Way of the Devil - Chapter 80
Chapter 80: Old Village (2)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
“That’s alright, I can wait,” Chen Yunxi replied earnestly.
Lu Sheng gazed at her fixedly. In that moment, he had really been slightly moved. However, as soon as he thought of the path that he had to take in the future, he hardened his heart.
“There’s no rush. You’re still young, and will understand in the future that it’s not a good thing for you to choose me,” he turned away and spoke no more. “I’m heading back first. You think over it long and hard when you get back. Don’t cause yourself to regret in the future,” he waved his hand as he hastily left. If he had stayed any longer, there was no saying what other surprises Chen Yunxi would pull up.
Clenching her teeth, Chen Yunxi closed back the box as she looked onto Lu Sheng’s disappearing figure. At last, tears welled up in her eyes.
She had already done all that she could, yet in the end it was still…
Lu Sheng’s heart was troubled with complicated feelings the entire journey back, all the way till nighttime. A woman like Chen Yunxi was really the companion of his dreams in his previous life, but things were different now.
Only after he had finished his meal did he gradually calm down. Returning to his room, he began to cultivate inner Qi.
Ever since cultivating Crimson Heart Mantra and battling Gongsun, he had converted every ounce of Blood Fury Skill into Ultimate Crimson Mantra, and achieved the equivalent of Level Four Ultimate Crimson Qi.
After restoring his body for so long and upgrading Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill to Level Four, it was about time to upgrade Ultimate Crimson Mantra.
Summoning the Modifier, Lu Sheng looked at the square frame before him.
Blood Fury Skill was nowhere to be found. In its place was the fourth level of Ultimate Crimson Mantra.
‘Ultimate Crimson Mantra: Level Four, Special Effect(s): Fire Poison, Tremor, Incendiary.’
‘Compared to Blood Fury Skill, there’s the added special effect of Tremor, and it’s only at the fourth level. A superior mantra, a first-rate inner force skill indeed!’ Lu Sheng was inwardly satisfied. All of Blood Fury Skill’s power had been expended, and in its place was Ultimate Crimson Mantra Level Four. Coincidentally, his injuries were fully recovered and his body restored into balance. It was time to upgrade to the next stage.
‘Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill also needs to be cultivated. I’ll first fully expend Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill before trying again tomorrow, and see if I’m able to be initiated into this hard body skill,’ armed with a plan, Lu Sheng’s line of sight zoomed in on the Ultimate Crimson Mantra selection.
He had stagnated at the Sprit Focus level for a very long time. Strength Proficiency, Intent Proficiency, Spirit Focus. Spirit Focus was also divided into low, middle and high calibers; for him to be able to beat the living daylights out of Gongsun Zhanglan, he was already in Pinnacle level in actuality.
And beyond that was the peak that old Sect Master had mentioned, Divine Prime.
To consolidate all the body’s spirit and Qi, condensing them into one focused point, then tempering it till it has been cleaned of all impurities, retaining only its essence, then feeding it back into one’s body—that was the near mythical legend of the pugilistic world: Divine Prime.
‘The Divine Prime level involves the very iffy and nebulous realm of one’s spirit. Without head or tails about how to do so, I can only keep accumulating skills that are powerful enough. Strength in quantity can herald strength in quality. Even if I’m not of the realm of Divine Prime, as long as my power reaches a certain extent, then even Divine Prime experts will not be my match!’
As he pressed onto the Modify button in his mind, the Modifier flashed.
‘Upgrade Ultimate Crimson Mantra to Level Five,’ Lu Sheng commanded inwardly.
The Modifier trembled a little and blurred. When it came back into focus, Ultimate Crimson Mantra had transformed from Level Four into Level Five.
A warm thread that was soft and sturdy at the same time orbited unhurriedly in Lu Sheng’s chest. After circling for nine rounds, it suddenly gushed without warning into Lu Sheng’s lower abdomen.
Lu Sheng’s entire body trembled as he felt the warm thread dispersing from his lower abdomen to all parts of his body.
He looked at the Modifier again.
‘Ultimate Crimson Mantra: Level Five, Special Effect(s): Intensified Fire Poison, Double Tremor, Intensified Incendiary’.
‘Success!’ Lu Sheng then went on to feel for Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill, which had been wiped clean with not a drop left. He guessed that this amount was actually insufficient and had been made up for by his physical body.
“My body feels a little weak and tired, probably because too much had been consumed. Cough, cough, cough…” Lu Sheng suddenly broke into a fit of coughs as his throat felt particularly sore.
Rising hurriedly, he found a small chest in his clothes cupboard. He pulled out one of the drawers of the chest and retrieved from within a black jade bottle. He turned it over to pour out a round, purple pill, which he popped into his mouth.
‘Hope this works,’ this was a highly nourishing medicinal pill that had been concocted with the Blood Tree Flower as the main ingredient. After some mixing and matching, it was now a precious Yin-nourishing medicine.
After taking the medicine, it was half a day before Lu Sheng felt the heatiness in his body soothing over slightly.
‘The lung’s Yin has been hurt, causing me to cough with the slightest irritation,’ sighing, he knew that his body could not tolerate any more modification in the near future. He’d have to wait it out before trying again.
He lay back on his mattress to rest. After the time it took for a joss stick to burn, Lu Sheng finally opened his eyes. He heaved another long sigh.
It had already been half a year since he had arrived on this world. In this time, he had not dared to delay in the least, but had focused all his energy into upgrading his skills and cultivation without any distractions. It was akin to walking on thin ice, with each step bridled with difficulty.
He could be considered a big shot in the Sect now, and powerful when compared to the average mortal. However, when faced against the yet unknown supernatural world, he was still extremely fearful. That world was simply too dangerous. Any random thing thrown from that world would cause the ordinary man to tire from constantly fleeing for his life.
That was not even considering other even stronger existences: ghosts, demons, devils and monsters, Noble Families, exorcists… each of them was unimaginably powerful and dangerous.
If he hadn’t had the Modifier on him, he could at the very most only arrive at Spirit Focus after a lifetime’s hard work. Just like the old Sect Master.
‘I’ll try to initiate into Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill again tomorrow. Time waits for no man; this world is fraught with dangers. One more hard body skill… is one more asset to defend myself.’
Hard body skills for defense, outer force skills for attacks, and inner force skills as the core—these were the three main directions that Lu Sheng had established for himself.
‘Also, Ultimate Crimson Mantra’s consumption is too outrageous. I should substantially upgrade Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill first for it to work.
On the other hand, the effects of this Blood Tree Flower are quite exceptional, similar to the other prescriptions I took previously. And it’s also much cheaper,’ this month’s salary, as well as the dividends from Wu San’s assets from before, amounted to around thirty thousand taels of silver notes. Three doses of medicinal prescriptions were all it took to wipe them clean.
As his training took a greater toll on him, coupled with the massive consumption needed to upgrade each level, the amount of nourishing herbs required also skyrocketed.
The common prescriptions had zero effect on him. Their nourishing quality was too little. Only those herbs with very strong medicinal properties were of any good to the current Lu Sheng.
These herbs did not come cheaply but were exorbitantly priced, resulting in his increasingly growing expenditure. One dose of the prescription was sufficient to last him only a couple of uses. If he didn’t have inner Qi like the kind from Yin-Yang Jade Crane Skill to nurse his body, then he could only wait patiently to recover from the injuries and side effects of rapid upgrades.
After consuming the Blood Tree Flower medicinal pill, Lu Sheng once again looked within the Modifier. He examined in detail each of the skills under his belt, before finally shutting his eyes to rest.
In the abandoned village.
In the deep of the night, Lu Chenxin was awoken by an urgent need to pee.
He opened his eyes to pitch black. He looked towards the other two who were sharing the house with him, but it was so dark that he could not even see their shadows. Only the mild sounds of inhaling and exhaling could be heard faintly.
It was deathly silent outside the house. Lu Chenxin rolled around on the mattress that was placed on the ground, curling up into a fetal position.
‘I really drank too much in the day. Tsk, should have known better than to drink excessively with that chap, Tianyang,’ he was still overcome with drowsiness and wished to continue sleeping on. However, the swelling in his small abdomen was getting unbearable, to the extent that he almost peed in his pants.
“Tianyang? Brother Song?” He called out towards the other two in the room.
Not a sound or movement came from either of them. They were very soundly asleep.
‘Forget it, your grandpa will go himself,’ he muttered under his breath. He found his waistband, gently pulled on the door and swiftly went outside.
Outside was the picture of gloom in the deep of the night. Only the faint moonlight that shone through the clouds provided some hazy sense of direction.
‘What crap is this… everyone’s sleeping so soundly.’
Left without other choice, Lu Chenxin exited the mud-house. He looked to both sides, which were flanked by dark, empty grasslands and deep forests. Not a soul could be seen anywhere in the dark.
‘Come to think of it, given how secluded this abandoned village is, it’d be stranger if there were actually people staying here. This won’t do, I’d better settle my business and then head back to sleep.’
Lu Chenxin was inwardly rather afraid. Hastily glancing to the left and right, he walked towards the corner of the wall by the side of the mud-house.
He had chosen a house with no-one inside. Stooping down in the crack between the walls of two adjacent mud-houses, he quickly removed his robes and waistband.
Wind blew incessantly through the cracks in the two facing walls, causing Lu Chenxin to feel a chill on his buttocks. After stooping for a while, he could not shake off the sensation that someone was behind him.
He swung around violently. Behind him was that pitch-black patch of grassland that led straight into the mountain. 
‘I’d better finish my business and head back to rest!’
Turning back again, he hurriedly began to exert all his strength.
The entire process spanned the time needed for a joss stick to thoroughly burn out. Only then did he slowly rise and massage his buttocks. He began to reattach his waistband.
After putting it on, he arranged his robes and then decided to return to his mud-house.
Out of the blue, the crisp sound of pouring water could be heard from the middle of the village.
Lu Chenxin was slightly alarmed.
In the deathly silence in the middle of the night, the sound of water was especially stark in the deserted village.
“Who could be fetching water to drink at this ungodly hour? The water is unbearably chilly in the night. Not to mention, the well water would be even icier,” Lu Chenxin mumbled. He walked out of the crack in the wall and looked towards the well in the middle of the village, his curiosity piqued.
From afar, he could see a man, black as ink, stand by the wall as he poured water out of a bucket back into it.
‘This person… was there anyone in our group who wore black?’ Even from a distance, Lu Chenxin could sense that this person looked extremely familiar from his back, although he could not place where exactly he had seen this person before.
‘Could it be Uncle Zhao? No, Uncle Zhao’s not that skinny.
Or is that Sixth Uncle? But Sixth Uncle isn’t that tall.’
Lu Chenxin found it rather strange. Looking to the left and right, he couldn’t see anyone else around.
“Szz… szz… szz…”
That person once again began to lower the bucket into the well.
Lu Chenxin was growing more and more curious. Thinking it over, he still decided to head over to check out who it was that couldn’t get to sleep but was out here drawing water.
With that thought in mind, he walked slowly in the direction of the well.
After walking in this manner for barely a few steps, he saw that the person once again pulled up a bucket of water. After which…
That person actually emptied the bucket of water back into the well.
“HEY!” Lu Chenxin couldn’t stop himself from calling out. “It’s in the middle of the night, what are you doing here drawing water and then pouring it back in? Haven’t you anything else better to do?”
He quickened his pace.
That person did not give the slightest response, almost as if his words had fallen entirely onto deaf ears. Once again, he hung the bucket and gradually lowered it.
Lu Chenxin approached, resentment rising in him. Why didn’t this guy turn around when he was being spoken to?
But as he drew nearer and nearer, he began to feel as if something was amiss.
The silhouette by the well wore a set of black, tattered long robes. His extremely long hair was an eyesore as it fell messily down his back.
Most importantly, his back view was unlike anyone he could remember and was absolutely foreign. Yet, he could not shake off the familiar feeling he had in his subconsciousness. It was very apparent that he could not recall from his memory where he had seen it, but he couldn’t help but find it familiar.
‘What’s happening? I…’ Lu Chenxin could feel goosebumps rising on his skin.
He tried hard to direct both his legs to stop advancing forwards, but his curiosity got the better of him; he just had to go and see this person face-to-face to find out who exactly it was that was drawing water in the dead night.
Yet another pail of water swung upwards.
Lu Chenxin drew nearer and nearer, but a strange sense of alarm began to surface in the deep recesses of his heart. His heart began to pound wildly, but his legs continued to act of their own accord, leading him slowly but surely towards that person.
“You… just who…”
A small fire had been ignited, which lit up the room in pale yellow light.
Inside the mud house, Lu Tianyang slowly put down the flint stone in his hands. Borrowing the light of the oil lamp, he looked around in the interior. The sky had just begun to lighten, yet Lu Chenxin was actually nowhere to be found.
“Where has this lad run off to? Don’t tell me he snuck off to fool around with Xiuxiu?” He rubbed his eyes and yawned slowly.