Way of the Devil - Chapter 174
Chapter 174: Half a Month (4)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
Some experts who could move silently had already circled around the man’s back and were closing in.
The man lifted up his chin slightly, allowing the light in the banquet hall to fall on his face. His face was donned with a mountain goat mask, the red and white patterns on it stark and bright.
“Try stopping me… if you can…” Slowly, he lifted a foot and stepped forward.
Lightning streaked across the cold dark sky above the thick majestic forest.
Countless wisps of white smoke floated throughout the forest, casting the entire forest in a sea of white gloomy fog.
A heavy footstep reverberated from the depths of the forest, alarming some worms and beasts hidden in the ground. Faint rusting sounds rang out from the bushes; it was the sound caused by bugs and worms dispersing in fright.
After a moment later, just as the forest was about to slide back into quiet peace…
Yet another heavy footstep reverberated.
A rhythmic set of strides rang out, sending tremors across the entire ground. Something was drawing nearer in the white fog.
Before long, a massive gray titan walking in the forest strode into view. He had a cudgel the thickness of a man’s waist.
There were only one mouth and one eye on the titan’s face. The eye was extremely small—about the size of a walnut. Around the eye were layers of gray creased cuticle, like the focal point of a camera.
The titan strode forest step by step until it gradually came to a halt before two thick giant trees.
The two trees towered over the forest in the white fog. Its magnificent canopy covered a diameter of over ten meters, blotting out the occasional lightning that streaked across the sky.
Abruptly, two enormous red eyes opened wide in the air in front of the titan.
The eyes were massive; one eye alone was nearly as tall as the titan.
The red light that shone from the two long eyes dyed a patch of fog in a red hue.
A long, deep, puzzled voice rang out from behind those eyes.
“It’s you, Chao Hu.”
The titan put down the cudgel on his shoulder and bowed in respect.
“I’ve failed… I let that woman get away…”
The red eyes spun for a moment. Then, it gazed intently at the titan.
“The shard. The largest shard was seized by her. She can’t escape… you still have a chance.”
“Yes, I still have a chance.” The titan, Chao Hu, nodded. “I’ve gotten my subordinate to release a piece of Phantom Breaking Jade. Half a month later, I’ll locate her directly. This time, she’s not getting away.”
“I trust you,” the massive pair of eyes said slowly.
“I got careless the previous time… this time, I’m not letting my guard down!” Chao Hu said. A spark of madness and cruelty danced in his only eye.
“Be careful… the more lives she takes, the more powerful she gets. That’s the attribute of Scarlet Dragon Tribulation,” the gigantic eyes reminded.
In just a short span of seven days, something big happened in Donglin Manor in Jie Long City.
The Sect Master of the two largest sects in the city, Green Star Sect, Meat Dragon, was hosting an evening banquet for the leaders of other friendly sects when he mysteriously died.
Not only him, but the leaders of the many other sects who had attended the banquet all died as well. In a single night, half the factions in Jie Long City lost their leaders, presenting a great opportunity for White Sands Sect.
Strangely, however, as White Sands Sect was swallowing Green Star Sect’s forces, the Sect Master of White Sands Sect did not show his face in public at all.
Rumour had it that their Sect Master was down with a cold and was recovering at home, and so was indisposed. But the reality was that some said that the White Sands Sect Sect Master went into solitary confinement out of the blue on that very night, leaving all matters to his deputy and subordinates.
Jie Long City’s main industry was fishing. These sects controlled most of the fishing ships and boats. Now that the factions have plunged into disarray, the fishing industry was implicated.
After that, some in the pugilistic world spread the rumor that many inner force experts in the city had either met with inexplicable mishaps, gone into solitary confinement, or gone missing.
Some even connected it to Crimson Whale Sect’s summons, which was a household news by now. People guessed that Jie Long City refused to obey the summon and Crimson Whale Sect had dispatched men to carry out punishment. The rumors sounded extremely vivid and quickly gained credibility.
Lu Sheng folded the memo in his hand. This was the latest intelligence about the recent changes in Jie Long City from their spies.
To be honest, there was no need at all for him to read this. Because all the recent changes had been caused by him personally! He was the one who had killed them. Those who went into solitary confinement had no choice but to do so because their inner Qi had been sucked dry by him. They had to go into solitary confinement to hide the fact that their inner force had been exhausted.
In the last seventy days, he had been traversing the distance of several hundred li between the Crimson Whale and Jie Long City, yet no one discovered it.
‘In seven days, I’ve absorbed the inner force of a total of forty-three inner force experts. Their inner Qi is too impure and only less than ten percent of it remained after conversion to Aquarius Qi. After adding everything up, I’ve only gained three more drops of liquefied Qi.’ Lu Sheng shook his head. ‘Looks like apart from the inner Qi formed from cultivating top-notch skills, other inner Qi are too impure to be worth the effort.’
In these trips to Jie Long City, eighty percent of all the inner Qi he gained had come from the top five experts in the city. The remaining forty-three experts added together only provided him with the other twenty percent.
‘Three drops of liquefied Qi… it’s about the equivalent of three hundred years’ of inner force.’ Lu Sheng carefully sensed the inner Qi flowing in his Yin Crane Web. Adding together the inner Qi he had absorbed from Mountain Tiger Clan previously and after conversion, he now had seven drops of liquefied Qi in Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill.
This slower pace was the result of him keeping in step the gains in Yin and Yang with each other. Both Aquarius Qi and Ultimate Crimson Nine Furies Skill had attained seven hundred years of cultivation.
‘Now that Jie Long City is done, Gong Zhi City is next.’ Lu Sheng began picking his next destination.
‘If I can also absorb three drops of liquefied Qi from Gong Zhi City, I would be able to attain eight hundred years of cultivation. Then I’ll go to Li Huan City, and then to Xi Chuan Manor after that…’ His eyes narrowed to slits.
Once he discovered that he could absorb inner Qi using Yin Crane Web, he became unstoppable like a tidal wave.
Lu Sheng sensed the expanding liquefied Qi in his body; he began feeling bloated even with the strength of his body.
Under the Yin Yang equilibrium effects of Aquarius Qi, he gained several hundred years of cultivation in the short span of a few days. Such speed was comparable to the time he had upgraded his skills with Yin Qi.
“Reporting to Sect Master, a letter from the court’s Intelligence Agency,” a guard said softly outside the door.
His reverie broken, Lu Sheng came back into the present.
“Bring it over.”
The guard opened the door and entered. After placing the letter gently on the table, he bowed and retreated.
Lu Sheng waited till the door was shut before he turned around, walked to the side of the table and picked it up. He opened the envelope and took out the letter.
It was an invitation by Taoist Baifeng to a meeting to discuss Crimson Whale Sect’s recent activities.
The language used in the letter bordered on harsh and seemed to have been deliberately so to exert some pressure on him.
Lu Sheng laughed.
“I forgot that they still think I’m at the Third-Vein Level.”
Up till now, his publicly known combat experience was limited to his first fight with umbrella girl. The rest of his battles, including killing those against Emissaries and Officiators, were all kept secret. As a result, Taoist Baifeng and Xiao Hongye’s knowledge of him remained at a very early stage.
In their impression, he was merely an individual Nobleman from a bloodline in decline who had joined Shangyang Family.
Taoist Baifeng was only at Three-Vein Level, and so was Xiao Hongye. In the eyes of the present Lu Sheng, they no longer mattered.
He pressed the letter on the table and fell into thought.
‘I’d better still go take a look. Since I now know that I’m not Scarlet District Mistress’ target, then it’s not a bad idea to go gather more intelligence and news.’
He burnt the letter and handled some sect affairs before coming out for his meal.
At the same time, Jade Lotus found him and reported the latest key happenings from various places.
“This is the summary intelligence report on the Jie Long City chaos, in which Green Star Sect’s Sect Master Meat Dragon and an entire cohort of experts met with mishap in a single night.” Jade Lotus presented a detailed scroll.
“Put it on the side. Any other matters?” Lu Sheng said emotionlessly.
“Besides that, Young Master Shangyang Ce has left the Northern Lands on a large ship that set sail for the frozen ocean this morning,” Jade Lotus said seriously. “Additionally, Young Miss Shangyang Jiuli has sent us a list of new herbs that she needs. Some of them are not found in our store and need to be harvested…”
“News!” A guard suddenly rushed to the door. “Miss Chen Yunxi has set off for here. Lord Ning San has dispatched men to escort her. Will Sect Master please give us Your orders.”
“Yunxi? What’s she doing coming here?” Lu Sheng had recently been so occupied that he had not visited her for a long while. It had been those around him who had been taking care of Chen Yunxi.
This was the critical period when Scarlet District Mistress and Wandering Heart Society’s war would erupt anytime. There was a chance that he might be implicated.
Moreover, Ashoka Manor’s Deputy Manor Lord Ye Moling had been investigating the Officiator’s death. Given his involvement in the matter, he could easily be exposed if he was careless.
At such a juncture, Lu Sheng was in no mood to talk romance with Chen Yunxi.
But she was after all his fiancé. Now that she was coming over to visit him, he could not simply ignore her.
Lu Sheng considered for a moment, then said, “Take her to the garden.”
“Did she come alone? Or are there others?”
“In reply to Sect Master, there’s no one else. Young Miss Yunxi has left home secretly in disguise,” the guard rapidly replied.
Lu Sheng’s face fell.
Beside him, Jade Lotus stifled a chuckle.
“Sect Master has been busy lately. You might not know that Miss Yunxi visits the temple very often to offer up incense and prayers for your safety.”
At the sound of that, Lu Sheng’s expression softened.
“She’s been thoughtful. Take your leave. You may handle the other affairs yourself. On top of that, do see to Deputy Sect Master Chen Ying’s well-being. Prepare some medicine that promotes recovery for him and watch his diet.”
“I understand. Don’t worry, Sect Master, I’ll pay attention,” Jade Lotus replied respectfully.
Lu Sheng nodded. He trusted Jade Lotus. After some more instructions, he headed for the garden.
The skies were rather gloomy. After an hour in the garden, Chen Yunxi strode into the garden hurriedly in a man’s outfit.
“Lu Sheng! You haven’t visited me.”
The brightest and sweetest smile ever blossomed on her face.
“I’m not going anywhere tonight. I’ll stay here with you, how about that?”
Lu Sheng smiled at her. He gazed at her for so long that Chen Yunxi lowered her head shyly. Only then did he chuckle. “I wish to do that. But it’s not good for you.” He gently caressed Chen Yunxi’s cheek.
A trace of Yin Yang Jade Crane Aquarius Qi slit into Chen Yunxi’s body through her cheek stealthily.
Having been developed out of life force skills, as long as it was under control, Aquarius Qi could purely nourish the body and life force without forming an Yin Crane Web. That was very good for extending longevity and nourishing the body.
That was why he wanted to solve all hidden problems in his fiancé’s body, then do the same for his family members like Lu Quanan.
But Lu Sheng’s smile vanished without a trace the moment his inner Qi entered Chen Yunxi’s body.
A trace of bizarre aura!
Unexpectedly, Lu Sheng sensed an extremely well-hidden trace of aura in Chen Yunxi’s body that highly resembled Scarlet District Mistress’ aura!