Way of the Devil - Chapter 324 - Black Seal Temple (1)
Chapter 324: Black Seal Temple (1)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Qingqing?” Fei Bailing stood up and looked around her. Her sister was nowhere to be seen.
‘ How did she run so fast? ‘ she thought, puzzled.
She stretched, and slowly walked toward the place where her sister would usually hide.
Lately, she always felt something off about her family. Her relatives all became reclusive. Even when they were out on jobs, they seldom talked, and only completed their work as they were told. The large mansion’s atmosphere was a little oppressive, with an indescribable drowsy feel to it.
Like today—although the sun was high in the sky, there seemed to be a looming mist inside the house that clogged up people’s heads.
“Qingqing?” Fei Bailing walked around a corner, and looked behind a giant water vat.
There was no one behind it.
“Not here?” She walked away slowly, and soon stood in front of a marble statue.
“Qingqing!?” Fei Bailing suddenly looked behind the statue.
Still no one.
“Not here, either…” She raised her eyebrow. ‘ Little Sis hid well today!’
“Creak… Creak… Creak…”
Suddenly, an ear-piercing sound of grinding metal came from deep within the garden.
Fei Bailing narrowed her eyes, and slowly followed it. After turning a few corners, a rusting black swing set appeared before her eyes.
Fei Qingqing was sitting in it, with her little feet swinging in the swings.
“Sister, you found me!” Fei Qingqing smiled sweetly, her soft hair swaying with the mild wind. A faint floral smell emitted from her body.
Fei Bailing walked up with a smile.
“Qingqing, did you buy perfumed powder behind my back? You smell so fragrant.”
“Really?” Fei Qingqing smiled delicately. “Qingqing didn’t buy anything or smell anything weird.”
“Is that so?” Fei Bailing reached out to stroke her younger sister’s hair.
But her sister jumped down from the swings at once, and ran into the flowerbeds.
“Sister, come find me!” Her voice disappeared with the sound of her boots.
Fei Bailing shook her head wearily, and followed.
As she crossed the flowerbeds, she heard a scurry of footsteps running out of the garden. She quickly followed them outside.
“Sister, I’m going to find something to drink in the kitchen, come find me.” Fei Qingqing’s white dress disappeared into a far corner.
Fei Bailing hurried up to follow.
“Qingqing, don’t run around like that.” She still felt something was off. There was nowhere near enough people in the house. She heard from her cousin that most people were in charge of the new disciple selection test for various sects.
But she hadn’t seen a single servant or maid yet. That wasn’t normal.
She was getting a little anxious. She followed the voice all the way through the courtyard and into the kitchen area.
“Qingqing?” she called out.
There was no one to be seen within the kitchen walls. A faint scent of firewood lingered in the air.
Fei Bailing slowly walked around the grease-stained grass and looked around, trying to find her sister. But no one called out. Fei Qingqing was nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly, she heard faint voices of children fighting. Following the voices, she went through a wall into an unfamiliar courtyard.
She had never been to this side courtyard, which seemed to be some other family branch’s living quarters, before. In a large family like the Fei Family, there were bound to be many relatives whom she hadn’t seen among the thousands of family members. Fei Bailing had always lived in one of the nine major areas. Not to mention people from other areas, she didn’t even know some of her direct relatives in her own living quarters.
The mansion started to get more and more hollow and quiet. She couldn’t even hear any bugs or birds, let alone people. This somewhat scared Fei Bailing.
She followed the wall a few steps, and saw children kneeling in the far corner of the courtyard. They were whispering happily to each other.
She relaxed a little, and unconsciously started to walk toward the children. The more people, the stronger the life force—she should be safer.
She approached them, and, indicating her sister’s height with her hand, asked the children loudly, “Hello, what are you guys doing? Have you seen a little girl about this tall?”
All of the children approached her as well with a happy smile, and uniformly looked at Fei Bailing, all repeating the same words.
Time after another, the smiles on their faces completely unchanged, and with the words spoken with the same voices, the children sounded like a broken record.
The children walked closer and closer. The smiled on their faces seemed to be fixed in place. At first glance, they appeared natural and bright, but as time passed, she noticed that there weren’t any changes in their expressions. Their eyes were squinted, while their mouths were bent into a smile as if they had been paralyzed.
Fei Bailing was scared and retreated. Her face turned pale.
Suddenly, she heard the faint sound of boots on the ground.
Instantly something changed about the children’s voice.
Their voices became increasingly chaotic and twisted, growing increasingly vaguer. Most of the time, they just made a strange noise like a stuck tape recorder, getting more and more twisted from some sort of interference.
Fei Bailing widened her eyes. She couldn’t make out what they were saying anymore. She only felt as if her ears had been covered with a thick membrane—everything was muffled for her. The children’s voices alternated between distorted, high-pitched, and low-pitched.
Suddenly, she noticed that a black-haired girl in a white dress stood behind the children.
The girl stood there quietly. Her long black hair covered her eyes. Fei Bailing could only vaguely sense that she was looking at her.
“Qingqing!” She recognized her sister Qingqing’s dress. She hurriedly tried to grab her.
But Qingqing was faster. She turned around and walked toward the exit of the courtyard, soon disappearing into the looming darkness.
Fei Bailing didn’t even have the time to catch up. The children blocked her way.
“Please move!” She anxiously tried to push the children away.
But, strangely, her hand went through the childrens’ shoulders. Their voices faded, then disappeared.
Fei Bailing looked around. Nothing. No children. Only the ground covered in fallen leaves.
Her heart jumped while she retreated a few steps. She finally noticed that the sky had darkened. Most of the cold moonlight was blocked by the clouds. Only a little shined through to her.
The whole courtyard was empty. No one was there but herself.
“Qingqing!!” She was really rattled now. There was obviously something wrong with the house, but Qingqing was still out there, playing hide-and-seek. What if she got in trouble?
She got even more anxious, and ran toward the direction where Qingqing went.
She crossed a few other courtyards, and passed between gardens and ponds. There was no one in the mansion. Occasionally, she heard a voice coming from the other side of the way as if there were people talking. But, by the time she walked there, the place would be empty, like they had just left.
That feeling made her increasingly scared. After searching for a while, Fei Bailing looked around her, and decided to go back the way she came from.
She had to find her dad and tell him to order people to find her sister, and also to find out what happened to the family and why there were suddenly so few people.
“An unknown scent is boiling…”
Next to a well, Lu Sheng poured a whole barrel of ice cold water on his head.
The cold, piercing water ruthlessly washed over his body as the moonlight illuminated his strong muscles shaped like twisted tree branches.
The lines of those muscles were like steel with a fine net of red lines swarming its surface. It was intimidating to even look at.
Lu Sheng touched his shoulder in his Extreme Yin Form, directing his gaze toward the county capital.
His extremely sensitive five senses vaguely sensed something hovering and twisting above the city. That thing was neither Devil Qi nor Yin Qi, which meant that it wasn’t caused by devils or ghosts.
After the test in the morning, the elder from the Thousand Sun Sect promptly settled him into his own compound.
Tomorrow, he would enter the secret area of the sect for his second round of testing.
Lu Sheng put down the water barrel. He was playing as a disciple with an average bloodline who recently came from deep within the mountain and just learned some basic True Qi techniques. Maybe he was the heir of some noble family living in seclusion, someone with a noble family bloodline, or even some ordinary person who didn’t even know he was irradiated by a Divine Weapon or Devil Blade.
No matter what, he wouldn’t know much. On the surface, his overall power was Bind level’s single vein, which came from his Bind level talent.
This was why he always used very basic moves when he fought. He wasn’t supposed to be familiar with anything else.
But the scent that just appeared truly drew Lu Sheng’s attention.
It somehow reminded him of the gate made out of roots in the Golden Plaza.
After taking a shower, Lu Sheng dressed, and entered his room to rest. But his mind took note of the location of the scent.
A quiet night. On the second day, he was called up early in the morning.
A maid had prepared his new white Thousand Sun Sect uniform lined with gold, and carefully dressed him. Then, someone else led him to a bathtub filled with some kind of herb mix for him to bathe in . 1
Finally, an elder of Thousand Sun Sect, an elderly men called Zhang Shilong, greeted him personally, and led him to his carriage bound for the Incense Temple, which was deep within the county capital.
There were five other carriages going with him. Lu Sheng was in the first carriage. Through the half clear curtain, he saw that both sides of the street were filled with crowds.
Most of the people were there for the festivity, while many others exchanged whispers. They seemed to know what was going on, and stared at the procession with admiration.
“Our procession seems to be on par with those of the officials in the imperial court. Ordinary citizens have to make way for us. What grandeur.”
Lu Sheng carefully probed the carriages behind him with his senses. They were all the same inside—a youth accompanied by an elder.
Elder Zhang Shilong smiled.
“This is our privilege, but also our responsibility. The branch of our sect in the Autumn Moon county is not only in charge of selecting new elite disciples for our sect, but also responsible for the safety of the county capital.”