Way of the Devil - Chapter 94
Chapter 94: Background (2)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
Lu Sheng soaked himself in the medicinal tub for a while more, until the medicinal solution had completely turned into clear, grayish water. Only then did he slowly get out of the tub.
Standing up, he clearly felt that his body had become much lighter.
He looked at the box on the Modifier screen. In the row with Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill, a special effect was displayed.
‘Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill: Level One. Special Effect(s): Amplified Strength.’
The hard body skill was like a thick layer that adhered to the surface of his skin.
But Lu Sheng was not expecting the skill to result in any radical transformation of his body at Level One. After wiping himself dry, he went out for a cold shower again.
The next day, he arose and went to the Crimson Whale early in the morning. During the routine meeting, the overall report was presented. He realized that the battle outside the city had come to a head.
Zhen Family’s Zhen Xun had led his forces to assault no less than twenty bases which belonged to the Scarlet District. At the same time, they disposed of a few dozen members of another new emerging faction.
Their methods were cold and brutal. Even the Crimson Whale Sect representatives who came to handle the aftermath could not help but puke in disgust when they saw the sights.
On the other hand, Scarlet District was not to be outdone. They intercepted two members of the Zhen Family on the frozen plains and succeeded in killing them before Zhen Xun’s reinforcements could get there.
This enraged the Zhen Family, which dispatched more forces to reinforce Zhen Xun. Scarlet District also mobilized more of their forces. Both sides were in a state of frenzy.
As a vassal of Zhen Family, Crimson Whale Sect was implicated as well. Sometimes, before they finished dealing with the aftermath of incidents, they were assaulted by Scarlet District’s vassals. The resulting battles led to victories on both sides.
Scarlet District’s vassal was another covert faction in the Northern Lands, called Scarlet Tower. They were a notorious assassin group in the Northern Lands. The revelation that they were a vassal of Scarlet District shook everyone to the core.
Even Crimson Whale Sect could not underestimate the Scarlet Tower’s intelligence network.
Moreover, once their assassins were given a mission, they would often execute it without fear of death, putting their lives on the line with mad devotion. This caused great trouble for Crimson Whale Sect.
During this period of time, quite a few Internal Affairs Emissaries were injured. Three Elders died in combat.
Under the pretext of nursing his wounds, Lu Sheng was exempted from service. Even then, however, he could sense the increasingly tense atmosphere in the sect. Many of the sect’s upper echelons showed up at the routine meetings in bandages.
After the meeting ended, Lu Sheng enquired about the whereabouts of the sect’s weapons section, then made a beeline for it.
Crimson Whale Sect’s weapons section was not on the ship. Rather, it was in a canyon near the Crimson Whale.
He had long since desired a better weapon, but had not come across an opportunity. Such weapons were also typically incredibly expensive and rare.
In the Hundred Weapons Canyon.
“Superior weapons require superior materials. If External Head is unable to find them, how about trying a heavy weapon?” The person-in-charge of the weapons section, Elder Duan, suggested as he caressed his beard.
“Heavy weapon?” Lu Sheng stared at the muscular blacksmith beside him, who was cooling down a red-hot blade with icy cold water from the canyon’s spring. White steam billowed from the weapon.
“Indeed,” Elder Duan smiled. “This old man can see that External Head Lu is well-built. You can use a heavy weapon that weighs several dozen catties, built thick. With it, you won’t be at a disadvantage even against the finest weapons. Although it’s not as sharp as them, it makes up for it with its sheer weight. That in itself is a form of power.”
Lu Sheng nodded, seeing the sense in his suggestion.
“In that case, what sort of heavy weapon does Elder Duan think is suitable for me? My inner force skill is inherited from Sect Master’s Ultimate Crimson Mantra. Would a hammer amplify the might of my inner force?”
“May I know if you know any hammer techniques?” Elder Duan countered.
“Er… I don’t…” Lu Sheng shook his head. But he knew he could find someone to teach it to him. In just a short time, as long as he got initiated in it, he could master it in no time. That was how much of a cheat the Modifier was.
“Then which type of weapon did you achieve Intent Proficiency in?” Elder Duan asked again. “Which intent did you focus on in Spirit Focus?”
“…it’s the saber,” realization dawned on Lu Sheng. “Looks like I’m stuck with using the saber.” Intent was not something that could be mastered in a jiffy.
“It not that you’re stuck with the saber. It’s that you’re eminently suited to the saber,” Elder Duan smiled. “I do have a pair of great sabers here with me. If you want, you can give it a try. This pair of sabers was custom-made for a herculean External Affairs Emissary. It’s a pity that before it was ready, he…” the elder sighed.
“A pair of twin sabers? Let me take a look,” Lu Sheng’s interest was immediately piqued at the idea of the twin sabers.
“Please come with me, External Head,” Elder Duan nodded, leading Lu Sheng swiftly past many furnaces to a pitch-black armory, located at the innermost end of the weapons section.
The armory was built like a hall with stone. A wide assortment of weapons rested on racks, row after row.
Sabers, spears, staffs, cudgels, swords, daggers, and halberds. Lu Sheng felt like a boy in a candy shop, spoiled by the multitude of choices before him.
“This way, External Head,” Elder Duan led Lu Sheng past rows of weapons racks, quickly arriving at the heavy weapons section.
In a corner of this section, Elder Duan pointed at a pair of giant sabers, presently being oiled by some helpers. He said to Lu Sheng, “External Head, these are the sabers suitable for you which I told you about—the twin sabers Lonely Crescent.”
Lu Sheng walked closer for a better look.
Two thick-backed giant sabers, each a meter long, rested firmly against the rack. The saber blades shone with a silver glint and were broad like signboards. Three metal hoops looped through the back of each saber.
They were thick and steady indeed. The back of each saber was as thick as the width of one’s palm. The broadness of the saber was comparable to the width of one’s waist. But somehow, they looked awkward to Lu Sheng.
“What do you think?” Elder Duan asked with undisguised pride. “This pair of twin sabers—Lonely Crescent—was forged personally by this old man a few years ago. They were forged over thirty-six back-breaking days, with fourteen different techniques used repeatedly. The materials chosen were all of the finest caliber. They’re absolutely far sharper and tougher than the average great saber.”
Lu Sheng stared wordlessly at the twin sabers Lonely Crescent with a frown.
“Elder Duan… aren’t these clearly a pair of butcher’s knives? What Lonely Crescent? Even such a nice-sounding name cannot hide the fact that they’re basically, at the end of the day, butcher knives.”
Elder Duan shook his head as he chuckled.
“Butcher knives? No, of course not. Though each of these twin sabers may weigh as much as seventy-six catties, you’ll know what’s so exceptional about them when you actually wield them.
As for its form… as long as they’re useful, so what if they look like butcher knives?”
He made sense. Although Elder Duan conceded in his last sentence, Lu Sheng was a pragmatist as well who did not have too high a requirement for appearances.
“Can I try holding them?”
“Naturally,” Elder Duan waved, gesturing for him to do as he pleased.
Lu Sheng nodded. Flexing his shoulders and arms, he slowly stepped up to the rack and gripped the hilt of one of the Lonely Crescent sabers.
“Up!” Mustering his strength, he lifted the entire butcher knife up in the air.
Outer force emphasized physical strength extensively. Lu Sheng first began by practicing Black Tiger Saber Technique, then Pursuing the Wind Blade and Double-Horned Blade afterwards. All these were outer force saber techniques.
And now, he had mastered two hard body skills which further amplified physical strength. His Bear Wrestling Arm comprised of only one level and so he had achieved full mastery over it. Additionally, he also possessed Level One of Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill.
Added together, these miscellaneous outer force skills had transformed him from a frail, refined scholar into today’s hulking Hercules, who boasted freak-like physical strength.
Veins and arteries popped up on Lu Sheng’s arms as he employed that strength. Instantly, his physical stature expanded.
Originally, he was already twice as broad as Elder Duan and a head taller than the average man. Now, his body inflated further, like a balloon. His muscles bulged and turned even firmer.
“Up!” Lu Sheng lifted the second Lonely Crescent saber in his other hand, holding both sabers up in the air with both arms.
He crossed both sabers before him. The saber blade reflected his face as clearly as a mirror.
“Very fitting! Unexpectedly so,” Lu Sheng remarked in surprise.
“Seems like External Head Lu is truly destined to meet this Lonely Crescent. In that case, I’ll give you a fifty percent discount. Just a hundred taels of silver would be enough!”
‘A hundred taels…’ Lu Sheng was speechless. This old man really dared to ask. Apart from its unique design, this pair of sabers was basically forged from ordinary steel. Their might lay only in their weight. How dared he ask for a hundred taels!
“Twenty taels!? Why don’t you go rob a bank! This old man spent all of his life’s energy to forge these two superior-”
Lu Sheng finished his sentence for him, choking Elder Duan in the middle of his sentence.
Although these two sabers were indeed modeled after butcher knives and were, in fact, forged from a large amount of scrap metal, most people would at least keep up the appearances instead of exposing that bluntly.
“Twenty taels are way too little. Not even enough to cover my costs!” Elder Duan waved his hands.
“Ten taels then,” Lu Sheng swung the twin sabers. Although the choice of materials was inferior, it was indeed forged well. The proportion and size were satisfactory, too. If he encountered speed-type opponents again, a simple turn of the saber would cover most of his vital body parts.
“Ten taels!?” Elder Duan’s face was distorted with anger. “Fine, fine, fine. Twenty taels then. You’re really one of a kind! Let me tell you this—if these twin sabers Lonely Crescent were on sale elsewhere, forget about getting it without at least two hundred taels.”
“Well, there first needs to be a buyer for it. At such weight, do you imagine that many fighting over them?” Lu Sheng swung the sabers casually. Instantly, the sabers whipped up a mini typhoon, blowing Elder Duan’s beard all over his face.
“You’re really repaying my kindness with meanness! External Head, you…” Elder Duan was at a loss of terms to describe Lu Sheng.
“Is there somewhere I can test out their power?” Swinging the sabers, Lu Sheng felt increasingly satisfied with them.
“Follow me,” Elder Duan humphed coldly, greatly upset.
“And also, ‘Lonely Crescent’ doesn’t fit as a name for these twin sabers,” Lu Sheng took two saber sheaths along with him. They were made of pig hide, with hemp ropes tied all over it, indicating a cheap and hardy style. How could such a style be sold for two hundred taels? Unless Elder Duan was dreaming…
“That’s crap! That’s the name this old man picked personally. They’re shaped like the crescent and sickle. I initially wanted to name them ‘Lonely Sickle’, but it didn’t sound nice. That’s why I changed it to ‘Crescent’. Why? You’ve got a bone to pick with me with that?” Unable to make much money out of the deal, Elder Duan’s tone turned impolite as he retorted.
“Since I’m the one using it, it will certainly be named whatever I choose to name it,” Lu Sheng cared not in the slightest for the maker’s naming rights.
“Let’s call it the Ghost Head Saber.”
“What kind of name is that?” Elder Duan was speechless.
Lu Sheng smiled without replying. Both of them walked out of the armory and into a big room in the side of the wall.
The room was enclosed with stone walls on all four sides. A sturdy wooden puppet with some hay wrapped around it was placed in its middle.
“This is hardwood. High hardness. Very tough. You try,” Elder Duan said as he pointed at the wooden puppet. “If you can hack through it, I’LL pay YOU twenty taels!”
Lu Sheng lifted the two butcher knives and walked to the front of the puppet, the corners of his mouth curving upwards into a savage grin.