Way of the Devil - Chapter 144
Chapter 144: A Storm Is Brewing (2)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
Lu Sheng was speechless. Wasn’t that basically transferring their disillusionment onto others? That was the supposed method to deal with it?
“Then… which sect should we exchange with?” he asked.
“Crimson Whale Sect is the Number One sect in the Northern Lands. And now that the Northern Lands are gradually declining, I don’t think the usual targets will do. We can go further to the region nearer the Central Plains. There, several large plains and valleys as well as a few cities are under White River Sect’s control. We can go there for an exchange with them,” Hong Mingzi smiled.
“White River Sect?”
“Yes. It’s a large sect that has risen to prominence only in the past three decades. I’ve had some dealings with their Sect Master Xu Tianfeng in the past. We can give them a try,” Hong Mingzi continued.
“Alright then. They’re also a large sect lording over a region. Though smaller than Crimson Whale Sect, we belong in the same league. Organizing an exchange with them isn’t a bad idea,” Lu Sheng nodded his head, settling the issue. “I’ll get engaged immediately, then we can go ahead for the exchange.”
“Engaged, now?!” Hong Mingzi was stumped. “The Sect Master’s engagement is a great matter!”
“No need. I don’t wish to make it a grand affair. It’s better to keep low profile,” Lu Sheng said seriously. “When the time comes, I’ll just invite a few of you for a gathering.”
Chen Yunxi was an ordinary mortal. The more publicized their engagement was, the more others would know how important she was to him. That would be extremely dangerous for her.
Lu Family had once almost been implicated. Lu Sheng would hate to come back from a trip one day to discover that Chen Yunxi’s entire family had met with harm.
Or perhaps, he might be severely wounded one day and unable to protect his family and loved ones.
That made Lu Sheng want more than ever to build up his own force. After all, just by himself alone, he was no match for the Noble Families and demons and ghosts.
He might be powerful, but man would always need rest. When he wanted to rest, he would need other forces to protect and guarantee his safety.
“Alright, then,” Hong Mingzi understood Lu Sheng’s considerations. “Remember to notify me once preparations are complete.”
“Fine.” Lu Sheng nodded.
After settling a series of sect matters, he soaked in medicinal bath and took his medicine as usual. Almost every day after that, he went sightseeing with Chen Yunxi everywhere. As for the matter concerning Li Shunxi, he dispatched men to keep a lookout for his whereabouts. As soon as his location was discovered in the Northern Lands, they were to report it to Lu Sheng immediately.
The engagement was done very simply.
Lu Sheng was in his own house. His father and Second Mother organized a simple banquet.
After that, they organized another banquet beneath the radar in one of Mountain-Edge City’s properties so that his father Lu Quanan may meet Chen Daozao. That was the meeting of the parents on both sides.
Not many relatives were invited. As for friends, only Lu Family’s Lu Quanan and Lu Sheng’s Eldest Uncle Lu Anping’s new friends were invited.
Thus, he was engaged to Chen Yunxi.
Moreover, he also found Song Zhenguo again. Ever since acquiring Green Pine One Thought Formula, this hardworking, diligent wealthy young master’s rate of improvement left Lu Sheng speechless.
Song Zhenguo had rented an arena near the Winged Honor Guards’ garrison outside the city. Each day, he would ride there to train martial arts diligently.
When Lu Sheng found him, he was lifting a stone dumbbell in his hand, training his strength by swinging the dumbbell up and down.
It was late autumn and the weather had turned cold. Yet Song Zhenguo wore only a single shirt. Heat rose from his body as Qi emanated from him.
A servant girl waiting on him was standing by beside him.
At the sight of Lu Sheng, Song Zhenguo was first stunned then overjoyed. He dropped the stone dumbbell on the ground and jogged towards him. “Master Lu, you’ve finally come! I’ve been waiting for you a long time but didn’t receive any news of you. I’ve no idea if I’m training correctly. If you still didn’t show up, I was about to go consult other martial arts teachers about the details of my training.”
Decked in a black robe and black hat, Lu Sheng looked like the grim reaper. He sized Song Zhenguo up.
After a long period of separation, now that they met again, he found that the originally weak young master was now muscular. His skin had also turned a faint healthy bronze sheen.
“Have you gotten initiated in inner force?” Lu Sheng asked in surprise.
“Nah… I’m still stabilizing and consolidating my strength. But recently, my appetite and strength have increased drastically. I’m much healthier than before,” Song Zhenguo laughed.
Lu Sheng nodded. This was the standard process of cultivating inner force for the average person. Even a genius like Song Zhenguo who could sense Qi within a day needed at least three years to consolidate and stabilize his cultivation after achieving initiation.
Inner force wasn’t that easy to cultivate.
“It’s been several months ever since Master Lu imparted me the skill. I’ve been exploring on my own as well. I’ve learnt a Wave Tossing Hand from an expert I met by chance. Will Master Lu please assess me!”
Song Zhenguo seemed to have developed great passion and interest in martial arts, to the extent that he found someone to learn from.
“Expert? Why don’t you demonstrate it?” his interest aroused, Lu Sheng stepped backwards to give him space.
Song Zhenguo took a few steps back as well. Then, he placed his hands in the initial stance, much like the classic pose in the Huang Feihong movies. 
The corner of Lu Sheng’s lips twitched, but he remained silent.
Without warning, Song Zhenguo yelled with all his might, his voice booming like thunder. His palms danced and slapped the air before him madly.
“Ah ah ah ah ah ah! Da da da da da da!!!!”
Within a span of ten breaths, Song Zhenguo was panting heavily. By the time he stopped, his face was flushed and red.
“This is a martial art that combines both vocal and palm techniques. I bought it from that expert with a hundred taels of silver. What do you think, Lu Sheng? Is it very powerful?” he asked enthusiastically.
“…” Lu Sheng was at a loss for words.
“It’s a pity that after selling me this martial art, the expert vanished and was nowhere to be found…” Song Zhenguo said disappointedly.
‘If he didn’t make a quick exit after selling it to you, wouldn’t he be beaten to death by you after you discovered the truth?’
Lu Sheng felt helpless. He merely left him unsupervised for a while and his only disciple became like this.
“Channel your inner force to your palm and strike my palm with it.” He stretched out his right palm. “As for that whatever-it’s-called Wave Tossing Palm, forget about it. Just strike my palm lightly.”
Song Zhenguo was no fool. Hearing Lu Sheng’s words, he instantly realized that he had fallen for a scam. His eyes widened in realization as his face quickly turned a deep red.
“Hurry,” Lu Sheng urged.
Song Zhenguo sucked in a deep breath, activated Green Pine One Thought Formula, then lightly struck Lu Sheng’s palm.
“Indeed. A slight distance away from initiation. Your inner Qi is unstable and lacks substance.” Lu Sheng immediately knew Song Zhenguo’s progress by sensing his Qi.
“How is it?” Song Zhenguo stared at Lu Sheng in anticipation.
Suddenly, Lu Sheng recalled one of the special effects of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi: Qi Transfer.
Controlling a trace of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi with his mind, he grabbed Song Zhenguo’s arm and slowly transferred Qi into his body.
“This… what deep inner force!!!” Song Zhenguo was immediately shaken to the core and rooted to the ground. In truth, only a hairline strand of Qi was channelled into him.
He felt a fine and obvious trace of cool, gentle, and temperate inner Qi penetrating into his body. As the trace of inner Qi travelled in his body, he experienced a relaxing sensation in the meridians, blood vessels, joints, tendons, flesh, and muscles that it passed through. It was as if they had received unparalleled relaxation and enjoyment.
But Lu Sheng experienced something completely different from him.
The moment Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi entered Song Zhenguo’s body, he was immediately shocked.
Astonishingly, the fine trace of inner Qi thoroughly and swiftly swallowed and consumed the Green Pine One Thought Formula inner Qi accumulated by Song Zhenguo over months of hard work. Right after that, it rapidly simulated the form of Green Pine One Thought Formula inner Qi.
That was not all. He clearly felt his own inner Qi coursing through Song Zhenguo’s body and could reclaim it at will anytime he wished.
It was like planting a seed deep in Song Zhenguo’s body.
‘Could this be the supposed Qi Transfer and Assimilation effects?’ Lu Sheng was stunned. This meant that he could devour the inner Qi of inner force experts weaker than himself at will.
But he was not especially interested in this. After all, no matter how powerful inner force experts got in this world, they were limited.
What excited him was his sudden recollection of a technique he had come across in a novel where one could implant a devil’s seed in another person’s heart.
“Zhenguo. Give it a try. Can you still control your inner Qi?” Lu Sheng tested.
Song Zhenguo realized at that moment that all the inner Qi in his body had been converted into Green Pine One Thought Formula.
He tried controlling it with his mind and was overjoyed to discover that he could manipulate it at will, as if it were one of his limbs.
The converted Green Pine One Thought Formula Qi far outstripped the previous inner Qi he had stored up by far.
“I can control it!” he quickly replied in excitement.
Lu Sheng released his grip and took several steps back till he was meters away from Song Zhenguo. Still, he could sense the trace of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aqaurius Qi left in Song Zhenguo’s body. But as the physical distance between them increased, his sensation of that trace of inner Qi weakened.
But he was certain that, as long as he wished to, he could easily extract and reclaim all of Song Zhenguo’s inner Qi with a single touch.
‘This Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi… it’s really twisted…’ Lu Sheng thought to himself, but remained impassive on the surface.
“With your standard now, you can be considered to be initiated. I won’t help you further. What about the single move I taught you previously and instructed you to practice diligently? How’s that coming along?”
Back then, he had customized a move for Song Zhenguo and imparted it to him. His intention was to experiment and see how powerful one can become by just practicing one move.
“I’ve been practicing it all this while.” Song Zhenguo nodded. Slowly, he moved into a stance and punched out, seemingly casually.
The punch looked extremely well-executed and familiar, but ordinary. Although he had worked hard, several months’ time was too short a period after all. It was already pretty decent of him to practice it to such an extent.
“Persist in practicing this move. You’ll be rewarded,” Lu Sheng encouraged.
“Yes!” Song Zhenguo was heartened.
Lu Sheng did not reclaim that thread of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi. Rather, he imparted him a highly practical martial art—Arresting Hold Minor. It was a free martial art in Martial Proclamation Court.
Song Zhenguo was a Crimson Sun Sect disciple anyway. That made him a member of Crimson Whale Sect and was thus not in violation of any rule. Moreover, Lu Sheng’s strength was way too powerful now; no expert in the martial arts world was fit to lecture him on rules.
As for Noblemen, they couldn’t give two hoots about the imparting of martial arts.
By the time he had finished settling Song Zhenguo’s matter, Lu Sheng’s injuries had more or less recovered.
He selected a batch of thirty experts, the elites in the sect, for the exchange. They included Elders, a couple of newly-appointed External Affairs Emissaries, the Branch Heads and Deputy Branch Heads posted to various branches as well as Nine-Fish experts. The weakest among them was at the pinnacle of Strength Proficiency. Four of them were Intent Proficiency members of the upper echelon.
Including their supplies, gifts, bodyguards, and other miscellaneous disciples, they formed a team of the scale of a small merchant group. Finally, they set off for White River Sect.