Way of the Devil - Chapter 616 - Test
Chapter 616: Test
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Ode Tower was wedged into the ancient grayish-yellow wall. It was surrounded by narrow alleys.
In the evening, the mixed red light of the setting sun shone in at an angle. Most of the alley was dyed red. Even the door’s frame was cast in a grayish-red hue.
Lu Sheng drew a deep breath. He swept his gaze to his side. A group of black rats was fighting over the scraps of discarded food beside the garbage dump. It seemed to be cleaned bones of some fish.
The rats were scared by Lu Sheng’s gaze. They scurried away.
Lu Sheng retracted his gaze. He looked at the Ode Tower’s entrance before himself. Other than the door which served as the entrance, there was no other sign of the so-called Ode Tower being there.
“Are you going in? If you’re not, please make way.” Just when Lu Sheng was observing his surroundings and wanted to carefully think how he should enter, a cold and hoarse female voice came from behind him.
Lu Sheng looked behind himself and saw a couple in different outfits.
The female dressed like an old maidservant of a noble family. She looked to be in her forties.
The male was a teenager at most. His short-sleeved blue tunic was adorned with sewn plum blossoms. He had a gender-neutral look, but was generally handsome. He seemed to be lethargic and ill at ease.
The two of them were standing behind Lu Sheng in single file.
“Be my guest.” Lu Sheng stepped aside.
Anyone could enter the Ode Tower. There was no restriction based on age, status, or identity.
The old woman strode past Lu Sheng and passed through the Ode Tower’s entrance.
Then, the handsome boy hesitated slightly before the door before he gritted his teeth and stepped into it.
Lu Sheng was in no hurry to enter. He recalled the information he collected on the Ode Towers recently.
The inspections and trials in the Ode Towers were innumerable. No trial was ever repeated. The mechanism behind its operations was also unknown.
However, every Ode Tower had the same special characteristic. They were all capable of selecting talents with good potential, strong willpower, and moral values in line with Libra City.
Lu Sheng stood before the Ode Tower’s door and did not enter. He merely looked at the others who entered the tower.
The door on this side was only used for entry. The instant a person entered, fine black ripples could be seen emanating from within.
‘There’s no energy reaction or the rumble of any machinery… This Ode Tower… I don’t think it’s possible to deduce a pattern here…’ Lu Sheng saw that almost everyone had prepared themselves in various ways before stepping into the Ode Tower.
Some of them brought luggage of various sizes, while others traveled light. Some even brought an assortment of trinkets. There were also those who brought their companion beasts with them.
After observing the situation for more than four hours, Lu Sheng gained nothing. After giving it some thought, he stood up.
Lu Sheng walked toward the door.
The Ode Tower’s door was slightly taller than three meters and more than a meter wide. There were no patterns or symbols on the frame. Only a small row of script that resembled runes was inscribed on the lintel.
Lu Sheng check it and realized that it was not in the Language of E. However, it was also not in any language which he knew.
‘Since I can’t find a pattern, there’s no other way than giving it a try.’
Lu Sheng placed a hand on the door post and took one step forward.
He felt as if he had just walked through a layer of soap bubbles when a thin, soft, and moist membrane slid across his skin.
There was a flash before Lu Sheng’s eyes, and he was already past the door’s frame.
The hubbub of the thriving streets instantly fell silent and vanished without a trace.
What appeared before him was an alley that looked exactly the same as the one he was standing in before he entered. The only difference was that there was not a single person in this alley.
The mottled gray coat remained on the walls to his sides. Some of the edges were even peeling off. The grayish-white inner layer was exposed.
Lu Sheng patted his own gray robe down. His current outfit was no different from those of the ordinary students on the streets.
His gray robe covered his knees, and he wore white trousers paired with brown boots. A dark blue sack was tied on his body and a black bottle gourd hung from his waist.
Having a bottle gourd as an accessory was the specialty of Libra City. It had the meaning of praying for safety and prosperity.
The only difference was that Lu Sheng had cut his own hair short. He seldom went around in short hair.
He stood in the alley and observed it for some time. Lu Sheng noticed that this alley seemed to have been around for quite some time.
He walked to the entrance of the alley and run his hand through the cuts on the wall.
They seemed to be the work of some sharp claws or fangs.
He seeped some of his Devil Qi into them, and found that the rate of erosion was very slow.
‘It’s been eroding for several thousand years, at least…’ Lu Sheng made a conclusion.
He exited the alley and arrived at an empty and spacious yet somehow messy street.
The shops which lined both sides of the street were deserted. From afar, through their respective windows, goods covered in a thick layer of dust could be seen still displayed on the shelves. Rubble was scattered along the floor. There was even some unidentifiable black powder.
“This place…” Lu Sheng had a slight frown. He had just arrived here from Libra City’s streets. This place was similar to the streets back there, but they seemed to have some unfamiliar ancient aura about them as well.
There were many details in the building’s structure that were different as well.
A blurry mist hung over the streets and a slight cold breeze blew through the area.
Lu Sheng walked slowly up to a shop and peeked through its windows.
This seemed to be a bakery of sorts. Porcelain wares meant for pastry were arranged on the tables. There was even a metal board that resembled a menu.
‘What’s this test about? Bravery?’ Lu Sheng frowned slightly. He slowly walked into the shop.
“Who’s there?!” Suddenly, an anxious female voice came from the dark curtains in the shop.
Lu Sheng shifted his gaze in the direction of the voice. He did not sense anyone here with his spirit before. He did not expect to suddenly hear a voice.
There seemed to be something about this place that messed with his senses.
It was dark behind the grayish-black curtains. Even with Lu Sheng’s eyesight, he could not see anything.
“Who’s there?!” The female voice came again.
Lu Sheng was silent for a while. He eventually slowly said, “Do you need any help?”
The female was speaking in the Language of E with a slight accent. He could still understand her.
“Really? You can help me?” the female asked hastily.
“If it’s not too difficult, I think I can,” Lu Sheng said calmly.
The female was silent for some time. Then, she told him her request.
“This place… This city, it’s suddenly become like this one day. There was no warning. I was buying some flour for the shop at the mill when it happened. Alas…” The female started recounting the incident with intermittent sobs.
“My husband… When I came back, I suddenly noticed that he had undergone some peculiar changes.
“They were very strange changes that made me feel afraid!
“Hence, I’d like you to go to the city center and bring my husband, who’s hiding there, back to me. Please tell him, Nana… Nana is always waiting for him here… I don’t care what he’s become…” The female voice finished and slowly fell silent.
“I’ll bring him here.” Lu Sheng narrowed his eyes. Then, he turned around and left.
He left the shop and glanced at the remaining shops. He reckoned that many of these shops offered similar experiences as well.
Lu Sheng calmed himself down. He had a vague feeling that this place was not built by Libra City. It was more possible that they had used this place as a location for their trials and tests.
As for the possible danger lurking in this place, Lu Sheng viewed it as the natural risks and price he would have to bear in order to obtain what he wanted.
Lu Sheng left the bakery and went straight through the streets toward the city center. After traversing several streets, he reached a small garden plaza.
Paths leading to the different streets surrounded the plaza. An immense black creature which shone with metallic luster stood in the center of the plaza.
This monster was waving its eight arms about. It turned its bald head in 360 degrees and looked around itself.
The monster had a human torso and a huge ball for a lower body. It moved by rolling the ball. Heavy rumbling sounds could be heard as the ball rolled.
Lu Sheng had just stepped into the plaza when he was noticed by this huge creature that was more than 10 meters tall.
This creature’s black lantern-like eyes swept toward him and became fixed on him.
“If you want to pass, you must answer my question…” The monster’s voice was as deep as thunder. It rumbled across the plaza.
“What’s the question?” Lu Sheng spread his spirit and prodded his surroundings carefully.
When his spirit came into contact with the gray mist, his spirit was immediately absorbed. The stone bricks on the road also seemed to possess the peculiar ability to interfere with his senses.
“Many come to answer my question, but few can give answers that satisfy me,” the monster said in a deep voice. “You have 50 breaths. If your answer does not satisfy me, I’ll eat you and await the next challenger.”
“Understood. Ask away.” Lu Sheng nodded.
He roughly understood what character this monster was playing. It must have been placed here on purpose as a mission that had to be solved by the challengers. It was one of the trials he had to face.
The monster shook its head.
“My question is: can you count how many arms I have?”
It flailed its long arms and released minute vibrating sounds. The arms danced in the air and whistled as they moved.
Lu Sheng counted carefully.
“Eight arms,” he answered seriously.
“Are you sure? Look again!” the monster asked.
Lu Sheng hesitated. He counted again.
“…Then… four arms?” He felt as if half of the monster’s eight arms were not arms.
“Are you really sure?” The monster flailed its arms much faster this time. Its six arms were slowly becoming transparent at the moment.
“Then… two?” Lu Sheng felt unsure again.
“Look again!” Two more arms suddenly sprouted from the monster’s body and it flailed them about as well.
“Fooh, fooh, fooh…”
The whistles of the arms moving through the air could be heard with higher frequencies.
“Look again?” Two more arms sprouted from the monster’s body.
“Look again?” Four more arms added themselves to the monster’s body and started flailing.
“10?” Lu Sheng was expressionless.
“Hahahaha. Sadly, you’ve answered—”
A huge explosion sounded.
Lu Sheng struck out with a punch with lightning speed. In an instant, his arm penetrated the monster’s head. Cracks started spreading from his palm toward the monster’s body.
“Yes, I’ve answered correctly.” Lu Sheng maintained his expression and slowly extracted his arm.
“Don’t ask such silly questions next time.” He leapt forward lightly and dropped to the ground.
Black metallic scarps fell to the ground continuously. They made loud noises as they crashed onto the plaza’s floor.