Way of the Devil - Chapter 96
Chapter 96: Mission (2)
Translator: Deep_Blue Editor: Kurisu
Lu Sheng smiled at the two of them. From his observation of them during this period, the sisters’ disease seemed to show signs of alleviating after some treatment. It was merely malignant skin diseases. Furthermore, they performed their duties as his personal assistants competently. Lu Sheng gave them many menial tasks to handle after his training sessions, like washing his robes, tidying the place, fetching water…etc. They were fulfilling Qiao’er’s function well, and in fact, better than she could.
Seeing the looks of realization and joy on their faces, an idea came to Lu Sheng’s mind, ‘These two girls have a mysterious background and possess a special ability. Why not lend them a helping hand when they’re down in the gutters to sow a favor?’
After some thought, he suggested, “If you two would like to learn, I can impart you some basic saber techniques, actually. I can tell that you have never learnt any combat skills.”
Joy burst out on their faces.
“Young Master… is that really possible?!” Liu Qin was overwhelmed with excitement.
“Of course. Just some basic techniques,” Lu Sheng nodded. On the spot, he demonstrated a forward stab stroke in the basic Crimson Whale Saber Technique.
Unbeknownst to him, some sect disciples slowly gathered around him. After all, it was an incredibly rare opportunity to receive direct instruction from a top-notch expert like Lu Sheng.
After Lu Sheng’s detailed demonstration, he let the two girls practice on each other and adjust each other’s positions. At the same time, he explained his personal understanding of Crimson Whale Saber Technique to his subordinates.
The morning passed by speedily. Everyone was deeply impressed with Lu Sheng. They no longer felt as much fear towards the fierce and savage-looking External Head Lu Sheng as before. Rather, they now felt a certain familiarity with him.
Similarly, the Liu Qin and Liu Caiyun sisters grew in respect for Lu Sheng. Whether it was his act of taking them in despite knowing the dangers involved, or his imparting of martial arts skills to them in person, this newly acquainted Young Master Lu had offered them assistance that far surpassed anything they had received from others.
For several days after that, Lu Sheng continued to teach them some basic strokes each time he saw them and made them practice the saber technique repeatedly. The sisters also felt that their prowess had drastically increased compared to when they were groping in the dark on their own. When they sparred against each other now, they could grasp a certain rhythm of advancing and retreating.
All along, they had no way to fight ghosts apart from using their trump card, which would be effective only with close physical contact. Moreover, because they did not know any combat skills, they had to put their lives on the line to barely put up a fight.
Now, however, with Lu Sheng’s instruction, both of them finally had the opportunity to turn from ordinary ignorant people to rookies who possessed some basic combat skills.
Gradually, the two sisters regarded Lu Sheng as their Master and saw themselves increasingly as his disciples.
Lu Sheng didn’t mind that either. What he taught them was some of the most basic, foundational stuff that any sect disciple who mastered the Crimson Whale Saber Technique would know.
But this basic stuff was what the sisters presently needed the most.
At the same time as he taught them, he also soaked himself in a tub of medicinal bath once every few days to upgrade Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill.
After two such baths, which involved exhausting his Yin-Yang Jade Crane inner force and pushing his body to its limits, he quickly upgraded this hard body skill to its highest level, Level Three.
Once he activated the hard body skill, black veins would emerge all over his skin like a network of chains. He also reached new heights with the toughness of his body. Average Strength Proficiency experts would not be capable of scratching him as long as they did not use extremely sharp weapons.
But what Lu Sheng mainly desired to upgrade was still Ultimate Crimson Mantra. Lu Sheng had already cultivated this inner force skill to its pinnacle. To upgrade it any higher, he would need to perform extrapolation with Yin Qi.
But the Yin Qi absorbed from the purse of the ghost killed previously was too little; it was insufficient for extrapolating Level Seven of Ultimate Crimson Mantra. 
He needed to find some other source of Yin Qi.
In the blink of an eye, half a month passed.
Lu Sheng went back and forth between his apartment and the Martial Proclamation Library while waiting for news from Fine Treasures Hall. At the same time, he tried to reach out to Elder Zhang Baiyu from the sect, who readily agreed to let him browse his beloved collection of antiques. To his disappointment, however, Lu Sheng found not even a single drop of Yin Qi among them.
Lu Sheng then turned his thoughts to Crimson Whale Sect’s warehouse. A wide assortment of miscellaneous objects was stored in it. Apart from various trophies and trading goods, there was also some intricate jewelry among them. But because most of these items were relatively new, there was no Yin Qi to be found among them.
Lu Sheng ended up returning empty-handed again.
News from old Sect Master also grew in urgency and gravity. Zhen Family’s Zhen Yi, who was also the Young Master that he had seen previously, was unexpectedly assaulted at Ash Smoke Town, near Donglin Manor. Gravely injured, he was sent back to Zhen Family.
Lu Sheng was finally assigned a mission to clean up the aftermath of a battle at Song Manor. A large battle had only just broken out there, in which the Scarlet District lost more than a few ghosts.
To have necessitated the participation of Lu Sheng, the sect’s Number Three expert, the danger and risk this mission entailed were self-evident. It was natural to expect an assault from Scarlet Tower. Moreover, there seemed to be an object that needed to be recovered from within Song Manor.
After receiving the mission, Lu Sheng took the new pair of sabers, mustered his men, and headed straight for Song Manor without further ado. He had just attended Lu Chenxin’s funeral at home and had a fresh sense that the situation was taking a very dire turn. Additionally, he was thirsting for Yin Qi and hence was hungry for more encounter with ghosts.
Lu Sheng stood outside the entrance, peering through it into the dilapidated courtyard within. Apart from signs of a fire, more than half of the entire Song Manor’s perimeter wall had collapsed. The houses and buildings in it were riddled with gaping holes, making it look like a long-deserted, run-down temple.
According to Zhen Family’s representative who had been dispatched to Song Manor, the Anomaly in it had been completely wiped out. But many bodily remains were left behind which could easily evolve into new threats if left unhandled. Therefore, Crimson Whale Sect was tasked with clearing up the remains.
Before Lu Sheng arrived, Song Manor was already surrounded by several dozen sect disciples. An Internal Affairs Emissary surnamed Wang had been in charge of guarding the place.
At the sight of Lu Sheng, Internal Head Wang heaved a big sigh of relief. Within seven or eight days of guarding Song Manor, this man, originally weighing 180 catties, had lost a whopping thirty catties.
After handing over a series of responsibilities to Lu Sheng, Internal Head Wang hurried back to rest. He had been taxed to his limits. Gazing at the scene within Song Manor now, Lu Sheng lifted his head and looked at the skies.
The searing noon sun hung high up in the air. It was the hottest time of the day.
Then, he looked at Ning San and Duan Meng’an beside him. Behind them were five Strength Proficiency experts from Soaring Eagle Squad.
“Stand guard outside here and forbid any entry or exit from this place. I’ll go in for a look,” he ordered.
“Yes, sir!” Everybody quickly acknowledged.
The strongest among the experts from Soaring Eagle Squad was a tanned swordsman named Xu Chui. He was a middle-aged man whose skill and speed with the sword raised even Lu Sheng’s eyebrows. His sword was more than a cut above Lu Sheng’s Pursuing the Wind Blade in speed.
This man had once performed his trademark skill, slicing an entire table into six neat squares in the blink of an eye. Out of the entire Soaring Eagle Squad, he was the one on whom Lu Sheng pinned the highest hopes of breaking through to Intent Proficiency.
“External Head, do you need me to accompany you?” Xu Chui suggested after some hesitation. He had always kept a low-profile while in Soaring Eagle Squad and was of a down-to-earth personality. After Lu Sheng took them under his command, he did not take away their original benefits. Instead, he had even given him some instruction in martial arts on a number of occasions. Hence, he was now beginning to feel a degree of loyalty towards Lu Sheng.
“Aren’t you afraid?” Lu Sheng glanced at him with a turn of his head.
“Haven’t we been practicing martial arts precisely for such a time?” Xu Chui smiled without a worry.
Lu Sheng considered and asked, “Do you have a family?”
Xu Chui nodded, “I’ve got a son. And a wife, and a concubine.”
“Let’s go then,” Lu Sheng nodded, allowing him to follow. “If you haven’t had a family, I wouldn’t want your Xu Family to be cut off of posterity.”
Xu Chui laughed, “I trust External Head Lu. As long as we don’t run into ghosts, those brats from Scarlet Tower are nothing before External Head.”
“Scarlet Tower has four Tower Lords. As long as it’s one of them, I can guarantee your safety,” Lu Sheng laughed. In public, his presently revealed strength was somewhere between Level Four and Five of Ultimate Crimson Mantra. Level Seven Ultimate Crimson Mantra and Nine Lakes Steel Chains Skill were his hidden trump cards.
In other words, he remained an inner and outer force double cultivator of the Spirit Focus level on the surface. Given his actual cultivation base, however, even a Divine Prime expert would probably find him a hard match if he went all out.
But in order to prevent others from discovering Deep Blue, he had no choice but to hide the true extent of his powers.
According to Deputy Sect Master Chen Ying who had once crossed paths with a Tower Lord from Scarlet Tower, the Tower Lords were at the peak of Spirit Focus. If they really did come, the only fate that awaited them was a gruesome death under Lu Sheng’s saber.
“Let’s go,” leading Xu Chui, Lu Sheng slowly strode towards Song Manor’s door. This was the first time he was cleaning up for Zhen Family.
He stepped over the threshold.
The moment Lu Sheng entered the Manor, the first sight that welcomed him was a ghastly white female corpse hanging by the neck from a withered tree on a long rope, swaying in the wind. It was a corpse dressed in a grayish white skirt and a pale-yellow top.
He paused in his steps and gazed at the corpse.
The eyes of the woman had been gouged out and the nose sliced off. The entire corpse was like a deflated balloon, dried and distorted, hanging limply off the tree.
“That’s a Scarlet District ghost?” Lu Sheng asked in a whisper.
Xu Chui shook his head faintly, perplexed as well.
“Do all ghosts have a material body?”
Lu Sheng attempted to recall. It seemed like all low-level ghosts lacked a material body. Those that he had killed left behind only some powder or small item. Only stronger ones like Souls of the Dead had fleshly bodies.
Having gazed at the female corpse from a distance, Lu Sheng approached and walked to the feet of the female corpse. He unsheathed his saber and used its tip to flip the corpse, spinning it around.
“This is a human corpse, not a ghost. Either a passer-by or someone from Scarlet Tower,” Lu Sheng frowned.
There was no Yin Qi on the corpse. But Lu Sheng was not bothered. Lowering his saber, he walked towards the central bedroom.
When he had been here previously, the little girl—the Anomaly—had lived in this central bedroom. The manor had also kept Souls of the Dead and a whole gang of ghosts.
Now that it was swept by Zhen Family, perhaps he could find some item or object with Yin Qi that hadn’t dispersed yet.
With a bam, he kicked open the wooden door of the central bedroom. Lu Sheng covered his nose with a palm to avoid the dust as he slowly entered the bedroom.
Lots of disembodied robes lay sprawled across the floor in all directions. Grayish white powder like ashes was spilled all over them.