Way of the Devil - Chapter 314 - Guess (3)
Chapter 314: Guess (3)
Translator: Xintuz Editor: Kurisu
Or, one could say, human trees. It sounded like its name: treating humans as trees, planting them one by one and letting them grow by themselves, and then reaping the resulting fruit.
From the moment that Lu Sheng thought of this, he could faintly sense tiny threads of Qi rising upwards from everyone present.
This Qi was like a fog or smoke, and was extremely faint. If it weren’t for his extreme sense for energy, he wouldn’t have been able to detect it at all.
Lu Sheng looked up. Everyone, including Cheng Kongzi, was giving off multiple threads of this strange Qi.
All these threads of Qi came together to form a faint little lake above their heads, flowing and turning.
“This is…!?” Lu Sheng stared at this tiny lake.
The transparent lake of Qi spanned across everyone’s heads, rippling and flowing like a real, liquid lake.
“Now, imagine the rising sun, absorbing all the colors of light…” Cheng Kongzi raised his voice.
The instant he spoke, a few golden threads shot up from some of the disciples’ heads and into the little lake above, wriggling around and absorbing the Qi like a snake.
Others didn’t move. Faint golden colors formed over their heads, but never became solid. The other golden threads shattered them and absorbed them.
‘As I expected…’ Lu Sheng exclaimed inwardly. It was just as he’d expected. The people here, the cultivators here, were way more ruthless than the ones in the Great Song.
In the Great Song, the people who didn’t have talent or bloodlines had to be content with an ordinary person’s life, but in the Great Yin, everyone stole other people’s spiritual essence for themselves. So, the strong would get stronger, while the weak would get weaker, enlarging the difference between levels even more.
He could faintly see that Cheng Kongzi absorbed the most Qi, taking almost half of the little lake. The rest of the lake was split between the talented disciples.
The talented disciples only made up less than ten percent of all the students.
The morning lesson was soon over.
Zhong Yuan and the others were talented, so although they didn’t sense Qi yet, they could sense the slight difference in their bodies. Excited, they stood together happily and talked hurriedly in low voices.
The students who didn’t form golden threads, on the other hand, seemed exhausted as if they hadn’t slept in a long time.
Lu Sheng stood to the side by himself, looking up at the sky.
Above the entire Spring Sun Sect was a faint, golden barrier. Before, he’d thought that this was a defense formation created by the Spring Sun Sect. But, looking at it again now, Lu Sheng finally realized that this was a formation for the collection of Spiritual Essence.
This formation would absorb the Spiritual Essence of every living creature below it constantly.
‘What a ruthless world.’ When Lu Sheng first entered the sect, everything seemed peaceful and cozy. Now, knowing the truth, he immediately found the Spring Sun Sect both deadly and ruthless.
But, after thinking about it, he realized that most of these cultivators probably didn’t even know exactly what they were doing when they cultivated.
The stronger ones devoured the weaker ones, the weaker ones devoured even weaker ones, and those even weaker ones devoured normal people. As for normal people… if they didn’t practice martial arts, they would only become even weaker.
Zhang Kairong cozied up, and whispered, “Brother Lu, how are you? Do you feel that tingly feeling?”
Lu Sheng ignored him.
“Of course, Brother Lu wouldn’t have any trouble. Isn’t that question just unnecessary?” Zhong Yuan answered for Lu Sheng.
“If we can sense Qi within three days, we can become inner disciples.” Chen Fengnan was a little nervous, but more confident and excited than she was nervous. “There’s only a set number of inner disciples in the Spring Sun Sect: 132. Every year, there is a test where they get rid of all the weak ones and help the stronger ones get even stronger. Just sensing Qi won’t be enough. Do you guys wanna go and learn some self-defense techniques?”
Talking about random topics, everyone headed back to their quarters. It was almost noon and time for lunch.
However, Lu Sheng was still thinking about that huge golden barrier that he had seen earlier.
If his guess was correct, then the Great Yin… was way more ruthless than the Great Song.
After getting lunch, he didn’t go back for a nap. Instead, he pretended to talk a walk, and came to the Working Quarters to the side of the buddhist temple.
This was the area for cooking and cleaning. New disciples who didn’t have special talents were usually sent here to start out as servants.
If they could sense Qi, then they had the qualifications to become disciples. Whether it was inner or outer disciple, at least they wouldn’t be servants. If they couldn’t sense Qi, however, they could only stay as servants.
Lu Sheng passed by the kitchen first. From outside the fence, he could see a lot of people hurrying around, carrying water or chopping firewood, busy all around.
His clean and neat teal clothes stood out in this area of heavy oil and dust.
Before anyone could ask him why he was here, Lu Sheng left. He then walked past the Court, Resource Hall, Equipment Hall, and all the way to the last one, the Finder Hall.
The Finder Hall was cold and empty. Once in while, he could see disciples walking out dejectedly, carrying bags on their backs. They walked out of the buddhist temple under the gaze of the guards.
“No! No!! I don’t want to leave!!” Faint sounds of screaming and crying could be heard from inside the hall.
“Then go be a servant. When you can sense Qi, you can enter the outer disciples.” A calm, female voice sounded.
Standing in front of the door, Lu Sheng soon saw a few disciples dressed in gray walk out, carrying each other dejectedly. One of them was a girl, her eyes swollen from crying and her knees still bleeding. Supported by her companions, her face was white; she bit down hard on her lower lip. It was very likely that she was the one screaming.
They also saw Lu Sheng. Noticing his teal robes and the sign on them, envy and respect flashed through their eyes, but they quickly lowered their eyes in case someone saw the complicated emotions in them.
Lu Sheng squinted as they walked past him and into the distance.
He glanced around, then also walked away slowly.
The afternoon was when they were supposed to cultivate hard and try to sense Qi, but Lu Sheng didn’t care. He already knew what that Qi was. It was a variation of the inner Qi that he cultivated every day, but purer and stronger. But, its essence was still Inner Qi.
This type of Qi was just known as Qi here, but its full name was Pure Qi. This was to separate it from the Inner Qi that normal Inner Martial Arts would cultivate.
Pure Qi was stronger than Inner Qi, but weaker than Liquid Qi or Devil Qi or aura. It was pretty much something in between.
What shocked Lu Sheng was the way they cultivated this Pure Qi. They were stealing other people’s Spiritual Essence.
Leaving the Working Quarters, he walked out of the Buddhist Temple.
The Spring Sun Sect placed no limits on their disciples’ freedom, and they could come and go as they pleased. The reason for their looseness probably had to do with the fact that they were sure that no one would want to leave.
Following the address, Lu Sheng walked all the way to Sleeping Moon City. Among the busy area, he found Wu Quansheng’s Wu Mansion.
All along the way, Lu Sheng could feel something off with the gaze that people looked at him with.
Envy, respect, fright… all sorts of different emotions were bundled together messily. The first time, Lu Sheng felt as if he was some sort of light attractor, attracting gazes from every direction.
This showed how much effect the Spring Sun Sect’s clothes had on ordinary people.
In front of the Wu Family Mansion, two servants guarding the gate were leaning lazily against the wall, yawning and gossiping. Seeing Lu Sheng draw near, they quickly stood up. Seeing the two big characters “Spring Sun” on Lu Sheng’s clothes, they both forced smiles onto their faces and hurried over to him.
“Mister, you’re from the Spring Sun Sect, right? What do you need? If you need our master, he’s on a trip, and hasn’t returned yet,” one of the servants offered.
The gate behind him opened, and Lu Sheng could see shadows of a figure running in to report his visitation.
“I’m here to see Wu Quansheng,” Lu Sheng said calmly.
“Young master didn’t make it, though… how would he know him…?” One of the servants couldn’t help muttering. The other one shoved him aside and interrupted him.
“Okay, please wait for a second. We’ll notify the young master immediately!”
Lu Sheng was led into the mansion. Before he could even reach the main hall, Wu Quansheng was already jogging over, his face flushed. Even at a distance, he bowed toward Lu Sheng.
“Brother Lu! Thank you so much for saving me earlier!”
“Just a helping hand.” Lu Sheng brushed it off. “I’m here to ask you some things.
“As long as I know it, whatever you want to know, I won’t hide a thing!” Wu Quansheng said excitedly.
It was obvious that he was very happy. After being rejected from the Spring Sun Sect so many times in a row, even as the eldest son, his position in his family had hit rock bottom—much lower than the importance he used to get.
Now that Lu Sheng, a disciple of the Spring Sun Sect, came to find him, his position in the family rose quite a bit.
The two walked into Wu Quansheng’s quarters. Servants brought dried fruits, other snacks, and two bowls of plum juice to ward off the heat.
“Brother Lu, you can tell me what it is. As long as it’s within my reach, I, Wu Quansheng, would definitely help you the best I can!” Wu Quansheng mistook Lu Sheng for coming to borrow money. But, that wasn’t his fault; almost everyone who came looking for him wanted to borrow money.
“I’m not here to borrow money,” Lu Sheng said calmly. “I just want to get some information.”
“Information? Brother Lu, go ahead.” Wu Quansheng became serious.
“Don’t worry, it’s not anything top-secret. I just wanted to know… since the Spring Sun Sect takes in a lot of new disciples each year, a lot also have to leave. What happens to the rejected disciples? Do you know?” Lu Sheng asked solemnly.
“Rejected disciples…” Wu Quansheng paused. “In cultivation, if you don’t move forward, you move backwards. Like a ship going against the current, if you succeed, you’re on the path to glory; if not, there’s not much else to say… Cultivating so hard without sensing Qi takes a toll on your body. Most of them either died or became weak and fragile…”
“Weak and fragile?”
“Yes. any cultivation before sensing Qi is a great burden on your body. Only after sensing Qi can you reverse the side effects and replenish your body and life. This doesn’t just go for the Spring Sun Sect, but a lot of other sects too,” Wu Quansheng explained. “To be honest, I’ve been to other sects, but also got capped at this level. If it weren’t for my family being well-off enough to buy large amounts of nutrient-rich food and medicine and train me in martial arts, I probably would be really weak by now from all the cultivation.”
“Can you cultivate Qi by yourself?” Lu Sheng asked.
“Um… I don’t know about this. But, all the sects are the same. In the beginning, everyone has to cultivate in specific spots; otherwise, it’s no use. After sensing Qi, you can probably cultivate yourself. But, if you don’t have a Spiritual Land, your progress will be very slow,” Wu Quansheng answered.
He was a little confused. Weren’t these things common knowledge? Did Brother Lu have a special purpose for asking these things? But, he wouldn’t know.
“Okay…” Lu Sheng nodded. “If you ever have any trouble, you can come find me at the Spring Sun Sect.”
“Uh…” Wu Quansheng was a little surprised. He saw Lu Sheng turn around and leave the courtyard. But, he still wanted to ask how to find him, since there were so many people in the Spring Sun Sect…
However, Lu Sheng didn’t give him a chance. Although the figure wasn’t walking fast, he disappeared in an instant.
After he returned to the Spring Sun Sect, Lu Sheng started formally cultivating Single Morning Sun Qi.
The next day, he followed everyone else to their morning lesson beside the cliff.