Way of the Devil - Chapter 490 - Condensation (1)
Chapter 490: Condensation (1)
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In the hall.
Lu Sheng sat in a high-back chair and watched Luo Cheng with a peculiar expression. He also threw occasional glances at Luo Ying. For a time, he kept quiet.
Luo Cheng’s heart thumped against his chest. Luo Ying’s heart was the same. They both had their own ideas, and they were both waiting for Lu Sheng’s response.
Luo Ying’s heart was filled with so many questions that she did not know where she should start. She also knew that this was not the time for her to ask questions. If her brother felt that he could explain for her, he would definitely do so.
Since he kept quiet now, this had to have been a sign that they should not speak.
Hence, she waited silently where she stood.
The Mount Qi’s chief Liu’er covered her mouth as she snickered. Throughout her long life, she had also been this innocent once, but that was a long, long time ago.
Back then, her cultivation base was far inferior to what she had now…
After a long pause, Lu Sheng slowly started to speak.
“Since you like to think of her as your sister, then I shall treat her as your sister. As the young master, it’s also a good thing for you to have more offspring… That saves me the trouble of finding a bride for you when we return.”
Luo Cheng: “…”
Luo Ying’s beautiful face was also stunned. Then, it quickly flushed red, and she quickly lowered her head.
Lu Sheng stood up. In a loud voice, he said, “Alright, here’s what we’ll do here. Luo Cheng, bring me to your parents’ graves now. I want to offer some sacrifices to them.”
“Uh… Right… Okay, uncle!” Luo Cheng replied hastily. He stole a glance at his sister Luo Ying, but his heart was at a loss and filled with worry while mixed with a strong sweet sensation.
“Our Luo Family is lacking in descendants. That’s why, Luo Cheng, you’ll have to work hard when we get back. You must produce at least five offspring in two years. That’s your responsibility as the young master. You can slack off in your cultivation method and base, but you must have many children!” Lu Sheng immediately gave him precise instructions.
Although he was unsure if Muyun’s karma contained the condition of making his family flourish, he decided to just go along with it.
“Uh… Uncle… We haven’t even settled the matter of my marriage, are you sure that this isn’t too rushed?” Luo Cheng paled from the shock, and he quickly protested in a loud voice.
“That’s alright. If it’s about your bride, there are a few thousand members from my sect for you to choose from. I’m sure that nobody will be unwilling to give up their bodies to serve you.” Liu’er could no longer stifle a laugh on the side.
“Uh…” Luo Cheng felt slightly dizzy. Happiness had come to him too suddenly. However, he suddenly remembered something, and he hastily looked at Luo Ying. As expected, he saw Luo Ying’s expression darken.
“Uh… Forget it… I don’t want that… Thanks, sister, thank you very much… Hehehe…” Luo Cheng hastily turned down her offer indirectly.
“Oh? We have a sweet talker right here.” Liu’er had a beautiful smile. Her eyes arced upward and turned into two crescents.
“Alright, we’ll offer sacrifices first,” Lu Sheng ordered.
“Huh? Now?!” Luo Cheng exclaimed with surprise.
“It’s the thought that counts. There’s no timing for offering sacrifices. Let’s not dally, for the long night is fraught with dreams,” Lu Sheng said with a stern expression.
For a time, Luo Cheng and Luo Ying did not understand what he had just said. However, this uncle of theirs had a strong personality. They dared not turn him down, and could only follow him out of the hall.
“That’s right, Unc… Uh…” When Luo Ying opened her mouth to speak, she was at a loss as to how she should address this man.
“Just call me uncle. You’ll be a member of the Luo Family sooner or later, after all,” Lu Sheng said as he waved his arm casually.
Luo Ying’s charming face blushed again.
“Uncle, um… I’m a royal member of the Sky Nation. We might have great troubles in the future. If you think that…”
“Sky Nation? I think I’ve heard of that before,” Lu Sheng muttered to himself irresolutely. He seemed to recall this nation in Muyun’s memories. It seemed to be located far, far away.
“It’s alright,” Liu’er added from the side with a gentle tone. “In this age, there aren’t many things that your uncle can’t do.”
Luo Cheng could not help but gulp. He felt as if he was being hit on the head by a terrifyingly huge biscuit which could cover the skies.
Happiness had come to him too suddenly. He felt the need to calm himself down, even though he could not refrain from shouting out in joy internally.
Luo Ying was also startled by the sheer domineeringness of this statement. She remained speechless for some time.
“Alright, let’s go.” Lu Sheng let the two youngsters lead the way, and the four of them went on. However, the peculiar thing was that Luo Cheng and Luo Ying felt that they were walking at their usual pace, but they seemed to be moving much quicker in this journey. They felt that they were moving forward much faster than before.
In seemingly less than twenty breaths, the four of them had already reached the graveyard behind the manor.
There was a dozen graves in the graveyard.
“Other than my parents, there’s also Grandfather and Grandmother. Uncle and his family were also buried here. They had succumbed to some infectious disease.” Luo Cheng walked to the two graves at the end of the line with familiar movements. He knelt down reverently and did three loud kowtows.
“These are the ones?” Lu Sheng took a few steps forward. He read the inscriptions on the tombstone.
“Father, Jinye.” “Mother, Yejun.” The two tombstones were inscribed with different words. Below their names were summaries of their lives.
Lu Sheng joined his palms together and paid his respects seriously. However, a forlorn feeling welled up in his heart.
He knew that it was a sign that Muyun’s karma was being settled. Then, he walked up to the graves of Luo Cheng’s grandparents and paid his respects with joined palms again.
When he finished paying respects, he lifted his head again. A red glow suddenly flashed past his eyes. The forlorn feeling within him gradually thinned and vanished as well.
“Liu’er, have Zun Ba bring some men here to move the graves. Bring them all to the Cloud Water Monastery in the South Sea. Get some men to come help us in out next undertaking as well.” Lu Sheng immediately projected his voice to Liu’er.
Liu’er nodded slightly to show her understanding.
Zun Ba was the Merpeople Clan’s chief who accompanied them to the central plains this time. Her clansmen had connections even in the Zhao Nation.
With the merpeople’s striking appearance and bearing, the families that they managed to marry into held great power in society as well.
It was practically as easy as raising one’s hand for them to arrange such simple matters.
After they paid their respects, Lu Sheng brought the two youngsters into the county town. They were quickly met by the merpeople waiting for them there.
After the Luo Family siblings were whisked away in two extravagant carriages, Lu Sheng brought Liu’er to their next destination.
When Muyun left his home many years ago, his family was not the only ones that he missed. There was also his best brother since his childhood days who was closest to him, Lin Shuangyi.
According to the information from his investigation, Lin Shuangyi’s Lin Family had continued to provide monetary and manpower support to search for Muyun after his disappearance. It was only in the fifth year, when Lin Shuangyi took over the family’s business and he could not see a sliver of hope anymore, that he gave up on looking for him. He switched to offering a reward to anyone who could locate Muyun.
It was easy to locate the Lin Family. Lin Shuangyi was only older, and was not riddled with illness or injuries. He had several grandchildren, and his family did not seem to be in any trouble. Their business was as stable as Mount Tai, and they had many relations with the leader of the local criminal underground.
Luo Family’s clothes shop was only maintained by the two children. The reason why it was still able to operate safely after all these years was because the Lin Family had been looking out for them behind their backs. Otherwise, with Luo Cheng’s and Luo Ying’s young age, they would have been gobbled up by the ill-meaning adults, and not even their bones would be left behind.
Lu Sheng had done some probing in secret, and found that there was no need for him to make a move. That was well, and he left Lin Shuangyi some Vitality Rejuvenating Pills. These pills were not very helpful for cultivators, but they could sustain one’s life. He also left him a jade pendant which contained three bursts of Nascent Qi. It would be able to protect the Lin Family three times during times of trouble.
After he left a message for Lin Shuangyi, Lu Sheng brought Liu’er to their third destination.
This was also the final place in which he would search for his dear ones, the Hanmei Academy.
That was where he would find Muyun’s childhood lover, Yue Xingzhu.
The blazing sun shone its burning rays and reflected off the ground, which made the ground seem extraordinarily glaring.
There was not a single soul on the academy’s drill grounds. Scholars occasionally walked past hurriedly, but they dared not stop there.
At one corner of the drill grounds, there was a little stall which sold cold corn and an assortment of snacks and nuts.
The stall owner was an old woman who was nearing her fifties. The people from the academy called her Aunt Zhu. Aunt Zhu had been running the stall in the academy for more than two decades now.
The Hanmei Academy had started from shabby beginnings, and rose to prominence, flourished, and then returned to the ordinary state it was in now. Aunt Zhu had followed the academy along the way, and bore witness to this entire process.
The stall was situated right under the shade of the roof. Aunt Zhu sat in a rattan chair as she fanned herself with a cattail leaf fan in her half-asleep state. Fine beads of sweat could even be seen on her forehead.
On the other side of the stall stood a dark-skinned young lady in her twenties. She was meticulously rearranging the snacks on the stall.
“This weather… is too hot.” The young lady lifted her head and looked at the bright, blue skies. She sighed softly. “Mother, I don’t think anyone will be coming to buy anything in this hot weather. Why don’t we call it a day and go back home?”
“Do you want us to fill our stomachs with the northwestern winds if we go back this early?” Aunt Zhu retorted in an irritated tone, and regarded the young lady through half-closed eyes. “It’s only been a few days since I’ve asked for your help to man the stall, and you’re already complaining about how difficult this is. In my days, to ensure that your father could have enough money to earn a title, I’ve risen early in the morning and went to bed late at night. My hands grew calloused, and my face yellowed from all the burden… I know I may not look it now, but back in the days, I, Yue Xingzhu, was also a proud flower in this entire area!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” The young lady nodded her head repeatedly and helplessly like a chick pecking the corn. She understood her mother’s temper. If she talked back, she would most certainly be bombarded with an hour of nonsense.
The hot weather was already making her dizzy. If she had to be bombarded with nonsense again, she was sure that she would collapse on the spot.
“Boss, you’re still here? Can I have some walnuts? Peeled ones, please.” All of a sudden, two big and tall shadows blotted out the glaring reflection of the ground.
The young lady caught a second wind. She quickly stood up.
She was not beautiful. She did resemble her parents, but the combination of her facial features provided her with no plus points. In addition to that, her figure was slightly on the fleshy side. Her father had gone missing, and her family was not very wealthy. She did not have good relatives, either. Overall, she appeared ordinary. That was why nobody had asked for her hand in marriage even in her age. She was starting to become an aunt.
However, this did not stop her from adoring handsome men.
The instant Yue Mingjuan lifted her head to look at the two before her, her heart skipped a beat.
‘What beautiful people,’ she evaluated inwardly.
She sized up the two customers out of the corner of her eye as she asked loudly, “Walnuts, right? We have them. How much do you want?”
“Give me five hundred grams.” Lu Sheng smiled. His gaze went past the slightly bashful Yue Mingjuan to Yue Xingzhu, who was sitting behind her.
“Long time no see, Xingzhu,” he said in a gentle voice.
Aunt Zhu did not react at first. She was sighing with emotion as she thought just how much this young man resembled Luo Muyun. However, she did not expect to hear Lu Sheng’s familiar address. Her entire body shook.
She sat where she was, dumbstruck. After a long pause, she started to look at Lu Sheng in detail.
“Young man, you’re… Muyun’s…”
“No, I’m Luo Muyun,” Lu Sheng replied earnestly. He met her gaze. “I’m Luo Muyun who has left this place 30 years ago. Do you still remember the hydrangea flower I gave you all those years ago?”
Aunt Zhu’s body shook again. She lowered her head and was silent for a long time. She seemed to have thought of something.
“Twack!” The cattail leaf fan in her hands dropped to the ground. She could not help herself. Her eyes reddened as well. She seemed to want to look at Lu Sheng, but she dared not raise her head. Her body was shaking slightly.
“…Customer, what’re you talking about? You… you’ve mistaken me for someone else… there must be a mistake…” She lowered her head. She could not stop her tears from flowing.
Lu Sheng fell silent as well. In Muyun’s memories, Yue Xingzhu was still the innocent, unaffected, cute, pure, and beautiful young girl. It was the other end of the extreme with this middle-aged woman whose body had grown wide with age.
He lowered his head and saw Yue Xingzhu’s shaking hands. Her hands were wet from her dripping tears. Her palms and the back of her hands were full of calloused wrinkles.
“Xingzhu…” For a time, Muyun’s happy and excited emotions welled up within him. Lu Sheng felt slightly forlorn in his heart. He had a thousand words to say to her, but he did not know where to start.
“No… My name’s not Xingzhu…” Yue Xingzhu lifted her head with a smile. “Customer, you’ve really mistaken me for someone else… You’ve really mistaken…” The marks of her hastily wiped-away tears were still left on her face, but she was not aware of this.
“I’ve mistaken you…”
Lu Sheng fell silent.
After a short pause, he managed a smile.
“You’re right… I was mistaken… I’ve mistaken you for someone else… Perhaps it’s because… You look a lot like a friend of mine…”
Yue Xingzhu quickly lowered her chubby face again.
“Yea… Yeah… I remember, many years ago, there was a beautiful girl by the name of Yue Xingzhu… Perhaps, she’s the one you’re looking for…” Tears kept falling off her chin.
Lu Sheng said no more.