Way of the Devil

 
 

Way of the Devil Chapter 30


Lu Sheng slowly drew near to a twenty steps' distance away from the temple and stood still.

He carefully peered into the temple. Through the collapsed gate, he could clearly see Yan Kai wield a tempered steel sword and strike a hazy white figure into retreat.

Within the blink of an eye, the white figure was savagely stabbed by the sword and shrieked pathetically in a girlish voice.

After that, it collapsed on the ground and immediately vanished into thin air.

Red-faced, Yan Kai slowly sheathed his sword. White steam was rising slowly from his crown.

With its close proximity to the northern frozen ocean and its location deep in the mountains, this place was freezing cold. Even exhaled breath condensed into white vapor, not to mention the heat from such an intense battle.

Having sheathed his sword, Yan Kai saw Lu Sheng and his party.

"It's the Lu Family's Young Master Sheng and his men."

Duan Rongrong had previously been hiding in a corner. Seeing that the Demonic Ghost had been destroyed, she quietly snuck out of her hiding place.

"What a close shave. Demonic Ghosts have never lived in groups. To think that we ran into three of them here! Our luck was just too bad," at the thought of the situation earlier, her nerves remained jittery.

"It's alright now. They've all been dealt with," Yan Kai said in a composed manner. "Go greet Young Master Sheng. The underground tunnel in the temple may have got something to do with the missing persons."

"Mission completed! We've earned a long journey's worth of travelling expenses!" Duan Rongrong leapt in joy. Patting the dust off her clothes, she approached Lu Sheng and his party.

Yan Kai shook his head as he followed after. Fatigue showed on his face.

Lu Sheng plastered on a smile and approached in greeting.

"Taoist-sir…"

The words had only just escaped his lips when he heard a ripping sound like the tearing of cloth.

"POOF!!!"

A white figure shot towards Lu Sheng and the guards behind him from the side!

"Not good! It's trying to possess a body!"

Yan Kai knew how difficult it was to face Demonic Ghosts. Unlike other ghosts, Demonic Ghosts were capable of possessing bodies. Once a Demonic Ghost possessed a body, many of his special methods to counter them would lose their effect; he would be left with no choice but to face them head-on.

Moreover, when a Demonic Ghost possessed a body, it would temporarily increase the possessed body's overall ability by a large margin. It was an insane power.

Perhaps if he was at his peak, he would not fear it. But now that Lu Sheng had brought so many men, the Demonic Ghost was supplied with plenty of ideal targets to possess. These muscular men, full of vigor and energy, each made for perfect host for the Demonic Ghost.

Presently, he was taxed to his limits and near the end of his strength. Once the Demonic Ghost successfully possessed a body, the situation would instantly turn extremely perilous.

"MOVE AWAY!!!" Yan Kai rushed over, his blood and Qi surging like waves within him.

Yet, as fast as he was, he was still no match for the Demonic Ghost's speed!

With a "swoosh", the white figure had already pounced towards Lu Sheng—the one with the richest blood and Qi among them.

Yan Kai was alarmed. It was one thing for others to be possessed, but if Lu Sheng met with any mishap, they would run into real trouble here in Nine Links City!

Although they had interacted with each other for only a day, this short period of time had given them a deep impression of the status the Lu Family commanded in Nine Links City!

Stepping forward using a strange movement pattern, he burst forward at high speed in an attempt to intercept the white figure before it pounced on Lu Sheng.

"CLANG!"

Without warning, a white glint flashed.

Lu Sheng's eyes burst open.

All around him, the flow of Qi trembled as deafening tiger roars could be heard.

Lightning-quick, he pulled out the long saber strapped to his back with his right hand and hacked downwards at the area before him, pencil-straight.

Gleams of light flashed off the saber as it roared madly like a fierce tiger.

"ROAR!!!"

"BOOM!!!"

The saber hacked at the white shadow. Like a torn rag, it was forcibly flung outwards and tossed wildly about by the impact, before finally vanishing with a poof.

Silence descended on the area. Slowly, Lu Sheng sheathed his saber.

The muscles all over his body remained bulged due to the increased blood circulation, causing him to give off an air of savagery and menace, as if he was some ferocious beast.

Yan Kai froze in his steps, his eyes opened wide. Staring at the spot where the Demonic Ghost had vanished and then looking at Lu Sheng's body, currently inflated with Qi and blood, he was struck dumb for a whole few seconds.

Duang Rongrong's eyes lit up and she walked towards Yan Kai, clicking her tongue.

"Brother Yan Kai, this Young Master Sheng… is not to be trifled with…"

Duan Rongrong was merely a novice in the arts who had yet to grasp the true implications of that saber stroke. But, Yan Kai was a different story. He stared dumbly at Lu Sheng and was still unable to speak even when Lu Sheng had walked up to him.

"You've worked hard, Taoist-sir. If it hadn't been for the fact that the Demonic Ghost was already mortally wounded by Taoist-sir, I wouldn't have been able to finish it off in one saber stroke," Lu Sheng smiled. [1]

"…Young Master Sheng… is too polite," Yan Kai finally shook himself out of his shocked daze.

"To be honest, I've seen other exorcists like myself. I've also seen people who could deal with troublesome stuff like Demonic Ghosts using other methods.

But to slay Demonic Ghosts purely with the might of one's inner force, like Young Master just did… this is the first time I'm seeing such a thing."

As he spoke, he began recalling his earlier words about how martial arts were useless against Demonic Ghosts.

Now, he couldn't help but put on a pained smile.

"Oh?" Lu Sheng was surprised.

Smiling bitterly, Yan Kai was now no longer impatient like previously and began explaining in detail.

"Actually, martial arts aren't really entirely useless. But only inner Qi of an extreme Yang nature or some special attribute would cause some damage to ghosts.

But the level of damage we're talking about… let's put it like this: if one unit of strength based on our method can kill one Demonic Ghost, then it'd take fifty units of strength to do the same with Yang-nature inner Qi!"

Lu Sheng instantly understood.

It was now clear to him why the supposed martial arts experts did not enter Yan Kai's eyes. The gap between their efficacy was simply too big!

"But—on top of the fact that it was already wounded by me— that stroke which you performed earlier was capable of slaying the Demonic Ghost in one move because the inner Qi which you used possesses an attribute that was able to slightly suppress the Demonic Ghost," Yan Kai added.

Those who had followed Lu Sheng—Yuhan and the rest of the Manor guards—had personally witnessed how Lu Sheng had hacked into the floating white figure in one saber move.

Their previous fear vanished instantly, turning into boldness.

Moreover, each one of them was now looking towards Lu Sheng with eyes full of respect and worship.

While the Taoist was powerful indeed to destroy those ghastly white shadows so easily, they now felt that their own Young Master wasn't too shabby either.

Yuhan had been fearful earlier, especially when the ghost had pounced towards them. His back was soaked in cold sweat.

It was a good thing that he didn't manage to react in time; he just stood frozen and so did not make a fool of himself. However, more than half of the guards behind him had turned around and fled, their torches and weapons abandoned on the ground.

Lu Sheng turned around and glanced at his guards before turning to Yuhan and saying, "Tidy up this place and search the perimeter. See if there're any others. Taoist-sir, this place is 'clean' now, isn't it?" He spun round to ask Yan Kai.

Yan Kai blushed in embarrassment as he was reminded of his earlier negligence. He nodded vigorously.

"Don't worry, it's 'clean' now. That was just a fish that got through the hole in the net."

Duan Rongrong was staring at Lu Sheng curiously with her big eyes. Meanwhile, Yan Kai continued, "There's an underground tunnel in there. When Miss Zhuan Feng discovered this place, she surmised that there might be living people hidden in it."

"Where's Miss Zhuan Feng?" The question had only just left Lu Sheng's mouth when Zhuan Feng walked out from the temple.

"Let's go. We'll take a look inside."

Lu Sheng gripped his saber's hilt tightly and walked towards the temple's gates.

Yan Kai and Duan Rongrong followed, taking Lu Sheng over in a few steps to lead him in.

The entire Taoist temple was a yellowish grey, comprising of three rooms linked together.

The Great Hall right in the middle was missing its doors. A gaping hole was also discernible in its ceiling, revealing the messy undergrowth and rocks within.

Lu Sheng followed the Yan Kai duo into the Great Hall. On the wall facing the main doors was the drawing of a black and white Tai Chi diagram. [2]

Before the Tai Chi diagram was a stone idol. However, half its head had been sliced off and now it was indistinguishable as to which Lord of the Dao it was that had been worshipped here.

Yan Kai walked to the idol and hooked something up from among the undergrowth with his foot.

"KA-DUMP."

With a crisp sound, a square entrance, about the size of a person, was revealed on the ground, opening an underground passage.

From the entrance, one could even hear the faint howl of the wind, mixed with crying sounds made by people. It was very eerie.

Zhuan Feng walked to the side of the entrance and said,

"I've gone inside this tunnel once just now. In it… there are some corpses, and also some living…"

At this point, an awkward expression appeared on her face, as if she lacked the words to describe what was inside.

Lu Sheng glanced towards Yan Kai.

But the Taoist merely smiled bitterly and shook his head.

"I've heard Miss Zhuan Feng's description of this place too. Only you can go in. Don't worry, there are no longer any evil things inside. There is no danger."

A bad premonition surfaced in Lu Sheng's mind. He gripped his saber's hilt tightly and suppressed the unease in his heart. Then, he slowly climbed down the steps into the tunnel.

Zhuan Feng followed along as well.

Apart from the two of them, no one else entered.

The tunnel was rather narrow at first. After about ten steps or so, it came to a bend and led to a pitch-black iron door.

The door was ajar and faint sounds could be heard from within.

Lu Sheng glanced at Zhuan Feng.

"That's the place. All the missing persons are here, I think."

Zhuan Feng said earnestly.

Lu Sheng was rather curious about this Zhuan Feng.

What on earth must she have gone through to turn from a girl in the prime of her life into such an indifferent person, like a professional hunter?

For example, when the Demonic Ghost had appeared earlier, Zheng Feng didn't look panicked in the slightest when she came. Perhaps she had similar encounters in the past.

Lu Sheng studied Zhuan Feng measuredly.

"Miss Zhuan Feng, have you got any interest in joining my Lu Family as a paid consultant?"

"Nope," came Zhuan Feng's unembellished reply.

"Fine," Lu Sheng knew that, apart from money, he had nothing that could attract such a talent and hence said nothing else.

He pushed open the iron door.

As the iron door creaked against the ground, Lu Sheng gradually took in the view behind the door.

It was a stone chamber no longer or wider than ten steps. A heap of naked corpses was piled up in one corner.

Among them were both males and females, the young and the old.

Apart from the corpses, there were also three living people left in the room.

They were two women and a man—all well-built and clearly the type who had trained regularly.

Lu Sheng's heart sunk when he saw that one of the females was Lu Qingqing.

Without a strip of clothing on her, Lu Qingqing was presently on her fours. Her long hair had fallen in a mess and her face was pale with a tinge of blue.

Hearing commotion, she lifted her head and looked dazedly at the door. Her originally lively big eyes had become blank, lifeless and dull.

Saliva dripped down the corner of her mouth. She seemed completely devoid of intelligence.

"Qingqing!!!" Lu Sheng rushed up, took off his outer coat and wrapped her in it. "Qingqing, wake up! Wake up!!"

He gave Lu Qingqing two slaps on her face.

But it was futile.

Lu Qingqing's eyes remained the same as before.

Witnessing the scene, a trace of sorrow flashed past Zhuan Feng's eyes.

"It's no use. She's already lost her mind… Yin Qi invaded her brain and, without the support of Yang Qi, at least half of it died. It's already a miracle that she's alive. Those were the Taoist-sir's exact words."

Lu Sheng's heart sank violently.

Lifting Lu Qingqing up in his arms, he looked at the other two people.

Both the man and the woman were of fine appearance with attractive bodies. Clearly, they were deliberately spared and kept here by the Demonic Ghosts for god-knows-what purpose.

[1] ED/N: The MC is speaking humbly here. Sorry, no fitting translation into English is possible, at least considering MC's status and the exact context.

[2] ED/N: It's probably obvious, but it's the round, half-white and half-black symbol in which both colors look like two curving tears merging with each other, the symbol of Yin and Yang.