Way of the Devil - Chapter 454 - The Second Column (1)
Chapter 454: The Second Column (1)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Inside Welcome Fragrance Court.
A group of differently dressed but fierce-looking men and women gathered together, cursing randomly for a long time.
Some rogue cultivators who had no business here coldly eyed the two sides as they quarreled. Some elderly people tried to calm things down, but when they were given a slap on their cheeks, they joined the fray.
Lu Sheng sat in the corner and enjoyed the nice wine and delicious dishes which Mei Manor provided. He watched the handful of people scuffling now. He continued watching as if this was a circus.
He wore a long navy blue robe, and his hair was neatly combed. He carried a broadsword on his back and appeared in all likeness just like an ordinary person from the pugilistic world.
However, the other two who sat beside his table had completely different images from him.
One of them was a girl—she was almost two meters tall, but had a width of a meter and a half. She was a huge fatso.
The girl seemed to be half-sitting, half-standing. She leaned on the table and gulped down the dishes. She could almost finish all the food on the table in a few mouthfuls.
As the fatso sat there, the amount of light she blocked with her body was enough to make people around her avoid her as if she was some venomous snake or scorpion. One peculiar thing was that as the fat girl ate, tears kept streaking down her face.
“Master… I really… can’t take anymore…” she said as she cried bitterly.
“It’s fine. Your stomach won’t explode ever again,” Lu Sheng displayed a gentle smile.
When she heard this, the fat girl cried with more sadness.
The other person who sat beside her was a sorry-looking man, who was as thin as a rake and had bulging eyes like a frog.
The man wore a long black robe of the smallest size. However, it looked like a cape on him. His entire person seemed to drown within it.
This man had heavy eye bags and a serious case of black eyes. He appeared as if he had not rested for a long time.
If anyone from the Zhang Family saw him, they would not have been able to recognize that this was Zhang Family’s genius, Zhang Zhao, who was like a jade tree in the wind and was abundant in natural talents.
The big fat girl was Bie Feihe, who had had a hot body before this.
The two of them were precisely the experimental seeds officially chosen by Lu Sheng.
Zhang Zhao’s experiment was about the Heavenly Devil Sutra, while Bie Feihe’s experiment was related to the Spiritual Power basics. Although the experiments had continued for some time now, there were still many side effects. His experiments could not be completed immediately. He needed to verify everything in detail and continue his observation.
Hence, Lu Sheng made Zhang Zhao cultivate the Heavenly Devil Sutra, while Bie Feihe cultivated Spiritual Power.
Bie Feihe’s body was too weak to cultivate Spiritual Power. Hence, Lu Sheng made her train her body. At the same time, he started her on a pertinent fattening program. One’s Spiritual Power and one’s physical body were actually proportionate. The stronger one’s body was, the more powerful the person’s Spiritual Power would be.
Hence, after Lu Sheng picked Bie Feihe, he had never treated her as a woman. Other than the outrageous training she had to undergo every day, he made her binge eat in a wild frenzy. One time, when she ate too much, her stomach erupted.
That was why Bie Feihe was crying as she ate.
Zhang Zhao, on the other hand, had another kind of treatment. Whenever it was time for a meal, he could only do two things.
One was that he could only drink water, while the other was that he had to watch as Bie Feihe ate. Lu Sheng would occasionally maintain his life with Spiritual Power halfway during the meal. When this dragged on, the beautiful man he’d once been was reduced to this sorry state. No matter how powerful his Spiritual Power was, it could not replenish the huge amount of nutrition he lacked.
Hence, it was inevitable that Zhang Zhao was at the brink of dying from starvation. Ever since Lu Sheng had obtained him from the Zhang Family, he treated him like this. Maybe he was trying to exact revenge on him with his position, or maybe this was a punishment, but Zhang Zhao was too hungry to even think right now. Currently, the only thought he had was to eat.
Lu Sheng looked at the two of them and felt pleased. These two had carried out their cultivation following his original cultivation methods. It seemed to him that the effects were satisfactory. “Almost there. Hang on for a while longer. You’re almost there, almost there.”
He swept his gaze across the entire Welcome Fragrance Court. Most of the people there were a motley crowd. The only outstanding individuals were two people who sat in another corner, with firm and frank actions and words.
They formed a strange combination. One of them was a young man who wore short-sleeved black clothes. He seemed to be an ordinary person. The other had a pair of spears slung behind his back. The spears had red tassels attached to them which danced in the wind. This complemented his firm build even more.
“Everyone, it seems that we’re not being taken too seriously. I heard that the Mei Family has requested assistance from the Nine Rivers Sect in order to search for Youjiang, and employed the help of their leader here, the Hun River Damask Silk, Zhao Hun,” said an elderly man in a loud voice after he walked to the center of the courtyard.
“It’s one thing for the lot of you to make a ruckus here while accomplishing nothing, but it’s another thing for you to embarrass Little Youjiang with your actions. I’m not sure why you came here to rescue Little Youjiang, but for me, when I was destitute and almost took my own life, it was Little Youjiang who lent me a helping hand, and I’ve managed to pick myself back up.
“If it weren’t for Little Youjiang, I would’ve gone to the netherworld already. So, no matter what may come our way today, I, Du Quanfu, will stand by my word!”
This elderly man seemed to be respected by the others. Whatever he said made an impact on them. The irritable men and women quieted down quickly.
The other person was a middle-aged man. At this moment, he quickly came over to add, “Elder Du is right. Who knows how many people Little Jiang has helped over the years, but those who were willing to come and were actually brave enough to come were but the few of us. My brothers and sisters, I’m sure all of us came here with a notion that we’ll return our lives to Little Youjiang. Elder, you may rest assured, since we’re here, we’ll never turn back.”
“That’s right. He’s right. That sounds right.”
“Yeah. All of us are unafraid of death. If we hadn’t received Little Youjiang’s help…”
“If it weren’t for Little Youjiang’s life-saving money back then, I don’t think my mother would even be able to come see me for the last time.”
When these remarks were heard, they earned a wave of praise from all those present.
“Now, since the Mei Family doesn’t take us seriously, why don’t we select a leader amongst ourselves to lead us? We can gather all our forces and save time by preventing repeated confirmations of the same facts,” said the middle-aged man with fervor and assurance as he smiled.
“A leader?” Lu Sheng saw the two others from the other table stood up slowly. When they heard the talk about a leader, their expressions went cold.
Lu Sheng retracted his gaze and looked at Zhang Zhao, whose eyes gleamed with increasing brightness. The weaker his body was, the richer and more powerful his spirit would be. This was the rumored feeding the spirit with one’s body.
What Zhang Zhao used was the Soul Expelling Art which was similar to this. Although the effects of cultivating in a man-made simulated Heavenly Devil environment was weaker, a person could actually cultivate a spirit that resembled a Heavenly Devil the most this way.
“If I may, I know a better way to squeeze out more powerful spirit.” This Zhang Family’s young master had seen through Lu Sheng’s intentions. He immediately spoke up in an attempt to rescue himself.
However, Lu Sheng was unmoved. He kept forcing him with this extreme method. Zhang Zhao was on the verge of collapsing.
After trying hard with a few attempts, Zhang Zhao and Bie Feihe finally understood that the only way to break free of Lu Sheng’s control was to do as he said. The more obedient they were, the less likely it was that Lu Sheng would torture them of his own accord.
After the crowd discussed for some time, the conclusion was for Elder Du, that is Du Quanfu, to be their leader. They started piecing together the information everyone had.
When their roles were clear, everyone reported what they knew. The situation instantly became more positive. Although they were unimpressive in appearance, every snake had its nest, and every rat its den. They each had their own sources of information. When they gathered everyone’s information together, they had actually narrowed down the area to search.
Lu Sheng’s decision to follow them was also made at last minute. He learned from these people that every inch of this place seemed to be well known already because of the large number of hunters and herb collectors.
In a situation like this, there was practically no place for a hidden ground to be concealed nearby.
However, even though there was no hidden ground, there was an extremely mysterious force here. This force was not well known in the pugilistic world or in the circles from the outside—it merely existed in a small area. It was a legend passed around among the minor clans of this land.
This force was called the Haunted House.
The search was escalating continuously. With the confirmation from the commander and the gathering of information, in half a day, they had determined the areas to search and had dispatched men to carry it out.
Only, it was regretful that they were unable to find Mei Youjiang even as night fell. The only confirmed news was that she had been seen with a rich-looking fatso and that they had gone out of town.
“I heard that they’ve gone northeast…”
“Northeast… You’re sure of this?”
“I remember that there’s a huge patch of corn in the northeast, right? It’s the Li Family’s land.”
“Not there, further northeast…”
The others said no more. Lu Sheng noticed that many of them had sour expressions. It was as if the region further northeast was a serious taboo in these parts.
In the Welcome Fragrance Court, he saw a few people standing up from their seats in the shadows. They walked out the door silently with resolute looks.
“Are we still going?” asked someone in a soft voice.
“It’s best if you guys stay here. Go back and stay with your families. We have no ties to this world. Even if we encounter the Haunted House, I’ll only be losing this worthless life of mine. I don’t care anymore,” said someone in a free and easy tone.
Lu Sheng sat in the corner among these people. With his two disciples beside him, he listened to others’ whispers. He clearly felt a faint sense of sadness slowly spread out among the silence and hushed tones.
Among the crowd, a dozen people quickly stood up and left. The others continued sitting in silence.
Lu Sheng and his disciples asked someone about the situation. They learned that those who’d left had made up their mind to look for Mei Youjiang even if it cost them their lives.
Those who continued sitting here were those who chose not to go. Lu Sheng was immediately intrigued. This Haunted House had some terrifying sway over the people in this small town.
He brought his two disciples, and they followed another person who stood up and walked toward the court’s door.
No sooner had they walked out the door than Lu Sheng went forward and gently placed his hand on that person’s shoulder.
“Brother, do you have a moment?” he said in a lowered voice. “Can I ask you what’s wrong with the northeastern area? Is that where the Haunted House is based?”
The person whom he stopped for conversation was a short man with a robust and well-trained physique. When he was stopped by Lu Sheng, he was startled. However, when he heard that it was for a question, he calmed himself down.
“I see that the three of you aren’t from these parts. Nobody here doesn’t know about the Haunted House.” The man smiled bitterly. “There’s always been reports that someone unintentionally went into the forbidden land and was never heard from since. Not even their bones could be found in the end. There’s always been a couple of such reports every year. This has also happened to someone I knew. The ones who disappeared had ventured northeast. After they went past that corn plantation, they were never seen again.”