Way of the Devil Chapter 33
Lu Sheng thought for a moment before taking the initiative to approach the pugilist nearest to him.
"Fellow brother," he flashed a shiny tael in his hands.
"What?" The pugilist glared at him warily.
"I'd just like to ask, why are there so many people here rummaging for things?" A puzzled expression surfaced on Lu Sheng.
"You don't know? Then why are you here? Shoo!" The man looked as if he had seen a fool.
Seeing that he was about to turn on his heel and leave, Lu Sheng retrieved yet another gold talent from his waist pouch, thrusting both pieces before him.
The gold indeed caused the man to stop in his tracks. He surveyed it, then looked over Lu Sheng's appearance. Convinced that Lu Sheng wasn't there to vie with him over the items, he said, "Why're you here for the action when you've got no idea what's going on?
We're all here because we heard that yesterday night, there were many experts who performed exorcisms. However, in the middle of it, a rare treasure surfaced that caused a great commotion. An expert ran off with the treasure while others all gave chase. This whole place then collapsed into ruins.
As for us, we're all here get a share of the pot, and pick up some valuables from the dead."
"Valuables from the dead?" Lu Sheng understood now. These people were especially here to loot any precious treasures still remaining on the corpses.
He wasn't sure what had happened last night. However, for it to attract such a great number of powerful men, it must have been no small matter.
'All these people seem to have some insider information. For example, the likes of Duanmu Wan and Yan Kai all came to Nine Links City for some unknown reason. Perhaps they are people who belong to the same realm as Demonic Ghosts,' Lu Sheng deliberated on the matter in his mind. He let the man go then went round the vicinity a few times and saw that there were black lumps scattered here and there, resembling molten steel.
He didn't stay long. Soon, he hurried back towards Lu Manor.
When he had returned to the Lu Manor, just as he was entering the main doors, a servant boy came forth to notify him.
"Young Master, Miss Duanmu is here again. She's waiting for you at the Guest Hall right now," the servant boy whispered.
'Duanmu Wan is here again?' Lu Sheng shuddered inwardly, thinking back to what Duanmu Wan had said the last time he saw her. His spirits were jolted for a moment as he strode towards the Guest Hall.
Upon entering, Lu Sheng at once saw Duanmu Wan with her signature dress and physique. In this era, it was very hard to find women who dared to dress like Duanmu Wan, even in the brothels.
She sat on a wooden chair as she lightly sipped on tea from a white porcelain teacup in her hands, her conical hat lying by her side. Her shawl cloak was undone, revealing the tight-fitting black athletic robes underneath.
Except that, the athletic robes were so tight-fitting that they entirely outlined each and every curve on her body, similar to a second layer of skin. Especially at her chest and hip areas, it seemed as if she didn't even have any clothes on, looking no different than if she were naked. This caused the surrounding servant maids' and boys' faces to turn bright red as they could not help but dare not look straight at her.
"Miss Duanmu, it's been a long while. I wonder, what did you mean by your previous words?" Lu Sheng did not beat around the bush when he saw her. He waved his hand to dismiss the other people in the area while his own bright eyes stared at Duanmu Wan piercingly, not averting his gaze in the slightest despite the other party's provocative costume.
Duanmu Wan smiled lightly. She raised her head and sized up Lu Sheng quizzically, smiling as she said, "Young Master Sheng, you've been well since we last met. To be able to survive this great calamity is really a cause for celebration. You don't need to worry, it's really much safer now."
"What does Miss mean?" Lu Sheng narrowed his eyes. Clearly, Duanmu Wan had quite a bit of insider information.
"No other meaning," Duanmu Wan put down the teacup, clapped lightly and stood up.
By standing up, every inch of her flawless body was on full display before Lu Sheng's eyes. Her bosom swayed to and fro, and even the silhouette of its peaks as well as the mysterious part between both her legs were clearly visible.
Yet, Duanmu Wan didn't care in the least, and smiled as she said, "Since the others have all left, and Young Master did not die in the previous tragedy, then you've earned the rights to know some insider information after all."
"Will Miss please enlighten me," Lu Sheng asked with rapt attention—he only worried that the other party wouldn't elaborate.
Duanmu Wan supported one of the 'weapons' on her chest with one hand. Smiling, she added, "Since Young Master Sheng did not die, I guess you have already tasted the prowess of Demonic Ghosts. Those things, full of filth and deviousness, are by no means easy to handle. Without some special methods, it's not possible to survive their deathly chase."
"Demonic Ghosts… Miss, are you able to give me more details—where are these Demonic Ghosts from, and what are they after?" Lu Sheng asked grimly.
"Don't rush it…" Duanmu Wan laughed lightly, unhurriedly coming around Lu Sheng's side and extending a hand out to lightly caress his cheek.
Her movements were exceptionally soft and gentle, just like the light brushing of thin gauze. If one did not pay attention to it, there would be no way to notice. It was slightly ticklish and slightly limp, similar to the teasing between lovers.
"Miss Duanmu, you were just talking about the insider information," Lu Sheng took a small step backwards, avoiding her touch. "If there's anything to hide, you very well could have not come here of your own volition to find me. I think, Miss, you also have your own agenda, don't you?"
Duanmu Wan immediately broke into delicate, flirtatious giggles.
She forced her body against Lu Sheng, her entire upper body pressed snugly against his. The curves of her chest squeezed tightly against Lu Sheng, producing a beautiful shape and ravine.
"Young Master Sheng is indeed extraordinary. When I first laid eyes on you, I already quite liked you.
At that time, just to give it a try, I placed some stakes on you. Who would have known that Young Master would actually survive! This really is a pleasant surprise… did you know, since knowing that you were alive, this maiden's heart has been pining for you, even in the thick of battle between life and death?" Duanmu Wan's words were thick with emotion, her voice seemingly able to melt the defenses of the hardest of men.
Lu Sheng suppressed the fury in his heart and allowed her to press herself against him as she wished. He remained his composure as he asked, "Don't tell me Miss has fallen for me?"
"Who knows?" A smile still on her lips, Duanmu Wan took a step back, gleefully twirling around. The 'weapons' in front of her body trembled and bounced constantly from their great weight.
"I really like you, Young Master! Whenever I look at you, I think of my dearest beloved from before… a pity that he died early, and all my admiration has turned to nothing," speaking of this, a hint of loneliness and self-pity flashed in Duanmu Wan's almond-shaped eyes.
Lu Sheng was certain that he did not see wrongly—it was a sense of self-pity, the special kind of emotion that those of poor self-esteem wallowed in. It actually appeared before his eyes on this mysterious Duanmu Wan... clearly, the individual she referred to was definitely not a man of simple background and standing.
"So now, Miss Duanmu, can you share what exactly Demonic Ghosts are? And what sort of people are you?"
Duanmu Wan smiled as she casually went around to Lu Sheng's back, pressing her entire body against it.
"When I see you, Young Master, I can't help but imagine that it's him. Ai…" she heaved a long sigh that told of her deep grief.
"Do you know, Young Master, why human beings are still able to lead relatively peaceful lives in this day and age when demons and devils run amok and ghosts and monsters proliferate? Just like how you, Young Master, have lived an ordinary life for the first ten over years of your life."
Lu Sheng's eyes glittered. "There's someone protecting us?"
"Yup… I guess you can consider that 'protection'… this is a harsh and difficult world; there needs to be some hope and consolation for mankind after all," Duanmu Wan shook her head lightly, inclining her head to sniff the back of Lu Sheng's neck.
"This world… you can say it belongs to two factions."
"Which two factions?"
"Demons and Noble Families," Duanmu Wan simply raised two fingers. "By demons, I mean basically creatures such as the Demonic Ghosts, which Young Master has already made contact with. As for Noble Families, they comprise of people like me and Yan Kai—exorcists born with innate power."
"Born with innate power? Aren't they acquired after birth through cultivation?" Lu Sheng's heart tightened, clinging onto some last ray of wishful hope.
"Nope…" Duanmu Wan laughed coyly. "I understand Young Master's yearning, but it's a pity that no cultivation method exists in this world at all that can deal with demons and devils. Neither do we Noble Families need any methods or supposed skills.
All that we practice and train in are methods of developing and mobilizing the unique power that we're innately gifted with from birth, as well as how to use this power against demons and devils. As for mortals, they can only ever remain mortals…"
Lu Sheng fell into silence.
This was the truth he didn't want to hear the most.
Duanmu Wan continued, "When it comes to the realm that governs and lords over this world, we're talking only about two factions—one being demons and the other being Noble Families. Our power is innate and far beyond the reach of mortals. The chasm between us and mortals is simply unsurpassable… we're gifted with power from birth; even the weakest among us is absolutely and unimaginably powerful by mortal standards."
"I refuse to believe that mortals don't stand even an ounce of chance," Lu Sheng shook his head slowly.
"Young Master's really too cute…" Duanmu Wan giggled, "You need to understand that, in this world, there's no such thing as 'Spirit Qi' or 'Immortal Qi' like in those novels. There's nothing at all in the air that we live in. All that we can rely on is ourselves.
The inner Qi that martial arts experts cultivate come from the food that we eat. But the power and strength innate to us Noblemen come from deep within our bloodlines. The gap between them exists from the point of birth…"
She gently released Lu Sheng, walked to his side, and started caressing his muscular chest with her slender hand.
"Previously, two forces were fighting over a treasure in Nine Links City. One of them was the powerful faction that commands the Demonic Ghosts and chose the Xu Family and your Lu Manor as sacrifices."
"May I ask, Miss, what's the name of this faction?" Lu Sheng's spirits lifted as he registered this critical news, and asked after digesting the information from earlier.
"Mortal-Sweeping Manor," Duanmu Wan rested her head on Lu Sheng's arm. "Their name is Mortal-Sweeping Manor. It's an old faction that's been based here for a long, long time.
They're in control of many ghosts. It was them who selected Young Master's Lu Family's head as their sacrificial target. With such a priceless treasure emerging, a great amount of sacrifices is needed. A great, great amount..."
"In that case, since my Dad's not dead, will they return for us?" Lu Sheng replied with a question.
"Heeheehee… if they come for you, then Young Master can come to Wan'er… if you make Wan'er happy, maybe I can even save Young Master once~~" Duanmu Wan suddenly giggled teasingly.
"Miss Duanmu's making fun of me," Lu Sheng wrested himself free from her caress and turned to face her squarely. "May I know if Miss still possesses other inner force mantras that aren't life-force skills?"
He did not know how much of what Duanmu Wan had said was true. But regardless of their authenticity, as long as he managed to obtain a new and stronger inner force skill from her, then this meeting would have been worth its while.
"Inner force mantras? That stuff… what're they good for?" Duanmu Wan straightened her luscious hair and puffed out her chest in front of Lu Sheng. "What's fun about inner force skills? How about Young Master get into a room with Wan'er and let's play some interesting games…"
"Miss Duanmu is joking again. What price must I pay to acquire those inner force skills? Please advise, Miss," Lu Sheng said somberly.
Hey guys! Thanks for all your support so far! Kurisu and I (Deep Blue) have specially created a Discord server for all fans of Way of the Devil, where you can chat, air your views, ask questions and guess what's happening next!
Here's the invite: https://discord.gg/qkFVEaP
Kurisu and I will be there waiting for you! :)