak of one of the towers, in a balcony that extended out like a sharp horn.
A man among them had hair that fell to his waist. His eyes were beautiful like a portrait and his skin was as delicate and clear as porcelain. He wore a green robe which included two curved hooks that extended conspicuously from both his shoulders, like shoulder armor.
Just in terms of looks, this man was unmatched in his beauty; not even Jade Lotus could compare with him. If Jade Lotus was beautiful like a woman, then this person was beautiful in a gender-neutral way that didn’t distinguish between male and female.
Exquisite features, flawless skin, soft and sleek black hair that fell to the waist, as well as an air of gentle elegance.
This was none other than the Deputy League Master of Martial League, Qin Wumian, who had been able to lead these mortals and some declining Noble Families in combining their forces to form a united resistance against Ashoka Manor for many years. Qin Wumian’s charisma and excellence were beyond a doubt.
Likewise, Li Shunxi was also dressed in green robes, standing among the several people behind Qin Wumian. He gazed silently at this enigmatic pretty boy who was among the highest echelon of the Martial League.
“Which means to say, that Crimson Whale Sect Master has already agreed to our transaction? You’ve even arranged a time and place?” Qin Wumian turned around and asked gently.
Li Shunxi nodded.
“Yes. Brother Lu very willingly agreed to offer us grain in exchange for Intent Proficiency martial arts skills.”
“Of course, that’s only fair,” Qin Wumian smiled. “Besides, we Martial League may not have much of other things, but we do have more than enough martial arts skills. Since that Sect Master Lu and Shunxi go way back, and he doesn’t mind working with the likes of us, is there a possibility for long-term cooperation with him?”
Li Shunxi recalled Lu Sheng’s personality and shook his head with a wry smile. “I’m afraid not. This friend of mine is especially self-centred and often tyrannical. He believes only in power. Although I haven’t known him for a long time, but just from those few incidents, I can tell what kind of personality he has.
When taking action, Lu Sheng is courageous and careful, bold and dedicated. He may seem impulsive, but every move is calculated and executed with great certainty. He makes a move if—and only if—he deduces that he would come out on top. Otherwise, he would only either test the waters or wait patiently.”
Qin Wumian nodded with approval.
“Indeed a dragon among men. It is such a great waste that such a fine man cannot join our Martial League.”
“League Master, you haven’t even verified if he’s of Noble Family lineage, yet you already wish to take him into the League,” one of the men by Li Shunxi’s side couldn’t help but add in exasperation. “In my view, since this Sect Master Lu is of Noble Family lineage, and at the same time a subordinate of the Shangyang Family, he will at most cooperate and transact with us, the Martial League, in the dark. As for joining us, that’s out of the question.”
“Elder Brother Chen is right,” Li Shunxi nodded in agreement. “Noblemen like those in the Martial League who hold a moderate view and benign stance towards ordinary humanfolk are, at the end of the day, few and far between. The majority of Noblemen are happy to enjoy the special privileges that come from lording over the ordinary folk with the power of their bloodline.
They are used to their high and mighty status. It’s utterly impossible to expect them to put away their prejudices without us first destroying the rules of the game by violence and force.”
“Shunxi is right. He is borne of a notable family in the Song Dynasty and is naturally able to see many things clearly. Even a demonic faction like the Ashoka Manor is able to wield immense power overtly—what else are the Noble Families not capable of?” that Elder Brother Chen’s face was grim as he spoke with his fists clenched.
“Our time will come eventually,” Qin Wumian shook his head slightly. “However, Shunxi, did you get a chance to meet our Martial League senior in Crimson Whale Sect on your trip?”
Li Shunxi nodded, “Yes. That senior did not speak to me. He merely gave me a cylinder and asked me to open it only after I got back.”
Slowly, he removed a bamboo cylinder as thick as a fist from within his sleeves and presented it to Qin Wumian.