Way of the Devil - Chapter 77
Chapter 77: Family Affairs (3)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
“Scholar?” Lu Sheng paused in surprise.
“Yea… that scholar seems wealthy. Both of them displayed very affectionate and intimate behavior towards each other…” Qiao’er was afraid to go further. This matter had actually weighed on her heart for a while. However, as it concerned her master’s family, she dared not speak about it as long as Lu Sheng did not ask her.
“A wealthy, scholar Young Master? I did say that this brat was an extravagant prodigal. How would the earnings of a store be enough for her spending? So turns out that’s how…” Lu Sheng instantly understood. “Now I’ve got to see for myself who dares to mess with my Lu Family,” his eyes turned sinister.
“No… it’s not like that, Young Master. It looks to me that Fifth Young Miss and he are very intimate with each other… it doesn’t look like… like that kind of situation,” Qiao’er waved her hand anxiously. “That Young Master looks very gentlemanly and chivalrous. He’d agree to anything the Fifth Young Miss wants. Both of them look very blissful together.”
“Hmm? Blissful?” Lu Sheng looked shocked. Was it true? He knew Lu Yingying’s temper all too well. How could such a brat find a wealthy, gentlemanly and chivalrous Young Master scholar? “Qiao’er, are you sure you aren’t mistaken?”
“I’m… I’m sure,” Qiao’er quickly confirmed. “At first, Qiao’er also thought that I was mistaken. But after tailing them for a distance, I don’t think I’m wrong.”
Lu Sheng was speechless. He was very familiar with Lu Yingying’s personality. If the two of them were really in love with each other, that was all right with Lu Sheng. But if the guy was merely trying to take advantage of her, then he had better do some digging around.
“Forget it, I’ll handle this matter. Go and rest, Qiao’er,” he instructed.
Qiao’er hesitated, “Would Young Master like to bathe and change?”
“No need, I’ll do it next morning,” Lu Sheng stretched and popped his neck.
“Yes sir,” Qiao’er silently left, leaving Lu Sheng alone in the room by the round table. Lightly holding onto a wine cup between his fingers, he poured himself a cup of almond wine and sipped it.
‘Since I killed Gongsun Zhanglan till now, something in my body seems to have gone amiss…’ his brows were locked tight together. Casting aside all other thoughts, he closed his eyes in deep thought.
He searched his memory in detail. His temper had recently been getting hotter and hotter. After waking up each morning, he could feel his skin boiling hot and his Qi and blood seemed to be circulating at accelerated speed.
‘And when did this phenomenon begin?’
He scrutinized his memory.
‘Seems like it gradually started ever since I began cultivating Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill.’
He retrieved the Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill manual again and read it carefully, scrutinizing every line and word. Very quickly, he found a small row or words on page three, slightly below the middle of the page.
‘Cultivators must make their bodies hot and oily, without any moisture, accompanied by medicinal oil applied to the entire body. Abstain from contact with water for three hours. Only then can Qi be sensed.’
Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill was in fact a hard body skill built on the foundation of inner Qi. It was an extremely rare hard body skill that cultivated inner Qi to strengthen the bones, muscles and skin. Strictly speaking, it was an inner force skill rather than outer force skill.
This was also one of the reasons why Lu Sheng had chosen it.
‘Make my body hot and oily, without any moisture, accompanied by medicinal oil applied to the entire body. Abstain from contact with water for three hours… doesn’t that equal to putting the body in a state of extreme heatiness?’ Realization finally dawned on Lu Sheng.
‘My Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill’s function is precisely to maintain balance between Yin and Yang, keeping the body in a state of equilibrium between heat and cold. Don’t tell me that Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill is the reason why I haven’t been able to attain Initiation in Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill?’ Lu Sheng postulated. ‘Next time, I can try practicing Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill after exhausting Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill.’
The next morning, he rose and wolfed down his breakfast, then tidied up and got ready to leave.
Before he could put on his belt, a series of knocks rang out on the door.
Qiao’er hopped over to open the door. “Who’s this?”
“Is Brother Lu in?” Song Zhenguo was here again. “Miss Qiao’er, it’s been a few days since we last met, how do you do?” Song Zhenguo’s voice rang out from outside the door.
“Oh, Young Master Song. Our Young Master is in,” Qiao’er chirped in reply. She had a good impression of this Young Master Song who came almost every day recently.
“Brother Song, long time no see,” Lu Sheng finished tidying his robes and walked out of the bedroom with a grin.
The door opened and the haggard-looking Song Zhenguo entered to see Lu Sheng’s shiny bald head and arms as thick as thighs. Song Zhenguo’s jaws dropped.
“You… you’re Brother Lu!?”
Lu Sheng couldn’t help it too. Ever since he started cultivating hard body skills, his body grew more and more muscular, like an inflating balloon. Now, he couldn’t even cover up his powerful muscles that made him look like an ox with an outfit of black robes.
“My fault. I haven’t been picky in my diet recently and before I knew it, I became like that…” Lu Sheng chuckled bitterly. “Come, come, come. Sit down and talk.”
He pulled Song Zhenguo into the room to a seat.
“Brother Lu, may I know when you can test Zhenguo? I can’t wait any longer,” Song Zhenguo refused the seat, his face a look of pain.
“Test…” Lu Sheng could tell that Song Zhenguo had really reached the end of his patience. The Red Decks pleasure boat incident had really left a scar on him. Even now, he looked down in the gutters.
“Brother Lu, truth be told, I’ve also visited many martial arts dojos in the city during this period of time. Pity… they’re able to make one fit and strong. But none of them have got real skills to show like Brother Lu’s,” Song Zhenguo smiled helplessly.
Lu Sheng shook his head, watching this pitiful forlorn man.
“Alright then. Let’s make it today. Today we’ll test Brother Song’s innate talent. But to put it bluntly, don’t get your hopes up.”
Song Zhenguo’s face was a look of determined resolve. “Even so, I’d like to try.”
Lu Sheng rose. “Follow me then.”
He instructed Qiao’er to settle her own meals herself and to check on his family’s progress in migrating. He himself, however, took Song Zhenguo out of Mountain-Edge City. Both of them rode along the official main route and quickly arrived at the small clearing in the forest where Lu Sheng used to practice martial arts.
In the morning after a drizzle, the air was crisp fresh. Drops of dew hung on the leaves and grass.
“Right here will do.”
Lu Sheng stood in the middle of the forest, tied up the horses and then turned to look at Song Zhenguo.
“How will I be tested?” Anticipation shone together with nervousness in Song Zhenguo’s eyes.
He had met with too many setbacks. Every dojo he had visited thought him out of his mind when they heard his request. The kind of standard he desired was beyond the reach of even the dojo owners.
Only then did he realize what league Lu Sheng belonged to.
“Honestly speaking, I also have no idea how to test you. But I’ve got quite a few skills up my sleeves. I can impart a basic mantra to you and assess your suitability,” Lu Sheng said calmly.
“Mantra? You mean like an inner force skill?!” Song Zhenguo was shaken. After visiting so many martial arts dojos, he deeply understood how well martial arts experts kept their skills hidden. Inner force mantras were priceless treasures. And yet now he was about to be imparted one in person by an inner force expert.
“Don’t get too uptight. This is merely one of the most basic mantras. There’s only one level to it. As long as you don’t impart it to anyone else, there’ll be no problems,” Lu Sheng said casually. In his mind, he had already decided what to impart Song Zhenguo.
Among the inner force skills he knew, there were Green Pine One Thought Formula, Yin-Yang Attraction, Black Fury Skill, Jade Crane Skill, and Ultimate Crimson Mantra.
Naturally, there was no way he could divulge Ultimate Crimson Mantra easily. Black Fury Skill required an extremely long time to cultivate–nearly ten times longer than other inner force skills. That was clear from the amount of time it took for him to generate and sense a thread of Qi back then. It was a skill with an extremely high barrier to entry.
Hence, the only skills he could impart were the remaining life force skills.
Of course, there were also the integrated inner force skills that were the results of his own extrapolation. But Lu Sheng had made up his mind never to divulge these integrated inner force skills until the time came when he had achieved full mastery of all his skills and had satisfied the prerequisites to create his own martial arts. When that time came, he’d think about whether or not to impart them.
“You must promise me a few things before I impart you this mantra. Firstly, you shall not teach it to others. Secondly, if you feel any discomfort while cultivating it, you must cease immediately. Thirdly, the sect I belong to is the Crimson Sun Sect. If you fail to learn this inner force mantra, I can teach you outer force martial arts. But you must first join my Crimson Sun Sect.”
Lu Sheng felt that Crimson Sun Sect was really pathetically small. He believed that the best policy was for it to expand its ranks. After all, if anything was to be done, they needed manpower. Solely relying on the Crimson Whale Sect model was too dispersed and lacked organizational unity.
Moreover, he needed a faction that belonged to him alone. Teaching Song Zhenguo was merely the first step.
“I give my word to all three conditions!” Song Zhenguo was deeply aware that this was a golden opportunity that would never come again. Not everyone could get in contact with an expert of Lu Sheng’s league. Hence, he agreed to the conditions without any hesitation.
“You’ve thought it through? Unless you can attain the pinnacle level of simultaneous inner and outer force mastery, you may only be an outer disciple of my Crimson Sun Sect for the rest of your life,” Lu Sheng came up with an identity on the spot.
“I’ve long since thought it through,” Song Zhenguo said fixedly. “Should I take you as my Master or…”
“If you can generate inner Qi, you may take me as your Master. But if not…” Lu Sheng shook his head without a word. If Song Zhenguo was unable to cultivate inner Qi, there was no point in him taking Lu Sheng as his Master. All Lu Sheng’s strength came from his simultaneous cultivation of inner and outer force; if either was missing, he would never amount to anything much.
“I understand,” Song Zhenguo nodded.
“Well, then, let’s begin. Learn from me,” Lu Sheng said flatly.
He pulled out two pieces of gray cloth and lay them on the ground, then sat down on one of them cross-legged.
Song Zhenguo followed his example, likewise sitting cross-legged.
“Quiet the mind and still the heart.”
“Quiet the mind and still the heart!” Song Zhenguo was a face of solemnness.
“Close your eyes.”
“Close your eyes,” Song Zhenguo shut his eyes.
“Empty your mind. Don’t think of anything. Relax your body. Don’t flex your muscles… …” Lu Sheng guided Song Zhenguo, instruction by instruction. Together, they began to cultivate Green Pine One Thought Formula.
He knew that the Red Decks pleasure boat had caused trouble for Song Zhenguo because his body was of the extremely rare type–born in the Yin hour, Yin month, and Yin year.
Lu Sheng was ignorant of what was so special about such people that even ghosts would hunt them down. But they had to be different from your average mortal.
Lu Sheng quickly finished explaining the front section of Green Pine One Thought Formula’s Level One, which led to Initiation.
Clearing the mind of all thoughts–this was originally an incredibly difficult step. The human mind was filled with a million thoughts, each different from the other. Babies aside, how could adults so easily clear their minds of thoughts and empty their hearts?
Unexpectedly to Lu Sheng, Song Zhenguo had only sat for an hour when he fell into a meditative trance.
‘Although this life force skill was one of the easiest–having been known to generate Qi sense within a day–isn’t this pace too fast?’
After all, once one enters a meditative trance, it’s very easy to generate Qi sense.
“Teacher Lu, I sense a fine thread circulating between my chest and abdomen, forming a cycle,” Song Zhenguo spoke just as Lu Sheng finished his thought.