Way of the Devil - Chapter 325 - Black Seal Temple (2)
Chapter 325: Black Seal Temple (2)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Oh? I thought the government was in charge of public safety?” Lu Sheng was confused.
“Of course. With the Yangming Force, Yinfu Force, as well as the Yin Yang Department, we rarely need to help. But in case of emergencies, they have the authority to command us to make a defensive force with them,” Elder Zhang Shilong explained. His attitude toward Lu Sheng was very positive. After all, if he recommend a top-tier prodigy from his county for the sect, he would be honored as well.
On top of that, no matter what Lu Sheng might become in the future, he still came from the Autumn Moon County. This sense of belonging for his countrymen should be natural.
“Yangming Force….” Lu Sheng whispered. As they mentioned this, a procession of armored soldiers riding on tall horses rode slowly from the crossroad ahead.
The man leading them was a muscular brute, with his whole body covered in pitch-black armor. He even had a horn-like decoration sticking out from both sides of his helmet. On his back was a pair of giant scimitars. The scimitars were of a strange shape, similar to a willow leaf, and shined a silver light under the sun.
“Whoa.” The brute waved his hand for his troops to stop as he stared at the Thousand Sun Sect procession in front of him. He then waited until the procession passed him.
Elder Zhang Shilong, who was sitting beside Lu Sheng, stuck his head out of the window and smiled at the brute. “We appreciate your effort, Captain Li, patrolling in such hot weather.”
“Only doing my job,” the brute said flatly.
Zhang Shilong nodded at him.
The procession quickly passed the patrol, and continued deeper into the city.
Lu Sheng sized up the brute, and his heart jumped a little.
This brute was breathing heavily, and his heartbeat was slow and dull. A strong heat constantly emitted from his body.
He could hear the flow of his blood from ten meters away.
“Such a strong body!” He was a little speechless. Though the captain hadn’t reached his level, reaching Bind level by relying only on his body was already a great feat by itself. The Great Yin indeed hid many real talents!
“You noticed?” Zhang Shilong smiled beside Lu Sheng. “That was Captain Li Jinlong, responsible for the safety of the Autumn Moon County Capital. He’s also the rising star of the Autumn Moon County Yangming Force, bound to achieve something great in the future.
“His martial art skill is unmatched. Aside from Resident General Master Situ, he is the strongest within the Yangming Force. You might even cross his path again in the future. He likes getting into action, and hates the demons with a passion despite being half demon himself.”
Lu Sheng didn’t really understand what he was trying to say, and only nodded.
Zhang Shilong smiled, and continued, “You will stay in the county capital for at least a few more years. There’s no harm in making friends.”
Lu Sheng wasn’t so inclined—he’d never planned to stay in this place for that long. But upon seeing Zhang Shilong’s mysterious smile, he could somewhat tell that there would be some unknown arrangement waiting for him.
The procession continued forward along the road, and soon arrived at a temple with thick pillars of smoke rising out from both sides.
There were already guards standing alongside the entrance in two rows, forming a path.
Lu Sheng got out of the carriage first, and followed Elder Zhang Shilong inside.
As they entered the temple, the monks inside came out one by one to pay respects to Lu Sheng and Zhang Shilong. Zhang Shilong, however, ignored all of them, and dragged Lu Sheng past the passage into the inner part of the temple.
Behind them were the few other candidates entering the secret area.
There were five candidates that entered the main hall of the temple, three men and two women. All of them stood side by side in the center of the main hall of the temple.
The thing enshrined by the temple wasn’t Buddha nor Buddhasivata, but a black lotus flower with one eye.
The giant black lotus flower was like a big bowl with a narrow eye slit down the middle. The black and white pupil stared at everything around it with a strange look.
“Creak, rattle, rattle, rattle…” The door to the main hall began to close slowly. A strange shout came from somewhere as if many monks were shouting at the same time.
Zhang Shilong told Lu Sheng his next steps, and then went back out of the main hall before the bronze door was shut. Only the five prodigies preparing to enter the secret area were left.
The door to the main hall slowly shut.
The last crack in the door was completely sealed. Everything quieted down. The main hall dimmed into a complete darkness.
Lu Sheng calmly stood in place, facing the one-eyed black lotus.
Ten breaths later.
The door to the main hall slowly opened again, but the light shining from outside somehow turned to the color of dusk.
The morning sky from a moment ago turned dusky with the closing and opening of the main hall’s bronze door.
Lu Sheng looked at the four other people to his sides. Their eyes flashed as they inspected the open door.
Outside was an ancient and ruined courtyard. Still the courtyard of the temple, but unlike the clean and new one previously, this one was filled with rotten leaves, spiderwebs, splintered bricks, dried branches, as well as yellowed paint that was about to fall off.
A piercing, cold wind blew through gloomy and cold peaceful forest.
Lu Sheng turned around to look at the giant one-eyed black lotus. He noticed a faint red light now shining within its single eye.
“This should be the secret area. We need to pass the second test, any suggestions from you guys?” a girl with a twisted braid asked softly. Her accent didn’t seem to be from the Autumn Moon County. Her pronunciation of the official Great Yin language was too accurate, without a single trace of any dialect. Usually, that meant that someone was from somewhere else.
“I’ll introduce myself, my name is Ma Sangjiu. White Jade tier.” The girl wasn’t pretty, but there was a mild quality about her that made her seem trustworthy.
“This place should be a corner in another world. It’s either the Devil World or some other world. What a great show of power by the sects! Using such a grand system just for a county level test.” Another yellowed-haired young man marveled. “You guys can call me Song Du, White Jade tier as well. It seems that we have been placed in another world. The only requirement to pass should be to find a way out of this place through whatever obstacle that might present itself.”
“Young Master Song Du seems to know a lot,” the other girl said flatly with a cold manner.
“Not that much, really. Last time, my older brother passed the test, so he warned me about the various settings we might be put in. If someone who knows his or her way around can lead the team, we could pass this more efficiently. Not to mention, it’s also much less dangerous.”
“But placing us in another world just for a test seems a bit much, doesn’t it?” the last man, who was a seemingly very frank muscular brute, questioned.
This was also Lu Sheng’s question as well.
“Too much?” Song Du let out a laugh. “What do you think a ‘prodigy’ is? The prodigies of our Great Yin are not only talented because of potential, but also power and mindset! A real prodigy should be able to miraculously turn a desperate situation around and accomplish things normal people can’t. That’s a prodigy! If a prodigy could be killed so easily, he’s only a pile of trash, and not a prodigy.”
“No prodigy could be killed so easily. Don’t forget, we are still in a war with the Devil World. If any of you can’t handle some trivial danger like this, you might as well go home and breed children. No need to shame yourself out here.” Sun Du’s speech made the brute’s face red, but he didn’t say anything.
“Though Young Master Song’s words are harsh, he is right. Brother Wang, please don’t take offense,” the cold-mannered girl spoke up in Song Du’s favor in a small voice.
“None taken… I’m just unfamiliar with this, not afraid.” The brute defended himself.
“Now, what should we do?” Ma Sangjiu asked Song Du in a low voice.
“This is the Black Seal Temple, though I’m not sure if this is the actual one. The one we entered was only an imitative projection. But I do remember that the most distinct characteristic of this temple was that every hour, a Midnight Bell-Ringer will appear to clear any signs of life within the temple.
“The first time, the Midnight Bell-Ringer will have normal speed. As long as we are careful and don’t come across him, we should be fine. Starting from the second time, we need to be much more careful. The bell-ringer’s speed will be greatly increased, and he’ll be immortal. It won’t matter how many times we kill him.”
“So we should stick together?” Ma Sangjiu asked in a delicate voice.
“That is correct.” Song Du nodded.
“We just need to leave this temple? Right?” Lu Sheng finally spoke. “I’m Lu Sheng, Scarlet Jade tier.
“Scarlet Jade…” The moment he uttered those words, four pairs of eyes stared at him.
They were all White Jade tier, and knew full well how powerful someone in the Scarlet Jade tier could be. It could be said that aside from the highest Black Jade tier, Scarlet Jade tier was the strongest among everyone in the years of testing held at the county capital. This level of prodigy, as long as he or she didn’t die, would almost certainly enter into a prefecture capital branch, or even a provincial capital branch. It was almost guaranteed that they could achieve the Earth Prime level (Snake level).
“Since… since there is a Scarlet Jade tier sect disciple… this leadership of this test…” Song Du’s voice sounded a little bitter.
“You guys are free to do whatever you like,” Lu Sheng said casually, waving a piece of paper in his hand. “First, ring the Bell of Death, then escape the danger and leave the Black Seal Temple. Everything is described here. The time limit is six hours.”
The other four finally realized that there was a piece of paper in their hands that clearly described the goal of this mission.
There was also a last warning: the mission had to be completed independently. No teams were allowed.
The main hall quieted at once.
After a brief silence, Lu Sheng stepped out of the main hall door first, too lazy to care about the other people.
Then it was Song Du, Ma Sangjiu… then the other two.
All five spread out. Since it was an independent mission, of course they had to follow the rule; otherwise, they would fail the test no matter how well they performed.
Outside of the main hall, the sky was the color of dusk, covered by a thick layer of dark yellow clouds. The rolling clouds were so low it felt like one could touch them, and that they might press down at any time.
The walls around the courtyard were covered in black bloodstains. A stack of unidentified bones was piled in the corner. In the center, a couple big trees that had withered and wilted into a black color grew in a twisted manner, with a few pieces of human clothing scattered at the base.
Lu Sheng stood at the center of the courtyard, and looked left and right.
“This is a maze, come this way!” Song Du hurriedly passed by him, and charged out of an archway to the right. “Hurry, hurry, hurry! This place will be dangerous soon. Don’t fight them and avoid fighting at all costs to conserve your stamina!”
The other people all followed behind and charged out of the archway, disappearing from Lu Sheng’s view.
Lu Sheng stood alone in the courtyard, and surveyed his surroundings. Slowly, he took out the long knife on his back.
The knife flashed. With a typhoon-like sound, gray tornado-like air current exploded out of his knife.
The walls directly in the front of the courtyard shattered, forming a giant gap.
Lu Sheng casually walked out of the gap in the direction that was marked on the paper. He soon disappeared in a cloud of dust.
Shortly after the candidates left, black-clad monks with blood dripping from their eyes quickly walked out of the main hall one after another. They bowed their heads and pressed their hands together in front of their chests.
The monks split into two teams, and left from the gap in the wall and the archway at the same time.