Way of the Devil - Chapter 437 - Heavenly Devil (2)
Chapter 437: Heavenly Devil (2)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
After a short time, the toad jumped into the darkness, and disappeared. Lu Dangfeng stood up, and walked in front of Lu Sheng.
“Alright, come with me. The Protectors have forgiven your insolence. As long as you prepare ample gifts, they will help you with your troubles with the leak in the future.”
“Mhm.” Lu Sheng had no clue what was going on, but still nodded like Lu Chong would have.
He stood up, followed Lu Dangfeng to the front of the candle, and sat down again, imitating his every move and repeating everything he said.
He didn’t understand any of them, and Lu Dangfeng didn’t explain anything, either, so Lu Sheng only pronounced the words according to his memory.
And this process of repeating sentences and moves lasted about half an hour, and the candle finally burnt up.
The ceremony had ended.
“Nice work… You’ve performed well today.” Lu Dangfeng smiled. His eldest son impressed the Protectors very much, which put him in a good mood as well.
Lu Sheng didn’t exactly know what was impressive about his performance. Maybe the fact that he pronounced everything perfectly after Lu Dangfeng counted as “impressive performance”?
After the ceremony ended, Lu Dangfeng bid farewell to the elders along with Lu Sheng, and both left Liancao Hall at the same time.
“Come with me,” Lu Dangfeng said in a light voice.
“Of course…” Lu Sheng nodded. He was curious about this mysterious Lord of Purple Smoke Villa too. Even he didn’t know from where those mysterious black shadows back then came.
The father and son duo slowly walked along the garden path in the villa. Lu Dangfeng seemed like he had a lot to say, and immediately started to talk about the ceremony after a long sigh.
“I originally thought you had no hope of mastering the Spirit Gathering Ceremony… Seems like I was wrong. Your potential far exceeded my expectations.
“The Protectors are very much impressed, and this ceremony was a success. They have agreed to help you the next time you encounter trouble.
“The seal we guard will be safer too.”
“Father, what are all these things really about?” Lu Sheng didn’t find any related secret information in Lu Chong’s memory. This was clearly brand-new information.
Lu Dangfeng smiled. “Nothing big. Just that our Purple Smoke Villa has guarded an extremely horrifying, powerful, and evil seal since ancient time. The seal could only be opposed by the likewise supernatural Protectors. To prevent the seal from being destroyed, us mortals thought to beg the protectors to occasionally battle against the evil spirits that escaped from the seal.
“That is the origin of the ceremony.”
“Why us?” Lu Sheng asked again.
“I don’t know. This tradition was passed down by our ancestors, and has never been broken nor questioned. Only our family members have the bodies best suited to communicate with the Protectors. There has been no one else that can do it,” Lu Sheng explained.
“What are the Protectors really?” Lu Sheng again asked with a frown.
“They are the spirits of nature, the sages among the shadows… though even I do not know exactly what they are. That’s how my father, your grandfather, explained it to me. Take that with a grain of salt. If you are truly curious, you could communicate with the Protectors themselves after cultivating the passed down Spirit Gathering Ceremony to its peak.” Lu Dangfeng smiled, and shook his head.
“Every once in a while, some evil spirits would escape from the seal. Without the Protectors, our villa would be the first to be slaughtered. We have guarded the seal for too long; if they escape, we will be the first target of their revenge. This is why we’ve accepted this responsibility in the first place.” Lu Dangfeng laughed bitterly. “Don’t even think about running. It doesn’t matter how far you run. Our ancestors tried all sorts of method long ago.”
“This means that the Spirit Gathering Ceremony is for communicating with the Protectors?” Lu Sheng asked again.
“You could say that. This ceremony includes hand signs, spells, formation patterns, and various items needed to complete it. I will explain them briefly.” Lu Dangfeng then started to explain this so-called Spirit Gathering Ceremony in order to Lu Sheng.
The two of them did not worry about potential eavesdropping at all within the garden. Even if someone did hear them, it would be useless. Only their family possessed suitable bodies for this secret art, and it would be of no use to anyone else.
After a brief introduction, Lu Sheng understood the concept of this Spirit Gathering Ceremony.
It was divided into three parts: Yin, Zheng, and Yang.
Yin was the preparation part, including the materials, formation patterns, hand signs, spells, choosing a target for communication, etc. These were all very important, especially choosing a target. The chosen Protectors, which were similar to shinigami in his previous life, had to be powerful enough, or the escaped evil spirit might defeat them instead.
Unlike the shinigami, however, Protectors were only “hired” temporarily since relations could only be established with one Protector per ceremony. The Protectors might be different too, and everything was based on chance. This meant that it was especially crucial to pick a sufficiently powerful Protector among the ones present to deal with the escaped Evil Spirits.
That was the first part, Yin.
The second part was Zheng, which was the beginning of the proper ceremony. Gifts and sacrifices would be given according to the kinds of Protectors present; at the same time, one had to sing to and praise them—in other words, flatter them as much as possible. Only after the gifts were given and a bond was established would they help with the evil spirits.
The third part was Yang, which was the actual battle against the evil spirits.
This part was easy, and all that was required was a set of hand seals used to communicate with the Protectors.
A total of three parts needed to be learned to master the Spirit Gathering Ceremony, and all three combined formed the true heritage of the Purple Smoke Villa.
Lu Danfeng explained every detail to Lu Sheng without reserve, and handed him a prepared book to carefully read and memorize.
With Lu Sheng’s experience, he understood the workings behind this Spirit Gathering Ceremony just by skimming through it once.
Only the Yin part’s hand signs and formation patterns looked technical, and the rest looked simple.
‘These are simply a complex use for one’s spirit energy. Never have I expected this world to have such high-level use for spiritual power.’ Lu Sheng could discern several complex and sophisticated parts within the hand seals.
After leaving Lu Dangfeng, he returned to his living quarters, and started to examine the Yin part in detail.
His experience as a Divine Lord allowed him to completely master this Spirit Gathering Ceremony in merely half an hour. He also believed that compared to the spiritual power of Lu Dangfeng and the few other pitifully old elders, his spiritual power was at least several hundred times greater.
While he was examining the Yin part’s texts, Lu Sheng noticed another strange thing.
He realized that Lu Chong’s body had the exact same structure as his body had had during his mortal period! Meanwhile, his spirit could enter and leave without any resistance. He could vaguely sense that a big secret was hidden behind that fact.
Time flew by as he researched this Spirit Gathering Ceremony, and a year had passed by in the blink of an eye.
Lu Sheng had basically understood everything about the Spirit Gathering Ceremony. To him, it was nothing but a way to use his spirit. With his Divine Lord-level spirit, it was easier than kindergarten.
During these times, he also started to retrain his current body. This extremely weak body was becoming unbearable.
He had to start completely from scratch as if he had once again returned to the times at Nine Links City.
Though, Lu Sheng didn’t practice the martial art techniques in his memory, but the Upper Forest Sword Forms passed down in this other Lu Family instead.
Though the sword forms looked crude at first glance, they were in fact very impressive. According to Lu Sheng’s experience as a pseudo-Grandmaster, he could see the vast potential it had during real combat.
This body had deep-rooted memory of the Upper Forest Sword Forms anyway, so he decided he might as well start from there.
Lu Sheng tried many times before, and realized that his Yang Essence could not be used with this body at all, just as if it followed a completely different set of rules. He could still utilize the full potential of Yang Essence, but its power would instantly destroy this weak body.
Luckily, a Divine Lord’s spirit was powerful all the way to the microscopic level, and even possessed the power to influence reality in minor ways, which meant it could stimulate cells to their max potential and stimulate organs to their highest efficiency, digesting food into Essence Qi that fitted the rules of this world to strengthen the body.
In a short year, Lu Sheng’s body buffed up, and the weak son of a lord rapidly turned into a muscular brute with a scary face.
“Upper Forest Sword Form: Baby Swallow Piercing Through Forest!”
Lu Sheng stabbed his sword through a three-meter-tall rock in front of him. Stone debris flew everywhere, and the veins on his muscular arms started to pop up.
He pulled out the enormous black 200-plus kilogram greatsword out of the ground with heavy breath.
Surrounding him were awestruck family guards and his brother, Lu Quan, and sister, Lu Zhenling.
Everyone stared at Lu Sheng practicing his sword form with straight eyes.
“Baby Swallow Pierce Through Forest…”
“You f*cking call that ‘baby’ swallow? Young Lord must be joking, right?”
The squad of guards first glanced at the wooden practice dummy in front of them, then at the shattered rock, and no one knew how to react.
“Even though we are both practicing with swords…” Lu Quan looked at his finger-width sword, then looked at the black greatsword as wide as a basin in his eldest brother’s hand. An unexplainable feeling came up in his heart, like he wanted to curse, but didn’t even know where to begin…
Even though his eldest brother told Dad he wanted to train rigorously in martial arts and the Upper Forest Sword Form, he didn’t even listen to Dad’s advice.
But who would expect he would… become this… after such a short time.
Lu Quan glanced at his brother’s arms, which were thicker than his thighs already, and his mouth twitched.
Lu Sheng threw the greatsword to the side, and accepted a towel from a trembling maid to wipe away his sweat.
“Weaklings!” He turned his attention toward the family guards. “Look at your pathetic swords! Every single one of them only as thick as a chopstick. True men should use this!”
He grabbed the bathtub-sized mill on his right with one hand, his five fingers sinking deep into its side.
After a few casual swings, the mill made a horrifying roaring sound.
The crowd of normally strong family guard stared dumbfounded as their young lord showed off the truth that a man was in fact his muscles.
Ever since Lu Sheng suddenly defeated the generals in charge of the family guards, he took the responsibility to train the family guards, hence the scene during this morning’s training.
Lu Sheng surveyed the family guards who were successfully intimidated, then looked at his ‘siblings’. He immediately started to make moves after understanding Lu Chong’s last wishes.
His biggest wish was to protect the villa, and he hoped that his father Lu Dangfeng wouldn’t pass away in his prime because of the ceremony. Secondly, he wished to protect his other relatives in the villa so that they could live peaceful lives.
Lu Sheng couldn’t protect all these people by himself, and decided he might as well train the family guards and improve their strength to indirectly achieve that.
He modified the original Upper Forest Sword Form that was mostly for show into a special greatsword form that relied on muscle. Combined with the training of spirit, he forcefully improved this body to the horrifying Bind level through raw practice in only a year.
He’d concluded long ago that this so-called Spirit Gathering Ceremony was only suitable for the Lu Family not because of their physique, but because of their naturally powerful spirits.
Hence, he modified the Upper Forest Sword Form to have the basic effect of tempering the spirit. He also planned to pass this down to the other residents of the villa. That way, more people could bear the pressure during the ceremony, which would make it easier for the Lu Family to get out of this mess.
The other effects were purely personal preference. Lu Sheng had always insisted that power represented everything, and muscle meant power; in his perception, anything that was hard, strong, and muscular was good!